Snacking can be a great way to satisfy your hunger during the day, giving you the sustained energy to keep working, learning, moving or whatever it is you're up to!
However, when we're busy, (or just plain hungry!) it can be easy to fall into unhealthy snacking habits.
We consulted with our Dietitian Millie who suggests you focus on a more mindful eating approach to help you make an educated and intuitive decision about what and why you choose to snack.
Let's start with what mindful eating is:
Mindful eating is a type of eating practise that encourages you to become aware of your internal cues. These include physical hunger and satiety and should be used to guide your decisions on what you eat and why you eat.
Mindful eating encompasses a range of different attributes, but the reason it get's our dietitian's tick of approval is because it helps you to enjoy food in all it's forms. Here at KOJA, we don't believe in 'good' or 'bad' snacks, merely just 'less nutritious' and 'more nutritious' snacks which we acknowledge both play an important role in a healthy balanced diet.
According to scientific research (yep, we're getting serious) - individuals who partake in mindful eating practises are less likely to overeat and appear to be more in-tune with their bodies hunger and fullness cues.
This all sounds great, but you're probably wondering how you can start to snack more mindfully.
Here are our 5 ways to Snack Smarter:
1. Use the hunger scale before choosing a healthy snack
The hunger scale can be used to help you eat more mindfully.
Before you choose a snack, simply rank your hunger from 0-10. 0 being ravenously hungry you can hardly function and 10 being so full you feel physically ill. The idea is to commence eating around 3 and finish eating around 7.
2. Slow it down
This is relevant to all aspects of life! Take time out of your day to really enjoy your snack. Slow down the eating process by being present in the moment, which brings me to my next point.....
3. Remove distractions while enjoying a snack
Yes, this includes 'mindless' scrolling on the 'gram - sorry!
Do your best to avoid eating in front of your laptop, computer, TV, iPad or phone. All of these devices are incredibly distracting and will take your focus away from the food in-front (or to the side) of you. The more focused you are on your food, the more likely you are to enjoy it and feel satisfied.
4. Chew, chew and chew
The more you chew your food, the more able your body is to recognise that it is nice and full. You absolutely do not need to count the number of times you chew your food, you'll know when it's enough.
5. Engage your senses.
Your 5 senses are your smell, touch, taste, sight and hearing and can all be engaged to make your next snack all the more satisfying. Next time you grab a healthy snack, ask yourself these questions:
What does it look like?
How does it smell?
What does it feel like?
How does it taste?
Here at KOJA, it's no surprise that we are big fans of healthy snacking! We hope these tips help you to enjoy a healthy snack next time you find yourself looking for answers in the pantry or fridge (no judgement, we've all been there). Good Luck!
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