One of the most common questions I get from clients is what types of afternoon snacks to eat to beat that 3 pm fog.
First off, you want to make sure you’re well hydrated. Even mild dehydration can cause us to feel sluggish, so keep a bottle of water within easy reach as a visual reminder to drink up. Some people might complain that having to get up to use the restroom every hour is a pain, but breaking up long period of sitting with a walk around the office is great for your overall health and will make your FitBt/Apple Watch/Garmin happy.
If you’ve got more than a few hours between lunch and dinner, it’s completely logical to need to eat something, so make a balanced snack a part of your day instead of beating yourself up about not “making it” to dinner. The siren call of the donuts in the break room or the chocolate and pretzels in the vending machine can be hard to resist, but what your body really needs to power through the rest of your day is some real food. Shocker, I know.
Aim for a mix of protein and fiber. Also, don’t be afraid of fat. Just remember that a little goes a long way. If you’re keeping an eye on calories, aim for 100 – 250 for a snack, depending on your personal needs and what else you’ve had to eat that day. And think outside the wrapper. Just because something doesn’t fit the traditional “snack”
Here are a few (or a lot of) ideas to get you started:
- 3 cups air-popped popcorn tossed with 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
- Celery and carrot sticks with peanut butter (or whatever nut/seed butter you like)
- 1/4 cup of trail mix
- Sliced veggies and 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of hummus
- Bowl of whole grain cereal (~3/4-1 cup) with 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup dry roasted edamame with 1 tablespoon dried fruit
- Fruit and nut bar or protein bar
- 1/2 an avocado with a squirt of lemon juice, chia seeds, and sea salt
- 1/2 a PB & J sandwich on whole grain bread
- Simple smoothie of 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 handful spinach, 1 cup milk or kefir, and ice
- Oatmeal made with cinnamon and 1/2 cup milk of choice. Don’t like milk or don’t have access to a mircowave? Make with hot water and add a tablespoon of chopped nuts on top.
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, 1 tablespoon coconut flour, and a drizzle of honey
- A piece of fruit and a tablespoon of nut butter or up to ¼ cup of nuts
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and ½ cup berries. You can also add 1 tablespoon ground flax, coconut flour, or chia seeds
- 1 square of dark chocolate with 2 tablespoons of nuts or 1 tablespoon each nuts and dried fruit
- Half a baked sweet potato with a teaspoon of nut butter or coconut oil
- 1 slice whole grain toast topped with a tablespoon of nut butter and berries
- 1 slice whole grain toast topped with 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta and a drizzle of honey
- 2 Hard-boiled eggs, side of sliced veggies
- 1 Hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit
- Low-sodium turkey roll ups with sliced cucumber
- 1 ounce cheese (such as a single-serve cheddar stick, string cheese, or mini brie) and fruit
- ½ cup steamed/microwaved edamame (about 1 cup pods)
- 1 ounce turkey jerky, side of sliced veggies or fruit
- 1 slice toast topped with hummus and a sliced hard-boiled egg
- 1/2 a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
- 1 small or 1/2 a large baked sweet potato topped with 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1 slice whole grain toast topped with 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta and roasted veggies
What are some of your go-to afternoon snacks?