Being an independent trainer in New York City often means out of bed by 5 am and home around 9pm. Even with a pretty packed schedule my profession does afford me many luxuries that the typical 9-5 does not. For instance, I’m generally having my first meal of the day while some are hitting the snooze button. My second meal ? That’s done by the time you walk into your Midtown office. Noticing a pattern? As you can see, my day, much like that of a toddler’s, revolves around my feeding schedule.
Having a regimented meal schedule allows for an extra measure of control over surplus calories. But for many of my clients prioritizing the time they eat is difficult if not impossible. This is New York City after all and our work life balance is a bit off kilter. It becomes even trickier when you add kids into the equation. So, how does one avoid the pitfalls of late night overeating when there’s no time during the day to actually consume 3-5 balanced meals. I offer you the same advice I give my clients, snack responsibly.
So , what does snack responsibly mean exactly ?
First, it means snack on a schedule or as close to a schedule as possible . There are many benefits of eating on a schedule the primary one being regulating your hunger. The human body loves efficiency. So the more habitual the routine the better . By eating a snack daily at 3pm your brain will literally begin to signal your hunger hormones to prepare for food at 3pm . Thereby reducing your desire to grab a candy every time you pass the jar on Regina’s desk. (Take that Regina)
Second, it means consuming nutrient rich snacks . Make sure all your snacks cover the basics: protein, fiber , and healthy fats. This is vital to satiating hunger . According to certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD of Whole Health Nutrition, snacks should contain at least two of the following : protein (six to 10 grams), fiber (at least 3 grams), and healthy fats (six to 10 grams). (PopSugar 2017) These macronutrients digest much slower than simple carbohydrates and therefore help you feel fuller longer .
Third, it means keep snacks on hand but out of sight. This helps with the age old problem of eating while influenced . How many times have you sat down at your computer and grabbed the bag of popcorn next to your desk ? Then moments later looked for said bag of popcorn only to realize you’ve eaten it all ? Trick question, I know it happens every single time. To remedy this problem keep only a days worth of snacks at your desk . Be sure to tuck them away out of sight in a drawer that you have to reach for. That way you have to make a conscious decision rather than just eating due to boredom. Also be sure to keep an emergency snack in the pocket of your gorgeous oversized blazer ( a girl can dream) or in a bag that you always carry with you. Just in case you're offsite when hunger strikes and there’s only a Dunkin Donuts nearby (This is NYC it happens).
Lastly, it means planning ahead. Collect a list of go to snacks. Save the recipes in the notes on your phone or post them up on the fridge . Try taking time over the weekend to prepare a few . This way you can grab them and go in the morning throughout the week. The last thing you want to do after spending the day getting the kids off to school at 7 am; commuting to work from 8- 9am; working from 9am - 6pm ; commuting to the gym for your training session from 6- 7; working out from 7- 8 , putting the kids to bed from 8- 9; making dinner from 9-10, and eating from 10-11 pm , is to have to prepare something ….to snack on for tomorrow . So, plan ahead. Your level of exhaustion is both inevitable and justifiable but planning ahead and stocking your fridge with nutrient rich snacks that you can grab as soon as you get home to hold you over until dinner and keep you fueled throughout the day is the epitome of snacking responsibly.
Below I’ve listed some of my favorite go to snacks as well as provided links to some great articles and recipes to help you begin crafting your own list of go to(s) so that you may snack responsibly .
My Favorite Go to Snacks .
Coconut Yogurt Parfait with homemade granola and banana
Cold Pressed Juice
Macintosh Apple and 1 tbsp peanut butter
Air popped Popcorn with honey and sea salt
Organic canned or jarred Tuna
Non bake protein balls
Frozen bananas covered in seed