Written by Lizzy Cole - Freelance Nutritionalist
As a freelance nutritionist, I often get asked how I manage to maintain my weight and stay healthy when I’m always on the go.
My answer? Smart snacking. Each morning before I leave the house, I fill my bag with snacks that are convenient, non-perishable and punch above their weight when it comes to nutrition. If it happens I’m so strapped for time that I forget to pack these snacks, I use the same principles to pick something up from the nearest store. Therefore, I’m confident about making healthy choices if my stomach is growling by 11am or I find myself in a 3pm meeting full of pastries. Need ideas on how to keep your own cravings at bay and stay satisfied between meals? Read on for 4 nutritionist-approved snacks that are guaranteed to keep you going when you’re on the go!
When hunger strikes, make sure you have some almonds at the ready. Almonds are high in protein and fibre, both of which are great for keeping us feeling full. However, be mindful of portion size; stick to just a handful as almonds are still relatively high in calories and their moreish taste means it’s easy to overdo it.
As protein helps keep us feeling fuller for longer, high-quality protein bars make fantastic snacks. Yes, you could make your own if you’re feeling creative, but this article is all about nutrition for those who are short on time. Therefore, if you’re too busy to bake, grab yourself a store-bought bar, which can be just as nutritious as homemade. Yes; it should taste nice, but also make sure you choose a bar that contains 15-20g of protein and that isn’t loaded with added sugars. I love PhD Nutrition’s Smart Bars because they embody this holy trinity; 5 delicious flavours, 20g of protein and less than 2g of sugar.
Oat cakes and peanut butter
Find yourself ogling the biscuit tin come 11am? Have a packet of oat cakes with a spoonful of peanut butter instead; the taste and texture mimics that of Hobnobs! The oats will provide you with slow-release carbs, and the nut butter with protein and healthy fats, to keep you going without the guilt. The new Smart Bar Nut Butters are deliciously decadent and nutritionally excellent.
Ok so not technically a ‘food’, but water plays such an essential role in snacking that I’ve included it here. Always carry a reusable plastic bottle with you wherever you go and aim to sip water throughout the day. That way, you’ll be less likely to snack unnecessarily; sometimes what we perceive as hunger is simply a case of dehydration.
There’s good evidence that snacking between meals can keep blood sugar levels in check and metabolism revved. However, I probably don’t need to tell you that what these snacks are is important. Whilst it can feel tricky fighting cake and cookie cravings, ensuring that the healthy stuff is to hand is not as complicated as it may seem. Why not make like a nutritionist and pack a few of the above snacks in your bag next time you head to work or set out on a long journey?!
Passionate about high-quality nutrition, Lizzy holds an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and is currently completing her MSc in Nutrition at Kings College London. Alongside this, she runs her own business; Nutrition by Lizzy (www.nutritionbylizzy.com); offering bespoke meal plans and diet consultations. She’s also a qualified teacher, aspiring Personal Trainer and PhD Nutrition devotee!