Unknown-2 I was chatting to a couple of colleagues before who highlighted a challenge for them – what do you do when you want to snack?

One guy, Paul, craves crisps, whilst another, Mel, wants something sweet. Me, well I go for the stemmed broccoli and grapes..ok, ok, stop groaning. I haven’t always been this way as many of you know. The point is that we’re all different, and snacking is not necessarily bad. It’s more about what you snack on!

If you love to snack, here are a few ideas to help you keep snacking..but in a good way:

The Snack Attack

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Here are some tips:

Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter.

Make your own signature trail mix, celery with Nut Butter or crunch on raw veg with hummus.

You can also try “upgrading”:

If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers.

If you are craving chocolate, upgrade to a handful of nuts or dried fruit.

Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to a Herbal Tea such as Rooibos, Mint or Green Tea.

Instead of ice cream, upgrade to Full Fat Organic Yoghurt with a dash of honey and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.’