In the last few decades, Canadians’ lifestyle has greatly changed. Since workdays are now longer and more exhausting, we often feel the need to stop and snack for a little energy boost.
Did you know there are 3 kinds of snackers? Zoom in on the strategies to adopt depending on your eating habits!
The first kind of snackers represents 16 % of Canadians. People belonging to this type eat 6 small meals a day instead of the traditional 3 meals a day with snacks.
Strategies to adopt: a frequent mistake for people of this type revolves around portion sizes. Indeed, if you eat more frequently, you must make sure that the portions are actually smaller than that of a typical meal in order to avoid an excessive calorie intake.
To do so, we suggest you eat in smaller plates or bowls and prioritize highly nutritious foods that are relatively low in calories.
The second kind represents 36 % of Canadians. These people follow the traditional 3 meals a day, but snack frequently.
Strategies to adopt: once again, if your food intake is frequent, prioritize foods that are low in calories. Vegetables have little calories and contain a ton of nutrients, such as fibers, which are know for their satiating effect. So, make sure to include some in each meal. They’re delicious as snacks too!
Representing 47 % of Canadians, this is the most common snacker type.
Strategies to adopt: Since people with this traditional eating habit don’t snack every day, they should rely on balanced meals to fulfill their nutritional needs.
Each one should include a source of protein (lean meats, fish, nuts, eggs…), a cereal product, preferably whole grains (quinoa, farro, barley, brown rice…), and a ton of colourful fruits and vegetables!
Do not hesitate to finish your meal with yogurt or a glass of milk. The latter both contain protein and carbohydrates, which are 2 essential nutrients to reach satiety.
That 49 % of foods and beverages are now consumed as snacks?
The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body’s hunger and satiety signals. We live in a society where food is easily accessible thanks to drive-throughs, convenience stores, and even drugstores, but most of the time these options are not very nutritious.
Despite the abundance of food, most people follow an inflexible meal and snack schedule. Yet, it is only normal to feel hungry at different times in a day.
Since your daily activities vary a lot, it’s only normal that your food intake varies as well. The occasional snack option is therefore interesting to maximize your energy level, especially since you probably feel much hungrier on busy days.
Snacks do have a place in a healthy and balanced diet!
Some people prefer beverages to foods for snacks… but caution! That’s not necessarily a good idea.
You should know that liquid calories do not have the same filling effect as foods. In other words, a smoothie made with 2 oranges, ½ a banana, 1 apple, and juice will not satisfy your hunger as much as each of these foods would if you simply ate them.
Combine a source of fiber with a source of protein to satisfy your hunger while also maximizing your energy level. Check out the following chart for some interesting options:
No matter what kind of snacker you are, make sure to apply the appropriate strategies to balance your diet.
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