It's 3pm. You are starving. Lunch feels like a distant memory, and dinner isn't for hours. The chocolate-covered peanuts and bags of potato chips in your office break room are calling your name. What to do?
We've all been there. It's that mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump between meals--or the hours between dinner and bedtime--and all we want is to satisfy our hunger with the easiest (and tastiest) thing we can get our hands on. It feels good temporarily to give into these cravings, but you may notice a negative impact on how your body actually feels.
When we eat two or three big meals per day with very little in between, our bodies go into starvation mode. Those six, seven, even 12 hours kick off an evolutionary fat storage function. It works like this: When we eat, our digestive systems convert most of our food, especially large amounts of carbohydrates (those feel-good grains and sugars!) to glucose. Because our bodies are in survival mode, we use insulin to convert much of the glucose to fat. This is why people who constantly starve themselves can gain weight. Our bodies are automatically going to do what they need to in order to survive.
So how do you shift away from fat storage? EAT! Consume four to six portion-controlled, balanced meals every two to four hours throughout the day. Snacks are an important part of this equation, and the very best thing you can do is be prepared for those slumps throughout your day. Keep your desk drawer, your gym bag, and your car stocked with grab-and-go options. Select snacks that contain 150-200 calories, and restock frequently so you are never caught with the temptation to hit the vending machine or fast food drive-thru.
A couple of our favorite options:
Whole Fruit: Apples, pears, and oranges make great portable snacks because they don't spoil easily and contain good-for-you fiber and essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Fresh Veggies with Hummus or OM POWER BUTTER: Cut and store broccoli, celery, peppers, and green beans in individual snack baggies. Add filling protein and fats with your choice of hummus or OM POWER BUTTER.
String Cheese: Roll up a part-skim stick with a slice of turkey for a satisfying protein-rich snack.
Almonds and OM POWER MIX: Pack preportioned baggies for easy munching. Our OM POWER MIX with nuts and dried fruit is rich in healthy fats that fill you up and keep you going throughout your day. Note, however, that portion size matters when consuming nuts. Too many handfuls adds up to a lot of calories and fat!
Instant Oatmeal and OM POWER BARS: Oatmeal is nourishing, packed with fiber, and easy to make anywhere with water, a bowl or cup, and a microwave. Our OM POWER BARS are a good grab-and-go alternative--oatmeal you can eat with your hands!
Chicken Tenders & Dip: Strips of grilled chicken paired with our TRANSFORM Hummus, Pesto, or dressings are both simple and super satisfying!
When choosing your snacks, aim to have a little bit of protein and fat for satiety, and avoid simple carbs and sugars (put down the Oreos!). You'll feel better, physically and mentally, and bring that energy to your activities throughout the day. Tell us: what's your go-to healthy snack?
Your biggest fans in health and wellness,
Angela and Team TRANSFORM