It doesn’t matter when they strike, once those hunger pangs kick in it’s hard to focus on anything else. But we can often crave sugar-laden treats or salty fried snacks when we’re starving, potentially throwing our health goals off track. Today we zone in the healthy options you need at arm’s length for when that hunger creeps in, and the types of foods you should be eating at different times of day.
A couple of hours past breakfast and you can feel yourself already craving something sweet… Morning tea snacking is sugar prime time, which can often lead to a serious slump come PM, as well as unnecessary calories. It’s important to fuel yourself with low GI snacks that only contain a small amount of natural sugar if you’re after a hit of sweetness—we love banana sprinkled with cinnamon or sliced red apple drizzled with peanut butter.
Some natural yoghurt mixed with raw almonds is also a great healthy option which will tie you over until lunchtime, as are low sugar homemade muffins or granola bars crafted with natural ingredients.
You certainly don’t want to exercise on a grumbling tummy, as your body requires energy from food to keep you powering through a workout. However, you don’t want to eat too much either, which can make you feel bloated and nauseous, particularly during cardio. Opt for a banana with a cup of coffee, a small bowl of oats, a healthy protein-packed smoothie or a slice of wholegrain toast to keep you firing during your workout session.
That 3pm slump that many of us know so well is often associated with cravings for crunchy, salty foods like chips or fizzy, sugary soft drink. Instead, opt for a tasty, energy-boosting healthy snack such as veggie sticks with hummus, trail mix, wholegrain crackers with cheese slices or a piece of healthy homemade banana bread to kick that afternoon low and power through until the end of the day.
Beating those hunger pangs the healthy way… After a workout
After a sesh of sweaty exercise, your body needs to be re-fuelled with plenty of hydrating liquid as well as healthy natural sources of protein. If the hunger has kicked in, then it’s best to opt for something like a tin of fish with crackers and a handful of berries, a green protein smoothie, a couple of boiled eggs or some homemade chicken fingers with zucchini.
Beating those hunger pangs the healthy way… After dinner
If you've had a light dinner then it will be no surprise once those sweet cravings arrive before bedtime. Make sure you don’t undo a balanced diet by overindulging in processed desserts, by instead opting for one of our healthy before-bed treats! We recommend a small serve of homemade popcorn, a herbal tea alongside a handful of nuts or a small serve of natural Greek yoghurt with a sprinkling of berries on top.
How have you gone incorporating some of our healthy snack ideas into your daily routine?