When should you incorporate snacking into your daily routine?

When should you incorporate snacking into your daily routine?

Do you find yourself walking by the candy dish in your office multiple times per day?  Research shows that the average individual goes by the office candy dish 7.7 times per day.  If each piece of candy is 22 calories, eating a piece each time you walk by would equal 44,000 extra calories and 12.5 pounds of weight gain per year. As you can see snacking can add up, so it is important to be purposeful when incorporating a snack into your daily routine.

When is it appropriate to incorporate snacking?

·         When more than 5 hours passes between meals

o   If you find yourself going long periods of time between meals without eating and you end up overeating at your next meal, it would be beneficial to incorporate a snack on your way home from work or even midafternoon to hold yourself over until dinner.

·         Before or after working out

o   You want to incorporate quick, easily digested carbohydrate and protein before and after your workout to maximize your performance.  Pre-workout nutrition will fuel your body for your workout and post-workout nutrition should be consumed within 30-60 minutes of exercise to replenish your muscles.

·         Before going out to eat or going to an event with food

o   If you have an event where you know food will be served, it may be a good idea to consume a snack ahead of time to help fill you up before the event.  It will help satisfy you, so that you are less likely to overeat at the event. 

·         If you are truly hungry

o   Evaluate your hunger – Are you bored? Did you just walk by an enticing smell? Are you stressed? Are you actually hungry? If you have physical hunger, make sure to incorporate a snack into your routine.

If you want to know what you should snack on, please refer to my previous nutrition fuel blog post: Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas for the Office.

Let me know if you have any questions about this blog post at staci@ti.com.