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With the busyness of everyday life and the never-ending to-do lists, we often find ourselves snacking on the run. When the mid-morning dip, or the afternoon slump hit, do you often find yourself reaching for a chocolate bar to keep you going?
For a lot of us, grabbing a sugary drink or a chocolate bar may be our go-to solution. Despite this potentially giving us an instant energy boost and helping us to power through in the short-term, the high sugar content and spike in blood sugar levels can mean we come crashing down shortly after. This can sometimes leave us feeling even more fatigued and sluggish than before. There are many healthier alternatives to grab on the go when you need a quick pick me up, which are dense in nutrients, will keep hunger at bay, and will keep you feeling energised:
If we are aren’t taking on enough fluids and are dehydrated, we can often be left feeling fatigued and sometimes experience headaches. Your brain is also strongly impacted by your hydration status, and even mild dehydration can impair mood, productivity, memory and motivation.
Bananas are a great option for an on-the-go snack. Not only are they perfectly portable, they are also packed full of energy-rich carbohydrates. Bananas also contain potassium and vitamin B6, both of which are associated with sustained energy production.
High in protein, ‘healthy’ fats and fibre, nuts and seeds are a great go-to when feeling peckish on the go. Despite the many health benefits, nuts are high in calories so be mindful of how much you are consuming. Try to limit your portion to a small handful (30g) to get the benefits of the healthier unsaturated fats, without overdoing it (try to opt for the un-salted, un-roasted nuts when possible).
Selecting a good quality chocolate, high in cocoa content can eliminate hunger and give you the boost you need. Compared to some other sweet treats, dark chocolate is high in fibre which can help you feel fuller for longer. It also contains antioxidants called flavonoids which are beneficial for heart health and have also been shown to improve brain function, attention and memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. Perhaps swap your normal chocolate bar for a couple of squares of dark chocolate next time!
A low calorie snack with a high fibre content, which makes it surprisingly filling. In fact, one study found that 15 calories of popcorn were as filling as 150 calories of crisps, when feelings of fullness were compared! The healthiest way of doing this is to make your own at home, lightly seasoning with some fresh herbs or spices for additional flavour. If you are purchasing it from a supermarket, be sure to check that pre-packaged options are not overloaded with sugar or salt.
The key is in the preparation. Try to make sure that you’ve got a few of these snacks packed in your bag when you are out and about to fuel your body even on the most hectic of days. If you don’t have access to your own stash, perhaps try to be a little more mindful when you are next being pulled towards the confectionary aisle of the supermarket…
We know that making healthy lifestyle changes can be tough, but with the right support, you can achieve your healthy goals. Try our Habit Hacker for ideas to switch your unhealthy habits for healthy ones, or contact us to find out how we can support you to make good, healthy habits.
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