When we were younger, snacking was a normal part of our day. You had a snack at school. You had a snack after school. You had a snack after playing outside. You might have even taken a break from playing to have a snack. But as we get older, snacking becomes something that is frowned upon. Something that is often done in secret. Something we just try not to do.
But why? Why have our thoughts about snacking changed?
My guess would be that diet culture has something to do with it. As adults, there’s so much pressure to have the “perfect” snack at the “perfect” time or to even eliminate snacking from our vocabulary. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself:
“Do I really need a snack?”
“What type of snack should I have?”
Or even “why isn’t this easier?”
Then you must keep reading because I’m about to bust 3 of the most common snacking myths.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth! The definition of snacking (yes, I looked it up) is eating between meals. That’s it. Eating between meals, especially meals that are farther apart in time helps regulate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, rise and fall depending on the foods we eat. If we let too much time pass between meals our blood sugar levels drop, which can lead to fatigue, trouble focusing, lightheadedness, sleepiness, or even headaches. So, regulating your blood sugar levels, with meals and snacks throughout the day, is a healthy way to ensure you have energy all day long.
This is where the “perfect” snack pressure comes in and I’m going to fill you in on a little secret, pre-packaged items work great for snacks. Yep, I said it. Pre-packaged items work great. Utilizing things like string cheese, single-serve yogurts, packs of nuts, bars, and even pre-cut fruits and veggies make grabbing a snack super simple. Now I know these items come with an added price, so if you want to buy in bulk please do. I usually do a mixture of the two, so I always have things on hand but can also pick and package my own snack pairings. If you are still unsure about the prep work, please remember that a snack can be anything! Remove the external pressure and just ask yourself, “what will keep me full and satisfied until my next meal or snack?”
Nope. I bit aggressive, I know, but hear me out. In an ideal world full of intuitive eating, calories wouldn’t exist, but they do so let’s talk a bit about them. Calories are just units of energy provided to the body by the foods and drinks we consume. Therefore, we could say low calorie = low energy and when the point of a snack is to provide energy to our body between means, it doesn’t seem like the best choice. The moral of the story is don’t pick a snack based on just the calories. Pick a snack based on how much time you have until your next meal/snack, what sounds good, what you know will make you feel energized, and based on what you have available.
Now that you have a fresh perspective on snacking, you’ll be able to fuel your body in between meals and have the energy to go out and live your best life. But don’t worry, if you want more snacking resources, I created a free guide just for you. The TF Snack Guide will show you how to make fun, easy, and guilt-free snacks in just two steps. Grab your copy here!