A Snack Attack That’s Got Your Back!

When it comes to nutrition, fitness, health and vitality there are a few set fast rules that you should generally try to follow. These rules include consistency, balance and planning…if you can get these right, then you’ll almost certainly maximise conditioning and performance.

In order to achieve nutritional balance you should aim to consume all of the major food groups (although try to cut out the processed varieties) seen on the Eatwell plate. Aim to include a starchy carbohydrate at least 3 times a day whilst ensuring protein and vegetables are available each meal too.

6 meals a day

OK, so 6 meals a day might seem a lot, but 3 of these 6 are ‘snacks’ meaning you should aim to have your regular Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, but also try to have a mid-morning snack, mid-afternoon snack and a mid-evening snack…totalling 6 key eating opportunities! Breakfast, Lunch and Evening meal should be the largest meals you consume, whilst the mid-meal snacks should be smaller but equally as balanced.

What snacks to include and when?

A Protein and Carbohydrate snack combo is ideal, people report feeling fuller for longer when protein is ingested because of the more complex structure. Combining protein with a carb source supplies an energy source that feeds the body throughout the day. Combining protein and carbs means the body receives the energising fuel it needs, as well as the muscle building blocks required to encourage growth and development. Mid-meal snacks don’t need to be nutritionally complete, they just need to deliver the key energy and growth ingredients…the fruit and veg should always be included with main meals!

Snack ideas

  • 1x Rice cake and 1-2x teaspoons peanut butter (try adding a drizzle of honey)
  • 2x Crackers with thin spread of cream cheese per cracker
  • 2x Crackers with Nutella and sliced banana
  • Natural or fruit yoghurt with a small banana (or half a large banana)
  • Natural yoghurt and a handful of dried fruit (your handful, no ones elses…hands are usually relative to your overall size)
  • Ryvita and cottage cheese
  • Protein shake
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

NOTE: The above snack ideas constitute one mid-meal snack, try to vary them as best you can to maximise nutritional variety and balance.

So referring back to my first set of rules that are consistency, balance and planning…consistency is key when striving for health, sporting and fitness excellence, ensure that you plan your food and drink the day before to enable you to pack a balanced daily intake of nutrition. You see, you don’t get one without the other, you cannot achieve nutritional balance if you fail to plan your nutritional regime, and you cannot hope to develop nutritional AND sporting consistency if your eating and drinking is erratic and poorly structured. So next time you plan your lunch be sure to factor in ALL eating/drinking opportunities, and not just the ones society has forced us into following.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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