top of page

Smart Snacking: Nourishing Your Body and Mind Between Meals

So we made it through Thanksgiving. The one holiday in which everything centers around food. Transparent moment here, I absolutely, positively over-ate and blew through my diet. Some estimate that the average American eats about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. I know me personally, I'm an overachiever so I am sure I blew right past that. And in t minus 2 weeks, I have a date with my primary care physician and I have a lot of explaining to do. I know I can't be the only one. But hey, what we are not going to do is self-recriminate, we are not going to panic, and we are not going to crash diet. We're going to be gentle with ourselves (shout out to Candyce for that term) and we are going to be mindful of our health options.

Enoying food is an absolute wonderful part of life. It is even more so when we are able to enjoy good food with friends and family. I think that is the lure of the Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, in theory, it is the holiday that focuses on gratitude and giving thanks. But what many of us look forward to the most is good food with good company. Sometimes we go a little overboard with the good food part. So what do we do to get our minds and bodies back on track after all of that indulgence? Smart snacking. Now I know that this article topic may seem a little out of place given our admitting that we may have overindulged in food over the last couple of days. However, to help us avoid crash dieting, which can be wholly counterproductive for our overall health, smart snacking is the perfect segue.

Smart Snacking, You're Not You When You're Hungry

You know the commercial slogan for Snickers. "You're not you when you're hungry." Eating foods such as this that have been heavily marketed as snack foods (i.e. chips, cookies, crackers, and granola bars) is just not the way to go. These foods often end up being a common reason for us feeling lethargic, spacey, unfocused, anxious, and even irritable. But you should not avoid snacking. In fact, by avoiding snacking, you may be increasing the likelihood that you will overeat at meals.

Smart Snacking, The Essence of the thing

Smart snacking involves selecting nutrient-rich foods that offer a well-rounded blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, all while being mindful of portion control. It's about opting for options that nourish your body between meals, and steering clear of empty calories that provide a short-lived energy boost followed by a slump.

Smart Snacking, The Benefits

Now, back to addressing the elephant in the room. I know you may still be a little skeptical of me pushing snacking as a solution to the overeating problem of the last few days. I get it. You're not trying to add on any more pounds or increase those A1C or cholesterol levels any higher. It is true that unhealthy snacking is problematic. However, smart snacking comes with a few benefits. When you select snacks that have a combination of complex carbohydrates and proteins, it not only helps maintain stable blood sugar levels but also provides a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Nutrient rich snacks also help enhance mental clarity and productivity. Finally, planned snacks can prevent overeating during main meals, aiding in better portion control and balanced nutrition, which is exactly what we all need after the last few days of overindulgence.

Smart Snacking, Yes Don't Forget to Hydrate

Our bodies were designed to send up signals when a need isn't being met. Unfortunately, we sometimes get our wires crossed. This is especially true when it comes to hunger vs. thirst. Dehydration can masquerade as hunger, leading us to reach for food when all we truly need is a glass of water. This confusion happens because the sensations of thirst and hunger are both controlled by the same part of the brain. When we're mildly dehydrated, the brain can misinterpret the signals, making us feel like we need to eat when, in reality, we just need to hydrate. The amount of water an individual needs can vary based on factors like age, weight, activity level, and climate-so please do not be afraid to include your health care professional in the discussion on what may be appropriate for you based on your health, age, weight, and activity level.

Smart Snacking, On-the-Go

The key to smart snacking is preparation. A few minutes of prepartion can save hours of being uncomfortable. This is especially true if you believe you lack will power around food. To aid in this, it is important to plan and pack snacks ahead of time to avoid impulsive, unhealthy choices while on the go. Make sure your choices are convenient and portable. Think of snacks like raw walnuts, pecans, or cashews. Try fruit slices or veggies such as carrots, peppers, or celery. You can also take half a sandwich (chicken or turkey) with lettuce and other veggies of your choice on 100% whole or sprouted grain bread. Don't forget your water!

Smart Snacking, Maintain Your Willpower

Talking with people is the thing I do for a living. I am aware that many feel they have no willpower, especially when it comes to food. The hardest part about willpower is getting started. Once we can get you started, you will find over time it gets easier instead of harder. I cannot overemphasize the importance of a meal plan strategy. You have to prepare the healthier food choices ahead of time. Set phone alarm to remind you to drink water throughout the day. You can also use these to remind you to eat a quick snack. Lastly, enlist the help of an accountability partner. This can be a friend, a co-worker, a family member, a coach, or a therapist.

I'd love to hear your thoughts down in the comments. There is so much more to say about this particular topic but I don't want to overwhelm you here. I just want to give you a starting point. Smart snacking isn’t about deprivation; it’s about making informed choices that align with your health goals.  Introducing nutrient-packed, portioned snacks into your everyday habits nourishes your body, bolsters energy, and fosters general wellness. Remember, the key lies in balance, variety, and mindful consumption, transforming snacking into a tool for sustained vitality and productivity throughout the day. Change will not occur over night so again, put those crash diet ideas out of your thoughts. Just start small and remember as you being this journey, do not worry about getting it perfect; just get it going. Until next time. Happy reading!

"Good things, when short, are twice as good." ~Baltasar Gracián

Here at EnvisionCo Blog, we try to keep ads to a minimum making our blog entirely reader-supported. We may feature links on this site for additional informational purposes.  From time to time, we may feature other links which are affiliate links (and these will be clearly marked). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This is of course at no additional cost to you. However, if you like what you see and would like to make a donation to help us keep ads to a minimum, we would greatly appreciate it! Nothing fancy. We accept the price of a cup coffee with as much gratitude as we would the price of a tank of gas!  


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page