Healthy Snacking

We hear from so many women who are confused about snacking: Is snacking okay? If so, what are good snacks? 

The truth is, snacking usually has a bad connotation as its associated with things like chips and sweets. But, if you think of snacking in a new light, it CAN be a beneficial tool to keep you on track with healthy eating! 

In this post we are going to address the following: 

  • What drives you to snack?
  • Is snacking a good habit, or a dangerous one? 
  • Our snacking guidelines
  • Healthy snack ideas

Watch the video below for the full details!



Anyone can have the healthiest diet, but snacking, depending on the what/when/how much  can drive you off track very easily if you let it.

It is so important to distinguish between physical hunger and what we call “mental hunger” (which is only a short term fix and does not solve the actual issue at hand).

Start to notice when you reach for something between a meal — is this really hunger driving your decision, or boredom, procrastination, and anxiety, for instance? 

The first order of business is to determine your reasons for snacking, and then you can address what you are actually choosing.  

What this really comes down to AWARENESS. 

Here is an example:

Say you just had breakfast and an hour later you are searching for something in the kitchen. This is one of two things – 

You did not have a well rounded breakfast, or the portion was too small.

You also may just be MENTALLY hungry, not physically. 

In the first case, the solution would be to check your breakfast and make sure it has enough protein, fat and fiber to keep you full for 3 hours.

If you haven’t seen our PM Meal Mastery program yet, this is a huge part of what we teach. Check it out on our website!

In the second case, if there was not true hunger, check yourself and move on to do something else, NOT using food.

Here is another example: 

Say you had breakfast at 9, and lunch at 12-1, but dinner is not until 7. That’s a 6-7 hour gap! 

This can play out in two ways:

1. You can try to hold off until dinner because you don’t want to waste the calories on a snack. 

In this scenario, your body will feel stressed and activate more cortisol which we do NOT want to be doing, especially at this stage in our lives when we are more sensitive to cortisol. When this happens it usually leads to either:

  • getting too hungry, and you will wind up eating something unhealthy like chips or sweets, which throws off your healthy eating! 
  • OR you hold off, white knuckle it, and wind up WAY over hungry, which leads you to overeat at dinner.

Does this sound familiar? 

Here is another option, and what we suggest:

2. Eat a nourishing snack mid afternoon, keeping your blood sugar steady, and move on to eat a healthy dinner. 

Benefit: you’re not starving at dinner so you eat a normal portion. 

Which sounds more reasonable to you?

When it comes to snacking we encourage you to think of it as a healthy mini meal. 

This is what we call intentional snacking. Ones that provide good nutrition, help balance your blood sugar, keep your energy up, and keep you from heading to the vending machine or junk food drawer.

And listen, we get it… we are not saying you can never eat chips or cookies. We know it’s going to happen sometimes, but if most of the time it’s unhealthy, a planned snack makes a huge difference.

This is what we suggest to clients and follow ourselves:

Go ahead and snack – if it is at least 3-5 hours after a meal and you feel your stomach grumbling and can’t concentrate, this can be a sign of low blood sugar. 

Again, if it hasn’t been that long since your last meal, your prior meal may not have been enough food OR it wasn’t well balanced OR it might be that mental hunger, so revisit that first.

That being said, what types of snacks are best? 

  • If next meal is sort of soon (within an hour or two), something light like a piece of fruit, small handful nuts, or some raw veggies.
  • If you need to get through a few hours, make it balanced with a little protein, fat, and fiber – some examples might be something like ½ avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper, an apple or pear with a TBS of almond butter, a serving of healthy crackers with hummus, or ¼ cup nuts with a small piece of fruit. 

Bottom line: 

Figure out IF you are even hungry and if so…

Don’t be afraid to snack if you need one! 

If it’s not true hunger, then work on ways to address that without food.

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stephanie goodman and jane schwartz


Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.


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