Let’s Talk About Snacking!

Marathon training can make you hungry and you might find yourself craving a snack between meals. Luckily, snacking can actually be an important part of your nutrition strategy if you do it right. The following are snacking related questions sent in by subscribers to the MTA Newsletter.

We had help from the amazing nutritionists at MetPro in answering the questions that follow.

Healthy Snacks for On the Go

My question is do you have any suggestions for healthy on the go snacks?
Keep up the great work! Thank you, -Brittany

Answer from MetPro Coach Jan: 
Hey Brittany, Here’s a few things to keep in mind when trying to pick some healthy snacks for on-the-go:

  • Portability: You want something that will be easy to eat on-the-go & not messy!
  • Non-perishable: If you don’t need to refrigerate it, you’ll be able to stash these items in the car, at work, in your desk, etc. so you’ll have them readily available to you when you need them. 
  • Balance: You also want to make sure you’ve got a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats so try choosing items that pair well together (apple + PB) or using compound foods (almonds, cheese) to help minimize the amount you need to bring with you!

Here are my top 3 on-the-go snack options I recommend to my clients: 

  • Applesauce pouch (carbs) + Protein Shake (protein) + Walnuts (fat)
  • Rice cakes (carbs) + Almond Butter (protein + fat)
  • Small apple + Jerky or Tuna Pouch (protein) + Pecans (fat)

Foods to Keep You From Snacking on Junk

I am having trouble staying consistent with proper nutrition in-between meals.  Can you suggest the kind of foods that benefit training while also tricking the brain to avoid snacking on the wrong foods? (I’m weak on sweet/salty foods, lol.)  Thanks! -Bryan

Answer from MetPro Coach Shannon:

  • A snack comprised of whole foods that include a source of all macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) is going to have the best benefit on training and satiety.
  • A great example is a combination of a fresh fruit that has a skin (such as apples) with a nut butter and maybe some jerky. While it may seem simple, the fiber, protein and fat make the snack more satisfying and will help extend the energy provided by the carbs.
  • You won’t necessarily be tricking your brain, however if you are fueling well enough throughout your whole day those sweet/salty snack cravings won’t be as tempting.

Snacking After Dinner

How do avoid snacking after dinner? Do you eat dessert? -Thank you!  -Kate

Answer from MetPro Coach Jan:

Great question Kate!  If you tend to go for that post-dinner snack or dessert most nights of the week, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. “Am I eating balanced meals and snacks throughout the day?” 
    Make sure you’re choosing a protein, carbohydrate, and fat source with all of your meals and snacks. Not only will this help promote satiety, but the combination of nutrients will be digested more slowly, in turn helping to control blood sugar levels and prevent those spikes and drops that can lead to cravings later in the day. 
  2. “Am I eating every 2-3 hours?” 
    Having a consistent meal schedule will help prevent you from getting too hungry later in the day, when you’re more likely to snack. If you go hours without eating or wait until the very end of the day to eat, it will be more challenging to avoid the snacks after dinner. Try spacing your meals out during the day; place a snack between breakfast and lunch and another snack between lunch and dinner. 
  3. “Am I genuinely hungry?” 
    Often times we find ourselves wanting to snack after dinner. Try to identify whether or not you’re actually hungry or if you’re snacking is due to boredom, stress, tiredness, emotional attachment, or just out of habit.

    If you think you may just be snacking out of habit, try replacing your typical choice with chopped celery or cucumbers. If you’re genuinely still hungry, and trying to lose weight, stick with a snack that is comprised of protein and fat. A couple great options are: ½ a cup of cottage cheese + 1 oz walnuts or a scoop of protein blended with almond milk and peanut butter.

Thank you Coach Jan and Coach Shannon! To see if MetPro is the solution you’ve been looking for, take their Metabolic Assessment and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of their experts by going to www.metpro.co/mta.

Read Angie’s weight loss story here.

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