When you’re constantly on the move, you need to find a way to snack fast! Nutrition Expert Marissa Thiry shares her 3 smart tips to snack when hunger strikes.
For someone who is moving a million miles a minute, sometimes it is hard to choose healthy, on-the-go options for snacks. The fact of the matter is, we live in a world that sometimes moves faster than we do, and it is a “keep up or be dragged” mentality.
For those who are enjoying dashboard dining between work and school and that 6 pm pilates class, this one is for you. Here are 3 tips to picking healthier snacks when you’re running out the door:
Tip #1: Pick a snack that provides a mix of carbohydrates and protein.
Choosing a complex carbohydrate paired with a healthy protein option will give you the energy you need to get through the day AND keep you full until the next time you sit down for a meal. Choosing carbohydrates OR protein at a snack is a good start, but combining the two will really provide the most bang for your buck.
Complex carbs, such as whole grains or fresh fruits and vegetables, act as the main source of energy for your body and provide fiber to help keep you feeling fuller longer, until that next meal. Protein will help you build lean body mass, so when you are hauling booty at work all day long, you have the strength to take the stairs to and from meetings!
Tip #2: Focus on portion sizes.
It’s so easy to sit down for a small snack like trail mix and resurface after 20 minutes and realize you have demolished the whole container. It’s not a far stretch to turn what would have been a healthy snack (quick handful of nuts) into a heftier load, just by simply forgetting portion control.
To stay mindful of your habits, get your snacks ready in the correct portion size before you are! Snacks like apples and string cheese are great because there is no “bottomless bag” mentality. Having these always on hand is a great tool to prepare yourself for when hunger strikes!
Tip #3: Learn your labels.
In general, I try to avoid pre-packaged foods because they are often loaded with additives and high in sodium. However, I also need something quick and easy that I can toss from my gym bag to my desk drawer, so I’ve learned what items are exceptions to this rule. You have to know what is shelf-stable AND won’t make you feel guilty at the end of the day. Lucky for you, those products are out there!
Looking for sodium or sugar content is a great start if you are just entering the label-reading world. The current recommendation for sodium is 2300 mg or less per day, so keeping all three meals to about 600 mg or less leaves room for 1-2 snacks throughout the day with up to 250 mg of sodium. Don’t dwell on these numbers too long, just keep them in mind when you are flying through aisle five of the grocery store. If those snack crackers you just tossed in your cart have 500 mg sodium in 1 serving, swap it out for something that will give you more bang for your buck.
For more snacking tips and ideas, make a visit here!
Marissa Thiry, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Orange County, CA with a passion for health, wellness, and delicious food. With her love of innovating in the kitchen and testing unique flavors from different cultures, Marissa helps others understand that eating should be an experience, not a task. Make a visit to read more from Marissa.