I’m kicking off National Nutrition Month with one of several posts about diet and nutrition. As a health and fitness blogger I tend to focus on my first love, running. During March, I’ll share a few posts about nutrition with the hopes of leaving my readers with tools for eating well and feeling the best that they can.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian.
As a fitness professional, I can only make suggestions on dietary recommendations,
and cannot write eating plans, nor tell my clients what to eat.
Before starting any new diet or eating plan, you should consult with your physician
or a registered dietitian.
You know the feeling – it’s mid-afternoon and you’re starving. You still have a couple of hours until you can leave the office and go home to prepare a delicious dinner, but the rumblings in your stomach are telling you otherwise.
One of the most important things to help prevent those mid-afternoon hunger attacks is to have a nutritious breakfast and lunch. Going into the day limiting your calories either because you’re in a rush, or think that’s a good way to lose weight, will only set you up for a miserable afternoon, and an evening of eating everything in your kitchen while you try to prepare dinner.
Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually dehydrated, and a glass of water will do the trick. When in doubt, start by drinking 8 to 12 ounces of water, wait about 15 minutes and see if you’re still hungry.
If you’re truly hungry, and in need of a pick-me-up, opt for foods that will stick to your ribs. Remember the basics you learned about macronutrients in high school.
- Carbohydrates – Fuel the body with energy (fruits, veggies, whole grain breads, cereals)
- Proteins – Build and repair muscle, give us energy, and help fight infection (lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, eggs, dairy)
- Fats – Provide energy and help us feel satiated (avocados, oils, cheese, nuts)
It’s not always easy, but try to remember why we eat. We eat to fuel our bodies. I teasingly tell my clients that we are what we eat, but really, there’s a lot of truth in that statement. Snack on crap (chips, candy bars, sodas), and you’ll feel like crap. Snack on foods provided by mother nature, and you’ll feel energized and invigorated.
- Greek yogurt topped with blueberries
- Fresh fruit
- Raw veggies
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter spread thinly on a banana
- Almond butter spread thinly on a banana or apple
- Almonds or pistachios
- Hummus spread on carrots
- Leftover roasted veggies (they’re great cold)
When eating any of the above snacks, remembering portion size is very important. The goal of a mid-afternoon snack is to satisfy your appetite and provide you with energy until dinner. Snack sizes should not mimic those of dinner portions.
Play around with what satisfies your hunger, and keeps you away from the vending machines. Once you find what works best, you’ll be on the road to a healthier, more productive and energized you!
- What are your go-to snacks?
- Do you experience mid-afternoon snack attacks?
- Did you race this weekend?