• Hannah Peterman, Undergraduate Dietetic Intern

3 Reasons To Pack An Afternoon Snack


Getting mixed messages about snacks? Countless people cut out snacks the moment they decide they want to improve their health. After all, snacks are added calories, so cutting them out will result in instant weight loss, Right? Not so fast. Here are a few reasons you should consider adding a snack into your life...today.

Prevent Overeating

Have you ever gotten home from a long day at work famished, only to devour everything in sight -including the leftovers from last night's stir-fry that you didn't even like the first go-round? You probably could have benefited from an afternoon snack! While it seems counter-intuitive to say that eating more often will result in less overall food consumption, this is often the case. Many people wait until they reach extreme hunger before eating. Because they feel deprived, they are much more prone to eating far beyond fullness the next time they have access to food. So save yourself the stomach ache and grab a snack mid-afternoon. Your body will thank you.

Eliminate the Mid-Afternoon Slump

Multiple sources suggest that 2:55 pm is the least productive time of day for most people. Since lack of energy and focus are some of the main symptoms for individuals experiencing hunger, one possible cause for this productivity dip could be your body's need for food! Plus, people who are hungry tend to experience distracted thoughts about food. And let's face it, it's hard to get any work done if you're daydreaming about doughnuts.

Ramp Up Your Workouts

Feeling exhausted three minutes into a workout is enough to frustrate anyone who has been regularly exercising. Many people automatically attribute shortness of breath, fatigue, and feeling light-headed during exercise to being out-of-shape. Although this is one possible reason, it is important to examine diet as well. Since two of the biggest factors for your body's performance during exercise are having adequate carbohydrate stores and hydration, it may help to add a snack including a carbohydrate and low-fat protein prior to your workout.

What makes for a filling snack? Usually including a carbohydrate food such as pretzels, apples, toast, cereal, crackers, or bananas with a protein source such as nuts, avocado, nut butters, boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, or cheese can result in a snack that will keep you going all afternoon long.

Don't knock it 'till you try it! Your biggest productivity boost might just come from your lunch box!

#nutrition

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