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May 14, 2021
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Nutrition

Intuitive Eating vs Proactive Snacking

While Intuitive Eating is gaining popularity amongst dietitians, foodies, influencers and more, it may not work for everyone. Oftentimes life gets hectic and relying on your intuition when it comes to hunger and eating doesn’t cut it. Organization, planning and external queues, such as a reminder on your phone to have a snack, can also be in the best interest of your health, especially if you’re one of those people that often forgets to eat. Proactive snacking can be a useful way to get on top of hunger before it gets away from you.

You know that “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” feeling? 

Sometimes waiting until hunger hits can lead to choices made without intention or awareness. And if you’re working from home, well, you have a VIP pass to anything in your kitchen. There are different strategies to acknowledge and satisfy your hunger. If you have been following anything nutrition related on social media, you’ve likely come across Intuitive Eating- an approach to nutrition and eating that embodies noticing your hunger and how it feels, honouring it with your desired food of choice, bringing mindfulness to find pleasure in the food, and withhold  guilt or judgement that may arise afterward. While the intuitive eating approach can certainly be an enjoyable and gentle approach, when ravenously hungry or in a time crunch, we tend to reach for foods we may not choose otherwise.

Honour your hunger

Honouring your hunger can also mean curbing it before you feel those sensations associated with hunger, especially before they get away from you. This can be particularly helpful for those who forget to eat. Planning a satiating snack in advance and having it on hand is an important aspect of what is called “proactive snacking”. Setting a reminder between meals to enjoy your ready-to-eat snack can proactively curb your hunger and allow you to continue on with your day until your next meal. 

Tip

Plan a snack you not only enjoy, but that is quick and easy (no, coffee doesn’t count). When thinking about what to snack on, consider adding a source of protein of about 10 grams, or 25% of total calories. Why? Having a source of protein can promote fullness until your next meal, and for those managing blood sugar, it can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Looking for a "pro-active snack?" Combine the following items for a fulfilling snack:

½ cup greek or soy yoghurt with a sprinkle of granola and fruit
hard boiled egg, a piece of cheese
¼ cup roasted chickpeas and some veggie sticks
a few whole grain crackers and nut butter or hummus



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