First of all, I hope that you are allowing yourself to eat when you’re hungry – and this includes snacks throughout the day! There’s this old myth that you’re not allowed/supposed to eat in between meals because it will ruin your appetite, but that’s just not true.
Your body is taking wonderful care of you, and part of that includes letting you know when it’s hungry/when you need food!
Food is the FUEL for your body, and so neglecting to give it food/fuel when it’s hungry would be kind of like not putting gas in your car when you’re on empty.
No one does that, right? Because then your car would not drive/function at its best! It’s the same with your body. When you’re on empty (aka hungry), your body needs food/fuel, or you won’t function at your best.
This is where the term “hangry” comes from. Have you ever felt so hungry that you start to feel tired, irritable, angry, and like you can’t focus?
It’s not just because you’re hungry, it’s because your body literally needs food to function well! Not only do you need food to function well physically, but your brain also needs food to function well. So instead of worrying about ruining your appetite, listen to your appetite and eat when you’re hungry and don’t wait until your ravenous to grab a snack – studies show that you actually make better food choices when you’re starting to become hungry then when you’re starting to feel “hangry.” Have you ever been so hungry that you just start eating everything in sight? Yeah, me too, and normally I don’t end up feeling so good afterwards.
So let’s talk healthy snacks – what should you eat during the day when you’re hungry? First, it’s important to eat something that is going to fuel and nourish your body – something that has some nutritional value and that will also keep you full for a decent amount of time. It’s also important to eat something that is going to be satisfying – something that will satisfy your cravings. For example, if you really want popcorn but you decide that you should probably eat a protein bar instead, you’ll likely end up eating the protein bar and then ALSO eating the popcorn. So instead of ignoring your cravings, work with them! Eat popcorn along with some apples with peanut butter.
A good framework for a healthy snack would be focusing on incorporating a healthy protein, a healthy carbohydrate, and healthy fat. Combining these food groups will help to fuel your body, give it energy, and also satisfy your hunger (keep you full).
What are some examples of healthy snacks? I’m glad you asked!
- Celery w/nut butter and chocolate chips
- Crackers with turkey and cheese
- Apple slices with nut butter
- Veggies with hummus
- Tortilla or pita chips with bean dip
So next time you’re hungry and wondering what to eat for a snack, try one of these examples; combine a protein, carbohydrate, and fat; and listen to your cravings! It doesn’t have to be complicated, you don’t have to feel guilty, and you are allowed to enjoy your food! Food wants to be your friend!
*Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writer are in their personal capacity only and aren’t to be replaced with medical advise.
A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.
Click here to follow Abby & her work
For more such articles and content on health & wellness, don’t forget to follow us!