Do you find yourself throwing back a double shot latte and munching on a chocolate bar come 3pm? It’s usually around this time when concentration levels plummet and those pesky sugar cravings drop in to say hi. What’s a girl to do besides ditch the diet in favour of a quick fix, right? Wrong. Put that mars bar down, sister, because you’re headed for a crash in t-minus 60 minutes!
“The key to balancing energy levels is balancing blood sugar levels,” says Obela nutritionist and ambassador Teresa Boyce. “You can achieve this by including quality protein and healthy fats within main meals and snacks” – not by indulging your chocolate cravings. Sorry, ladies.
It all starts with breakfast says Teresa. “If you start the day with a highly refined, carbohydrate heavy breakfast (like most commercial breakfast cereals) you are more likely to have a sugar crash later in the day. One of the best breakfasts you can eat includes eggs with vegetables served with a slice of quality heavy seeded toast. This protein rich breakfast will help keep you full and blood sugars stable throughout the day.”
While that’s all well and good, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get hungry in-between meals – and it’s usually when you’re ill prepared and sprinting out the front door early morning that regretful diet decisions are made later on in the day. So, what’s a girl to do?
“Most convenience stores and supermarkets now provide great grab and go healthy snack options,” advises Teresa. “A few of my favourites include: raw nuts, mini full fat cheese slices, small tins of tuna, protein balls and Obela Hommus to Go (an easy grab and go hommus with wholegrain rice crackers!). These are all now widely available and are great for people on the move who want to grab something convenient yet healthy.”
If you do have time to prepare a few snacks before rushing out the door, the nutritionist and ambassador recommends raw vegetables, hommus and green tea as the ultimate afternoon pick-me-up. “This snack makes me feel nourished and full until dinner,” reveals Teresa. It’s also the perfect way to get in a dose of antioxidants and a serve of vegetables, she says. Alternatively, “keep a few Obela Hommus to Go’s in the fridge, they’re dairy and gluten free and easy to throw in your bag – a no brainer!”
The most important snack hack, according to the health guru, is to listen to your body and eat only when hungry, with a particular emphasis on quality high-protein options. And as for how many times a day you should be munching in order to keep those energy levels elevated, it’s dependant on individual exercise and health goals.
“I usually recommend 1 to 2 snacks per day for my office workers and 2 to 3 snacks a day for my active sports based clients. Basically, you should space meals and snacks around three hours apart; the key to optimal energy levels is not continuous snacking but rather quality balanced main meals and a few protein rich snacks,” advises Teresa.
For all of those caffeine feigns out there, you don’t necessarily have to skip on your beloved coffee fix, either (crisis averted!). Although, it is in your best interests to avoid all stimulants at least 5 hours before bed, says the nutritionist. “In moderation, coffee can actually offer health benefits; coffee becomes an issue when you start relying on it to get you through the day… Tea contains around one third the caffeine of coffee and is a better option as an afternoon pick-me-up.”
What are some of your snack hacks?
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