Some Basics Before Snack Swapping
Is sugar evil?
There are many times where people may be looking to cut out sugar or reduce their intake. However, for people like Dean that have high training loads, it is more sensible to manage your sugar intake depending on your training - taking on a little more during hard training days and less during easier training or recovery days. While protein and fibre (more on those in a moment), might be the daily mainstays of your snack options, add/adjusting snacks with more or less sugar can also be a way to ensure you are adequately fuelling your training.
Easy training day/recovery day - skyr yogurt and berries is a great go to.
Hard training day - that skyr yogurt and berries can have some honey thrown in, or add a side helping of homemade rice cakes or trail mix.
Yes, protein again. If you read our ‘Muscle building’ blog you’ll have seen that we suggested trying to get regular protein hits in during the day. As well as potentially helping build muscle (if you’re NOT looking to build muscle, don’t worry, eating protein will not magically make you ‘bulk up’), regular protein intake can help you feel fuller and less likely to searching for more food. There is plenty of evidence now to show that protein is the most satiating macronutrient, with 20g suggested to be a potential threshold for which satiety is increased (1). We’ve put some ideas down for some different snack options that are higher in fat.
Following in after protein, fibre is the next thing to try and get in your snack options. Fibre-rich foods are typically low in energy density, (yes, think fruit and vegetables), which when eaten in the same volume as high energy dense foods are equally as satiating but less energetic. Seems obvious yet this is something people tend to overlook.
Take Your Time
How hungry or full we feel is not a simple matter. Our bodies take in and analyse a huge number of signals before ultimately deciding whether we are hungry or not. A couple of ways to make sure you’re helping send the right signals is to slow down when you’re eating, and chew your food. How quickly can you wolf down your mid morning snack? How many times will you chew it before swallowing a still nearly whole piece of food. Give this a go, next time you have a snack, chew every mouthful 20 times. And take a breather between each bit.
When possible, aim to get your snacks and calories through solid foods rather than liquid. While there is some dispute over the size of the effect, it does seem that liquid calories make us feel less full than when we consume solid foods (this might be related back to chewing your food - chewing is a signal to the brain to reduce hunger).