One of the most important things you can do when becoming healthier and staying healthy is to never let your body get into extreme hunger. These healthy snack ideas can help you ensure you keep your body away from extreme hunger.
Snacks vs hunger
Hunger to the body is a stress, it thinks that something terrible is happening. The body the starts to store fat just in case this ‘terrible’ thing turns into a famine.
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The body’s natural instinct every single time is survival. This has come from years and years of learning to survive as a species. It comes back to natural animal instinct.
To keep your body out of fat storage mode, you need to keep out of starvation. This does not meant that you need to eat all the time, that would have the opposite effect of weight loss. It is a careful balance and you will get the hang of it the more you listen to your body.
A simple way of keeping on track with your hunger is to have some very healthy snacks on hand for when you feel you need them.
If you are feeling that you are reaching for snacks often, it would also be good to ask yourself if you are truly hungry or if you are thirsty. Most of the time you will actually be thirsty.
Try drinking a glass of water and waiting 5 minutes prior to eating a snack. If you do this, then most of the time you will not actually go for the snack as you are satisfied with the water.
Another suggestion, if you are regularly reaching for snacks is to add some more fat to your meals. There are many ‘good’ fats that you can add that still ensure you are eating healthy. For example, avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs etc.
Healthy Snack Options
Have a small container tucked away in your handbag or in your desk draw at work with a selection of nuts in it. Nuts are a quick snack that have good fats in them which keep you feeling full.
Walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, and Brazil nuts are some that you may like to start with.
Please note that you are wanting to have 3-4 nuts then pause and then listen to your body. It will let you know if you need more. The object is to give your body enough to let it know that we are not in a famine, without over doing it and gaining weight.
Keep a couple of chopped up carrots in your fridge at work with some hummus. Homemade hummus is certainly the healthiest option, as you will know it has no extra chemicals or preservatives in it. If you are buying your hummus, please check the ingredients and get a very natural based hummus.
Carrots have water inside them, so sometimes this helps if it is a dehydration issue also. The chickpeas in the hummus will help fill you up.
Cut slices of your favorite cheese into cracker like slices and add cucumber and tomato on top, as you would a cracker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!
These little treats are fulling and are ideal as they have a mixture of fat, protein, and nutrients.
Simple, yet fulling. If you don’t find this option overly exciting, then you can add some dressings to your egg to spruce it up.
You can cut the egg in half and sprinkle with paprika and salt, mustard seeds, chives, or any topping you find appealing.
You can also boil you egg, cut it in half, and then scoop out the yolk. Add the yolk to a bowl and squash it up with a small amount of mayonnaise. Then carefully add the yolk back into the whites.
In muffin tins add a slice of bacon then crack an egg on top of it. Then add another piece of bacon on top and bake until cooked. These will make very cute bacon and egg muffins that you can store in the fridge to have between meals if needed. If you use larger muffin trays, these can also be a great take away breakfast option.
Have a container of snack sized pieces of vegetables in your fridge ready to go. This could include broccoli, cucumber, capsicum, or anything you love to eat raw.
This is all good and well…
but I need something sweet!
There are some very natural solutions to this – nature has provided us with natural sugary options.
You can make some very healthy and delicious nut and seed bars by mixing them up with dates or honey. You then press the mixture into a baking tray and freeze. You can also add some super foods to this mix to really get a boost out of your snack.
Fruit is a very healthy and natural snack, just do not go overboard on it. Fruit contains natural sugars so this in high amounts can be too much for the body to digest.
Add some fat to your fruit can help your body eat the fruit without having a blood sugar spike. For example, you could add almond butter to apple slices or have a couple of nuts with your fruit kebab.
A banana is a very fulling fruit and can help you feel very sustained until your next meal.
Making yourself a hot cup of cacao is a healthy option (Yes! I know right!). Please make sure you use cacao not cocoa, these are two very different things. You can sweeten with a little honey or maple syrup if needed. Want to learn more about cacao?
Chia Seed pudding
Add chia seeds to half a cup of coconut cream and mix in a small handful of nuts. Leave for about 1-2 hours and your chia seeds will puff up into a desert like snack.
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It is really important to get to the bottom of why you are needing to snack if you are snacking daily. If your meal is full of fat and protein, then you should be able to stay sustained until your next meal.
Reflect on how you are feeling when you are reaching for a snack. Are you feeling board, thirsty, upset? If you feel you are in a good place emotionally, reflect on your meal choices earlier in the day. Perhaps some small tweaks would allow you to stay fuller for longer.
It is all about listening very carefully to your body and what it is trying to tell you. Your body knows what you need and what you require.