How To Make Your Afternoon Snack Healthier
I’m sure we’ve all been there — that dreaded mid-afternoon slump. To some extent, this can be part of the natural rhythm of your body but sometimes it can be made worse by other factors. Whether it be your morning coffee wearing off, a sleepless night catching up to you, or even your body reacting to a heavy lunch, sometimes that mid-afternoon tiredness leads to us reaching for any snacks that are available.
My tips for a healthy afternoon snack
Keep on track with your health goals and try to choose more nutritious afternoon snacks that will help energise you on those days. Follow my three easy tips for making healthier choices when an afternoon slump hits!
The easiest way to choose healthier snack options is to be prepared! Set aside some time before your week begins, like Sunday evening, to meal prep. The prepared snacks can then be divided up and popped into containers so you’ll be set for the next few days. They can then be taken to work or carried in your bag if you’re out and about. Healthy muffins, homemade protein balls (like my cookie dough energy bite balls) or homemade bars are nutritious and easy options. Another benefit of this? Making your own snacks at home means you know what ingredients are going into them — so you can avoid any hidden nasties that may be found in store-purchased ones.
Avoid high-sugar snacks
When that 3pm wall hits, often the most tempting option is a quick-fix sugar hit. Trust me when I say that this doesn’t provide the best solution for overcoming an energy slump. Your body will quickly digest the sugars, which can cause a blood sugar spike. You will often find your blood sugar (and energy level!) then comes crashing down, hard, leaving you feeling tired again.
If you often find yourself wanting something sweet by the afternoon, you might like to try a healthy version of the treat you usually reach for. The snacks mentioned above, or something like this healthy chocolate cake recipe, are all good alternatives and can be a lot better for you than traditional candy or chocolate. There are healthier alternatives for nearly every type of snack, so it’s a matter of finding one you like! As I mentioned, knowing what your body usually craves at that time can help you to be prepared to satisfy it with a healthier alternative.
Steering clear of sugar is also a great idea if you're looking for a healthy snack you can give to your kids.
Choose your ingredients wisely
Whatever you choose to eat as an afternoon snack, try to make sure that it contains a combination of protein and fat, in addition to slow-burning carbohydrates (think fruit, veggies, legumes and whole grains). This can help you avoid hunger until dinner time and can assist in lifting your blood sugar levels at a steady rate. A high-protein smoothie, for example, is easy to make at home and can be a quick option to whip up in the morning to take to work too, if you have a fridge available.
Now you’re ready to make healthier afternoon snacks!
Whatever your afternoon snack choice, your aim should be to amp up your energy and keep you satisfied — but not too full — until dinner time. Just remember, every body is different and so are your tastebuds! Don’t feel as though you have to restrict yourself of the snacks you love, just try to choose a healthier version. Your body — and mind — will thank you for it!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.