Smart Snacking

Photo by: Seth Anderson

The continuous drip method of eating (medium/mini-meals every 2-3 hours) is metabollic utopia. When you’re constantly feeding your system, your metabolism doesn’t freak out that you’re stuck in the desert without food and react by conserving fat. On life’s top list of things you shouldn’t do, #2 is conserve fat. (#1 is ride a motorcycle without a helmet). A day of constant eating looks something like this:

7:30: Breakfast
10:00: Mini-Meal/Snack
12:00: Lunch
3:00: Mini-Meal/Snack
5:00: Mini-Meal/Snack
7:00: Dinner

That’s a lot of eating, right? It sure is! And the good news is that by the time you get to dinner, you may actually be tired of eating. If that happens, don’t skip it, but go for something light… a vegetable salad with some beans and rice, or even a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit. We’ll talk more about meal ideas later, but as for the mini-meals/snacks, here are 3 rules:

  • Start with a large glass (8 ounces+) of filtered water
  • Stick with the 200-300 calorie range, and at least 5 grams of fiber
  • Try for a balance: a little protein, something starchy, and something naturally colorful (sprinkles don’t count)

Now for some real-life medleys:

  • Granola bar (such as a Larabar) + 1 tennis-ball-size serving of fruit = ~270 calories
  • 1/4 cup hummus + 10 wheat Saltines + as many cucumber slices as you can handle = ~220 calories
  • Raw veggies (lots) + 3 tablespoons dressing for dipping (try Annie’s Woodstock Dressing!)+ 1 large handful pretzels = ~275 calories
  • Homemade trail mix: 1/2 cup Cheerios, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons cashews, 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips = ~300 calories
  • 1/2 nut butter & jam sandwich on multigrain bread + 1 baseball-size serving of fruit = ~300 calories
  • Veggie wrap: whole wheat tortilla + 2 tablespoons bean spread or hummus + shredded veggies & lettuce = ~250 calories
  • 1-inch slice of vegetable-infused bread, like this scrumptious Pumpkin Apple Spice Bread = ~290 calories

Isn’t it about time for another feeding?

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