One of my clients, Asha*, is a Cardiologist with 2 kids. As you can imagine, the woman is always on the go! After her second child, she has been working to lose her baby weight and get back to who she was — but with a demanding job and a family — it wasnt easy.
She and her husband were recently planning a fun kids-free getaway to the Caribbean — and she really wanted to lose 10 pounds to fit into her bikini. Having this additional incentive to drop her unwanted weight lit a fire under her, and with my guidance she made some small — but important — changes to her eating.
Over the course of a couple weeks she made changes to her nutrition overall — but there was one thing that kept holding her back.
Asha would plan her days out, but things often seemed to take longer than she expected. She would be running around with her kids and get caught in traffic, or would be late coming home from work due to a long patient consult. She was so hungry when she walked in the door that she would grab whatever was quick and easy to replenish her energy, usually unhealthy — chips, a chocolate chip granola bar, or even some of her kids snacks, like goldfish or fruit snacks!
After I shook some sense into her and told her she needs to have a snack at hand wherever she is — at work, in the car, or in her bag — she made some changes. They were so simple — but ended up making her feel so much more energy AND helped jumpstart her to get so beach ready that I had to share them with you.
"I always keep a large bag of nuts in my car. This is my saving grace. Even if I am running late and hungry, with these nuts in a bag right in front of my car stereo, I can easily have a quick handful and feed my craving. Plus, they taste so good!"
Asha bought single serving packs of mixed nuts from FreshDirect online grocery… but after a few weeks, she bought big bags of 3 kinds of nuts and mixed them into a Ziploc bag on her own.
At work Asha also had peanut butter and celery stored so that she could munch on that.
Asha started out by having healthy snacks at her fingertips, and then went on to make healthy changes throughout her diet. As a result of improvements to her diet and exercise, right before her trip to the Caribbean Asha excitedly told me, "Now I'm 10 pounds lighter, my pants are fitting without that bulge over the top, and I'm putting on a bikini and excited to show off my body tomorrow in the Caribbean!"
You go girl!
Setting Up Your Afternoon Snacking System
As Ive talked about many times — start small and get it right. I posted a 4-step plan and over 20 snack ideas in my last post to give you information on healthy afternoon snacking — and today Im going to take it even a step further.
I want you to set up a system to have a healthy, satisfying afternoon snack EVERY DAY where you dont even have to think about it. Literally — automate your snack — make it a regular occurrence every day around the same time and with the same snacks.
Today Im going to simplify life for you and tell you EXACTLY WHAT TO DO. I know youre busy, and you dont have much time to wade through lots of information — so I created a few helpful tools for you to apply to your life EASILY. Keep reading to find:
- 5 GUIDELINES YOU CAN APPLY TODAY to SET UP YOUR AFTERNOON SNACKING SYSTEM
- HOW YOU CAN GET MY 3 RECOMMEDED SNACKS + A HEALTHY SNACK FRAMEWORK FOR FREE
First, I want to talk to you about HOW to beat your UNHEALTHY afternoon cravings — those dangerous hours after lunch where you dip in energy, and as youre sitting at your desk or in your office, or consulting a patient, your mind wanders to chocolate, cookies or chips. And when youre out and about and you havent had a chance to eat, so you start grabbing whatever is around you, like Asha used to do (before I shook sense into her!).
Foods like chocolates, cookies or fried snacks taste great going down — and then literally suck the energy out of you, and also make you feel hungry again, shortly after. You end up eating more calories and feel big swings in energy – but continue to be hungry.
These 5 guidelines will help you fill your afternoon with foods that will give you more energy, help you stay productive and help you lose unwanted pounds. Continue reading to find out how you can get my 3 recommended snacks and the Masala Body Healthy Snack Framework which follows directly after.
5 Guidelines to Set Up Your Afternoon Snacking System (Start today!)
- PLAN to snack: Keep tasty, easy snacks on hand and available (in your desk drawer at work, in your pantry or fridge at home, or in your bag or purse when youre on the go). At my work, one of my colleagues or I does a weekly "snack run" where we keep healthy, tasty snacks in a drawer or corner in our office. We have a signup list and switch off every week. When we get hungry, we have a go-to snack at our fingertips.
- Eat BEFORE you get hungry: Know your body and when you get hungry, and eat before you start to feel hunger pangs. Once you start to feel hungry, its tougher to control unhealthy cravings. A snack 2-3 hours after lunch is a smart strategy to stay full until dinner. I always get out a handful of almonds around 3pm and usually make a coffee run as well.
- LOVE eating your snack: Find smart snacks that you LOVE. They should be tasty, flavorful, and spicy if you like that. Ideally you will LOOK FORWARD to your snack. My favorites? Mixed nuts, or unsalted almonds or cashews. I also enjoy eating veggies with spicy guacamole or hummus.
- Think of how you will feel AFTER eating the snack: A high-sugar snack will make you feel great for a bit, and then you will feel like an intoxicated mummy zoning through the rest of the day. My snacks leave me satisfied and I feel a consistent energy — not a burst and then a drop. I eat snacks that will keep me satisfied (as opposed to really full). Refer to my "Snack Framework" to find my recommendations for snacks that keep you full and do not cause you to be tired.
- KNOW the down-side of snacking and BEAT it: Your snack should be a clearly defined event in your day — a mini-meal — versus a continuous action throughout the day. One of my secrets to smart snacking is to keep snacks hidden away until you need them. I often buy 1 serving size or 100-calorie bags if I am not confident I can control my portions!
Setting up your day and your system for eating is as or more important that WHAT you eat. A perfect way to start is to buy some tasty snacks to have on hand — so theyre there before you crave something.
My 3 Recommended Snacks + A Healthy Snack Framework
I've developed a special free recommendation. In addition to my 3 healthy recommended snacks, I'm sharing a framework so you will know exactly what to look for in a snack in case you need to develop your own snack — how many calories, grams of protein, fiber, etc – to ensure it's FILLING, HEALTHY, and WILL PROVIDE YOU A CONSISTENT ENERGY.
To get my 3 Healthy Snack Recommendations & a Healthy Snack Framework Enter your Name and Email above or below and then send me a personal email and I'll send it to you right away.
Follow the 5 guidelines to systemize your afternoon snack and stock your pantry, desk or purse right away using my recommendations from my framework.
Leave me a comment to tell me about which snacks you like and how youre getting started on systemizing your afternoon snack everyday!
*Some client details have been changed to protect privacy