Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am sharing with you the correct way of snacking in between meals and I am going to show you my main healthy rules and my favourite snack ideas to stay fit without sacrificing taste.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, let me tell you: I thought so too.
I am always hungry in between meals, mainly half morning around 11 am and after dinner around 21 pm, so I definitely have 2 healthy snacks a day.
That's why I learned how to snack correctly!
3 meals a day are not enough for me no matter how nutritious or satisfying, Sometimes I just need to chew something when I am peckish without adding an enormous amount of calories to my daily diet with a tasty but high-calorie snack.
I have tried every single diet on earth but I have always ended up binge eating before reaching my weight goals.
Food restriction doesn't work for me in the long term.
I am naturally rather slim, however, my weight tends to fluctuate quite easily if not properly monitored.
Now that I am in my 30s, I understand my body's needs better, therefore I try not to compensate for a bad day with junk food and I have learned to eat regularly in order to avoid feeling my stomach growling.
It's all about the right snack choices, nothing too difficult!
Below I have put together a few yummy snack ideas that are also super healthy!
Great news, the snack ideas I will show you are grab and go, therefore suitable as office snacks too.
Preparation is crucial: take your time to plan what you are going to eat every day so you can prepare your homemade snacks.
If I am going to treat myself to a pizza night, I will prepare a light snack in order to balance them out.
On the other hand, if I had just a salad for lunch, I won't be scared to choose something more indulgent among the low calories snack range.
How do you know if a snack is healthy?
These are the golden rules for healthy but yummy snacks:
Choose two foods that will be paired together in different proportions according to their nutritional values.
The first food it has to be non or low processed, it must contain water and fibres as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals. It is the healthiest food to enjoy between the two and you can have a bigger portion of it.
The second food is what brings taste and texture as well as being usually higher in calories, hence the portion size should be smaller.
Below some examples:
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Healthy snack options
Apple or banana + nuts butter
Fresh fruit is always a great snack choice as it is a source of fibres, vitamins and water.
I used to make the mistake of eating fruit alone in the past and as a result, after 10 minutes I was even hungrier than before.
Fruit naturally contains sugar causing a pick of insulin, so in order to avoid it, pair it with something that is made mainly of fat such as nuts or nuts butter.
If you choose to pair it with nut butter, always make sure to read the ingredients and opt for the one with the shortest: no added sugar, no palm oil.
Tesco has a very good peanut butter at a surprisingly cheap price (£1.50).
If you fancy something a bit different, almond butter, pistachio butter or cashew butter are equally great (Meridian is my favourite brand).
People will encourage you to make your own nut butter: I think it's not worth it.
You can already find high-quality affordable products on the market instead of buying a whole bag of nuts, which is usually around 6£ + the cost of a food processor + the time to do it.
Save the time to make lasagne!
Greek or Skyr yoghurt + berries
Source of healthy fats and protein, it is the perfect high protein snack!
It's good for your gut and for women suffering from recurrent thrush infection.
I love its creamy consistency and I like to eat as it is or topped with a teaspoon of honey and berries but it is also nice with raw vegetables with a delicate flavour such as fennel.
My favourite brands are Arla or FAGE, but I tend to stay away from the flavoured versions as they are too heavy on refined sugars.
My favourite evening snack, when I relax with my boyfriend watching Netflix.
Better if homemade, without sugar or salt.
If you are on the go, try the skinny Popcorn (£1.60)
Nuts + fresh fruit
The fruit is one of the best options available. Even the one with the highest amount of sugar is always a better choice compared to something "lighter" but processed.
I found on Google these amazing charts that made me more aware of the specific calories and sugar levels of each fruit, which helps me to variate accordingly.
Following the list below, I then choose berries more often compared to grapes and mangoes but I don't eliminate anything. I just alternate the days and the portion sizes.
Same for nuts: they all are great for you but in moderation.
Veggies + cheese or hummus/taramasalata/guacamole dips
If you are not a sweet tooth like me, you might fancy a savoury snack.
Veggies are super tasty and satisfying snacks if paired with a healthy cheese.
Here again, we need to be careful with the calories! Make sure not to opt for a super fatty cheese every single day.
Variation is key. Don't get rid of your beloved Parmesan, just have a smaller portion and the next day opt for feta instead.
Pinterest is helping me once again with the super helpful chart below.
I downloaded some on my phone gallery and I check them every time before planning my daily snack.
What are the best snack combinations of vegetable + cheese?
-Celery and Brie
-Carrots and Cottage cheese
-Swede and Cheddar
-Radishes and Philadelphia
-Tomatoes and Mozzarella
-Bell pepper and Feta
-Cauliflower and Edam
-Fennel and Goat Cheese
-Cucumber and salad cheese
Just find the one that snack option that floats your boat!
Dark chocolate + espresso coffee
When your energy level is low and you need a boost that will lift you up quickly, this is the right snack alternative for you.
That happens frequently to me when I am on my period and I can't just cope with the world. I am a huge fan of the Lidl chocolate which I believe is stunning quality for the price.
I like my coffee black and strong, no matter if it is espresso or americano.
My favourite brand is of course the Italian Lavazza qualita' rossa.
Corn or rice thins + ham
Corn cakes are a good swap to avoid eating bread in between meals.
It is a balanced snack, source of proteins and carbs and it would make a great pre-workout snack. Even better if you could add a couple of cherry tomatoes.
Rye bread + strawberries + honey or hazelnut spread:
Nutella snack addicted?
You don't need to give up your guilty pleasure!
I found online a healthier alternative to Nutella that actually tastes as nice and it's more environment friendly!
Of course, this doesn't mean that you can dip the spoon in the jar as much as you want...but for 97% less sugars and no palm oil, we can definitely enjoy it every now and then on top of a dark rye bread slice.
If you had some porridge left from your breakfast, the best thing is to carry it with you for a dessert-like snack in the afternoon or you can save it in a jar for the next day. I intentionally make more in the morning to have a quick healthy snack it later on.
Eggs are very nutritious and they make an excellent keto snack option that will give you a lot of energy, especially if paired with your favourite kind of vegetable.
They are my latest snack obsession! Being a legume, it is high in proteins and fibres and provides essential nutrients while being a guilt-free snack.
I like to enjoy them on their own or with some baby plum tomatoes, when in season.
The chart below is from Verywellfit
Half avocado on toast
It is a delicious calorie-dense snack, however, it is still the healthy spectrum and ti is appropriate as a post-workout snack.
I really hope this was helpful guys, let me know your favourite way of snacking in the comments below!
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Check out another of my posts with snacks: