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  • Writer's pictureRobin Rhine McDonald

Common Snacking Mistakes

I don't know about you, but I love my snacks! I get particularly hungry when I'm working out. It's so important to fuel your body well.

Here are 5 snacking mistakes most of us experience.

Low satiety snacks

If you are having a snack because you are hungry, it's important that you address the hunger. Your body needs certain nutrients to function. In order to function optimally, we provide it with nutrient dense, satiating foods. If you consume a snack like pretzels, popcorn, cookies, chips, or some other nutrient deficient food, you'll end up hungry 30 minutes later.

When you're trying to think of a satiating snack, think fat and protein. Try to find snacks that offer you a moderate amount of protein and fat, and a minimal amount of carbs. Most people aren't eating enough protein. Snacks can be a great way to hit the number you need!

Unportioned snacks

When I talk about portions, most folks focused on losing weight think that I am only referring to limiting the amount of food consumed. That's only part of it. If you are not eating a well portioned snack that offers you enough nutrients, you'll be in the low satiety category mentioned above.

There is also the challenge of ensuring that you aren't eating too much. Using reusable storage snack bags and small containers can be great solutions to eating an adequate portion. When you do your weekly meal prep, you can fill these containers with your snacks in advance to have them on the go.

When thinking through portions, a good snack is somewhere between 100-300 calories. And no, that is not a meal size. A full meal is closer to 400-600 calories.

I'm all about eating ENOUGH, and not under eating.

Overly processed snacks

I think this goes without saying, but the convenience and taste of these snacks are so compelling! Overly processed snacks are foods like crackers, chips, cookies, granola bars, granola, candy bars, anything that ends in "itos" - you get the ideas.

Consuming these snacks will leave your body hungry for more and still without the nutrients it is asking for.

There are certain foods that are processed, but are a much healthier solution. Look for foods that have minimal ingredients, that are non-GMO, and that don't contain any vegetable oils.

Unintentional snacks

There is nothing wrong with spontaneously eating foods off plan. The challenge comes when that becomes a regular occurrence and when the food seems to be making decisions more than you are.

If you are like most people right now, you're at home with the pantry and fridge calling your name at times when you wouldn't normally stop to snack.

Decide on your snacking times and prep delicious snacks that you look forward to, so that when you hear the food calling your name, you've already got a delicious and supportive option in place.

Not snacking

Yes! This can be a snacking mistake. There are differing opinions on the necessity of snacks. Ideally, you'd eat satisfying enough meals that you wouldn't need to snack. Often times though, it's just difficult to have 3 large meals a day. Snacks are a great way to break of the day and to ensure you're eating enough.

Most of my clients struggle to eat enough, so I am a big encourager of snacks. It's not about being hungry, eating as little as possible, or constantly denying or restricting yourself. It's about fueling your body to experience the health you're made for!

Snack ideas:

Happy snacking!!

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