Snacking often gets a bad rap.
While most of us know we should be filling our plates with veggies, protein, and healthy carbs during mealtime, it’s not always easy to know what to do during those in between times when we’re feeling seriously hungry but our next meal isn’t for a while.
Rather than feeling guilty when reaching for a snack, it’s nice to know that most active people can actually benefit from mindful snacking throughout the day. Not only can the right snack help you crush your workouts, but it can also help you stay more alert and focused throughout the day, keep you from experiencing brain fog, recover from faster from your workouts, and much more.
Personally, I’m a huge proponent of mindful snacking throughout the day and tend to eat every three hours or so to make sure I’m always prepared to go after my goals.
Here’s how mindful snacking can actually help boost your workout performance:
Food = Fuel
I’m a big believer in treating food as fuel for the body, and snacking is no different. In fact, the right snack between meals can actually help boost your workout performance and get you closer to your health and fitness goals.
It gives you the energy to crush your workout. Making sure to eat enough before a hard workout is incredibly important if you want to go through your workout feeling focused, determined, and ready to beat all your personal records. Not eating enough beforehand means you’re more likely to crash halfway through.
It helps you recover faster. Eating within a half hour or so after a tough workout will help your body refuel and your muscles grow stronger.
It keeps you focused and your motivation levels high. If you don’t eat enough throughout the day, your motivation levels will be low, you’ll probably experience brain fog, and you’ll be much less likely to go do that HIIT workout in the park or go to that yoga class after work because you’ll just be too tired. Having a snack in between larger meals can be the difference feeling like you can conquer the world or just feeling off all day.
Although including snacks or mini meals throughout the day is a good idea for most of us, mindlessly sitting in front of a TV with an entire bag of potato chips doesn’t count. Here’s how to snack in a more mindful way:
Pack your snacks with you. Don’t rely on vending machines or whatever fast food joint is close to your office to offer something healthy and nutritious—plan ahead. I like to make sure I have some fresh fruit as well as some mixed berry, almond, and dark chocolate goodknessKNOWS snack squares (my favorite) with me at all times so I never have to resort to something that doesn’t fit with my current nutrition goals.
Slow down and savor each bite. When you inhale your food, you’re less likely to actually taste it and therefore more likely to be unsatisfied by smaller amounts. Really make sure to savor and chew each and every bite to maximize your snack.
Mindfully indulge in your sweet tooth. Some people try to avoid anything sweet at all times, but I don’t recommend this as it usually leads to binge eating of everything sweet in sight at times when your willpower is at it’s lowest. Instead, try and choose foods that can both satisfy your sweet tooth and provide your body with nutrients at the same time.
One of my favorite sweet tooth-satisfying options are goodknessKNOWS snack squares, which combine dark chocolate with the goodness of whole nuts, real fruits, and toasted oats. They also have 100 mg of naturally-occurring cocoa flavanols (the good stuff found inside cocoa beans), and at only 150 calories for all four squares, are an awesome way to satisfy your cravings.
Three Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Smoothie bowls are a fun, sweet and better-for-you snack, and one of our favorite things to make on a warm, summer day. This three berry smoothie bowl is packed full of nutrients and will satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.
- 1 scoop whey or vegan protein powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
- 1/2 cup of your favorite frozen berries (I used a blend of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
- 1 small banana, frozen
- 1 Tbsp toasted coconut flakes
- Sliced banana
- Berries of choice
- 2-4 goodnessKNOWS snack squares
Blend together the frozen banana, frozen berries, milk, and protein powder. And more milk if needed, but keep in mind you want the end result to be fairly thick since you’ll be eating it with a spoon.
Pour the smoothie mixture into a bowl, then arrange your toppings as desired. Eat up!
Macros (per entire recipe with 2 goodnessKNOWS snack squares):
Join goodnessKNOWS for International Yoga Day!
It’s International Yoga day on June 21st, and while we don’t do a ton of yoga here on 12 Minute Athlete, it’s an awesome accompaniment to HIIT.
Make sure to check out the goodknessKNOWS Try a Little Yoga event on June 21st at 3pm EST! There will be cool yoga poses, recipes, and more, and I’ll be there with you guys. If you missed it, you can check out the live stream here. And look out for goodknessKNOWS snack squares with their cool new packaging (but same delicious ingredients) and find out where you can buy them here.
Remember, each small step you take will get you closer to your goals. Never give up!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of goodnessknows. The opinions and text are all mine.