I am definitely a snacker, what about you? I grew up in a home where we had snacks, and I honestly can’t imagine going more than 3-4 hours between a meal. Sometimes I have 2 snacks, sometimes I have 4-5 snacks a day. It just depends on my hunger and energy needs on a given day (and what I ate for meals that day).
In the wellness world, there are groups who say you should have several small meals throughout the day, and others who say you should eat 3 large meals. There may be some “scientific” evidence for one approach or the other, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what works for you. For myself, I know that I function best with 3 regular meals and several snacks throughout the day. I do have friends who don’t snack at all, and that works for them. I just know for myself that snacks are key to keeping my blood sugar stable and energy and focus up.
In my eating disorder, meals and snacks were very rigid, meaning I could only have snacks at certain times, and couldn’t listen to my body’s hunger cues. Breaking free from this mindset has been one of the more challenging habits I’ve had to change in recovery. However, intuitive eating has helped a lot in this area. A major aspect of intuitive eating is letting go of any diet thinking and behaviors and learning to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and cravings.
What better way to start listening to your body is giving it snacks? If you feel a little hungry (“snack hungry”) and aren’t ready for a meal (“meal hungry”), you can have a small “meal” to tide you over. Allowing myself to have snacks in between meals has helped me learn so much about my internal cues.
Snacks are also a great time to listen to cravings. I know in the afternoon, I usually crave something sweeter with tea/coffee. Or sometimes I want something fresh and crunchy. Try to tune into these cravings without judgement.
Whether you eat snacks or not, what’s most important is that you are responding to your body’s needs. When you feel a growling in our stomach, or you can’t focus on a project, or you are feeling low energy, that is your body telling you it needs some fuel. In the past, I would have felt strong for pushing through hunger, but let me tell you, it’s not being strong at all. Ignoring our hunger can actually put extra stress on our bodies (great post from Robyn).
To help give you some inspiration, I’m sharing a few of my favorite snacks recently!
1. Perfect Bar (favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter) + Coffee
2. Hummusapien’s Brownie Bites (perfect with a latte)
3. Siggi’s 4% yogurt with berries and granola
4. Sunflower Seed Butter with fruit
What are your favorite snacks?