Snacking is a part of our lifestyle and an important one at that. In fact, health experts recommend that we incorporate one to two snacks in a day apart from your three meals. Now, there are many ways of breaking this up based on what fits your lifestyle. Some people do four to six small meals that includes a snack, or three big meals and a snack or two. The most important thing, however, is WHAT you eat and how you practice healthy snacking.
Over the past years, our lifestyles have been drastically compromised owing to the surge in streaming channels and devices. We tend to spend a lot of time on the couch browsing through our favourite shows on our gadgets. Alcohol has therein become an integral part of most of our lifestyles, especially on weekends, as well as the finger food that goes along with it! This situation has worsened due to the pandemic. Here are some interesting statistics we have found on this topic:
According to Mondalez International’s report to Food Dive, 88% of adults say they are snacking more than they were before the outbreak. The survey of 6,292 adults found 70% of millennials and 67% of those working from home during the pandemic prefer snacking over meals. Now, you have surely heard about comfort food and comfort eating – that is the number one driver for the surge in snacks.
In general, our eating habits are strongly shifting focus, going from three meals on an average to skipping them entirely and snacking frequently. So, it’s about time we pay attention to what we are consuming as it is increasingly difficult to practice healthy snacking. While it is perfectly alright to have a cheat meal or two every now and then, ensuring 80% of what you eat every day is healthy will help eliminate a lot of health problems in the future.
Before we delve into how you can practice healthy snacking, let’s take a quick look at what it does for you and your health. It:
- provides all the essential nutrients your body requires
- keeps you energised throughout the day
- satiates hunger pangs at non-meal hours
- helps keep your cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases under check
How to practice healthy snacking
Here are some ways you can incorporate snacking in a healthy way into your lifestyle:
Plan your shopping
This is by far the most important step towards healthy snacking. Conquer this and the rest will fall in place. Make a shopping list of healthy foods that are also tasty (there are many out there!) and stick to it. DO NOT give in to the temptation to walk through all aisles and add “just one” (we know how that goes) carb-filled chips bag or the likes to your cart. If this is difficult to do, you could try ordering online and picking up curbside. This allows you to only buy what you need and have on your list and is also easier on your pocket.
Be intentional about what you eat
It’s easy to sit on a couch and snack endlessly while binge watching your favourite shows. Before you know it, you’ve finished an entire box of chocolates or cookies. Also, a lot of us seek comfort in food, so when we are tired, sad or bored, we tend to pick up anything our hands can reach and consume them without a second thought. This is something you must consciously eliminate. Choose your snacks mindfully. Always make sure that you read the nutritional label before you make a purchase. Avoid added sugars, preservatives and artificial flavours and colours as much as possible.
Prepare your own snacks at home
This is easier said than done, but there are plenty of simple yet healthy snacks that can be quickly put together at home in under an hour and stored. The reason we give in to unhealthy temptations is because they are easily available.Do the same with healthy foods – make them easily available. Fruit salads, cucumbers and carrots, trail mixes, hummus – prepare them at your convenience and stock them in your pantry and fridge. When these are the only available options, you have no choice but to go to them. And over a period, this will become a part of your lifestyle and you will not be able to switch back.
Pack snacks for on-the-go
Any time we step out, whether it’s for work or just an evening stroll with friends, we tend to grab a to-go snack outside. We do not think too much about what we eat when we are pre-occupied. This is where it helps when you pack consciously made snacks and take it with you on-the-go. This way, you always have something to eat when hunger pangs strike. Even when you are eating for comfort or boredom, a fruit or some nuts are better options.
Drink lots of water
You’ve probably heard this a lot on every other health and lifestyle website. There is a reason why – water is the elixir of life. It carries nutrients to your cells, flushes out toxins and bacteria, improves digestive health and helps with constipation. We could write a book on the benefits of staying hydrated, yet not many of us drink enough water. A lot of times, we confuse thirst for hunger and start eating. Carry a bottle of water with you, wherever you go. It serves as a reminder to keep sipping on the magic potion. Make sure to drink at least three to four litres of water a day.
Every meal and every snack that you eat is a choice you make.
Making healthy choices each time may seem hard, but once you are in the swing of things, you are able to practice healthy snacking naturally and without too much effort. This is a lifestyle choice that once made, you will not want to turn back from because of how good you will feel. Not to mention the money you can save from not eating out so frequently!
If you are looking for healthy ingredients to substitute in your cooking or baking, take a look at the wide range of products on Miski Organics. If you prefer ready-to-consume snacks that are healthy AND tasty, visit Miski GoodFoods.