Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snacking

I did my first solo presentation as a Dietetic Intern yesterday. My advisor is half way around the world, so it was just me and my small audience. I've been working with a university volleyball team which is a personal interest of mine (having played volleyball for 15 years of my life). The presentation covered a few different topics, one being snacking. Especially for athletes snacking can be an important part of a healthy eating plan. We can think of our bodies like vehicles and so we need to keep the tank full in order to have energy. I will sometimes snack mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon. I try to go on my hunger cues.

Some points I used can be summarized by focusing on the letters W, P, and R:

W: Think about your eating behaviours. Where are you eating, when are you eating, what are you eating (and what are you doing), why are you eating, and how are you feeling?
These things are important to consider because we eat for many different reasons; having distractions can lead to overeating. Challenge yourself to only eat in one place, like the kitchen!

P: Get organized for healthy snacking. Plan by writing a grocery list to help guide you and keep healthy options stocked in your house. Prepare by getting things ready for the week (such as cutting up some vegetables Sunday night), because if they are available and ready to eat, you will be more willing to choose healthy snacks. Portion out your snacks; with meals we typically put a certain amount on a plate, but with snacks we often eat out of a box, bag, etc. Pack something in your bag, purse, car, etc so that if you do feel hungry it is available and you won't reach for a vending machine chocolate bar.

R: This is more for athletes and post-workout because it pertains to recovery. You need to refuel your body with carbohydrates and protein to replace the energy you used (muscle glycogen) and the muscles you used. Recovery also includes rehydrating your body because of your sweat losses and because water is important in many different body systems. Lastly, take time to rest so you are ready for the next practice, game, workout...

Steph Wheler
www.nutrishus.com

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