We’ve all felt the lure of the chocolate in the fridge or crisps in the cupboard when we’ve been trying to eat healthier. But, believe it or not, healthy snacking does exist and we’re here to help – read on for our top tips for keeping your snack situation under control.
Just like death and taxes, snacking is inevitable even for the healthiest people. You can have the best intentions, and you can be super-disciplined (or so you think), but every so often you’re going to want to reach for the crisps, chocolate, or sweet stuff you might have stashed away at home or in your office.
But you’ll be delighted to know that the world of snacking isn’t black and white – ‘snack’ isn’t inherently a dirty word, and there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you’re still eating healthily when hunger calls.
Here are four steps you can take to start snacking healthy.
The biggest step you can take into the world of healthy snacking is to have less snacks in your house. Shocking, right? If your cupboards are practically creaking open because they’re so full of crisps and all the rest of it, then we recommend you start cutting back on the amount you buy. Your wallet and waistline will thank you later.
Changing your environment can extend beyond your cupboards though. A lot of people take to snacking as a way of coping with stress, and that’s completely understandable.
However, it can open the door for bad eating habits to form – next time you’re thinking about eating your way through a tough day at work, try going for a walk or reading a book for a bit of escapism.
It can be difficult to get portion sizes right (just think about how many times have you cooked too much pasta!)
As far as snacks go, however, a lot of the work has already been done for you.
Craving crisps? No problem – opt for multi-packs containing smaller 30g packs, as opposed to a tube of crisps or a 200g share bag, totalling six-or-seven servings in one go. It’s easier to eat those whole bags, which can become a (very unhealthy) meal in and of themselves.
Setting some boundaries can help as well. For example if you’re craving chocolate, have a square or two rather than a whole bar.
Picture this: you’re sitting in a cinema (remember them?) and you’ve got a huge box of popcorn… you reach for more popcorn and realise the once-brimming box is now empty… where’s all the popcorn gone? Well, you were so into *insert film of your choice* that you ate the lot before the trailers even finished. Sound familiar?
Snacking-without-thinking has happened to all of us, and it isn’t limited to just the cinema. Try being more mindful when you eat. Really think about what you’re eating and how it makes you feel – does this actually taste good? Is it satisfying? Am I full? Asking these types of questions will help you keep your snack habits in check.
But if you do want to snack, what can you eat?
We think you can’t go wrong with nuts and dried fruit (ideal for those of us with a sweet tooth) – they’re packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. There is no nutritionally complete snack out there, but these come close and won’t fill you with ‘empty’ calories the way most snacks will.
However, dried fruit often comes under some scrutiny in regards to its sugar content. Most dried fruits are small in size, and it’s incredibly easy to eat a lot of them in one hit. Once again, it’s best to be mindful when snacking on them.
But, of course, the easiest way to cut down on your snacking is to eat well enough that you don't feel the lure of snacks – Huel Powder and Huel Hot & Savoury offer nutritionally complete meals packed with carbs, protein, fats, fibre and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. We've even come up with a 'snack' of our own: the Huel Bar!
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