We all know (and dread) the feeling, the rumble in the tummy that signals 'snack time' and the unfortunate end to a perfect day of eating (so far). Those little cravings between meals have the power to turn an otherwise perfect diet into a weight loss nightmare.. Smart snacking for effective weight loss and weight control requires an action plan. Cakes and biscuits in the staff lunch room, the left overs in the kid's lunch box and the chocolate you have hidden away are just a few of the potential pitfalls that threaten your weight loss goals. Here is an easy to understand 5 step plan for smart snacking to help you avoid the dangers of 'snack time'. 

If you find yourself uncontrollably snacking on foods with high energy, high fat and very little nutrition benefit then this plan is for you! This 5 step plan for smart snacking allows but delays your 'empty energy treat' (a food with a lot of energy but very little nutrition benefit) with the aim to satisfy cravings with nutritious foods first. The goal of this plan is to avoid poor snack choices, satisfy hunger and achieve good nutrition at snack time.

5 Step Plan For Smart Snacking

  1. 200ml of water 
  2. 1 small piece or 100g of fruit or 100g salad with no dressing
  3. 30g of unroasted unsalted nuts or 1 boiled egg
  4. 100g of low fat, no added sugar yoghurt or 2 wholegrain crackers / rice thins with 20g of low fat cottage cheese
  5. The food you are craving equivalent to ONLY 1 serve (300kj or less). 

Tips To Effectively Apply The 5 Step Plan For Smart Snacking

  • Complete the 5 steps in order and ONLY progress to the next step if you are still hungry. STOP when you feel satisfied or feel like you have had enough.
  • Apply as soon as you start to feel hungry - don't wait until it's too late to fight cravings. 
  • Thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger, the 200ml of water aims to establish if you really need to snack. If you don't feel hungry after drinking then don't continue any further.
  • Apply in advance of your normal morning and afternoon tea time when you know 'empty energy' snacks will be on offer.
  • If you are still hungry after step 5 improve your intake at main meals. 
  • Prepare snacks in advance so they are readily available. Without appropriate preparation the plan is useless. 
  • DO NOT exceed serving sizes - EVER.
  • Apply multiple times per day as required and alternate your snack choices. For example if you choose 30g of unsalted nuts at morning tea then have 1 boiled egg at afternoon tea.


David Eggins | Personal Trainer at Drive Fitness in Brisbane