Knowing the Health Benefits of Snacking to Increase Your Productivity

Who often feels weak and sleepy when working? Maybe that's a sign that your body needs snacking!

NUTRITIONFOOD

Alvina Dewi Listyaningsih, S.Gz

1/13/20244 min read

The habit of snacking is often viewed negatively and is considered to have no benefits other than increasing calorie intake. Especially for someone who is undergoing a weight loss program, snacking seems like something that is absolutely forbidden! Is that true? Come on, let's discuss it!

Snacking on a Diet

In general, snacking is defined as the activity of consuming food between main meals. Daily energy needs and how to meet these needs apparently have a big influence on our bodies. Dividing regular mealtimes can have a positive impact on weight control. These energy needs cannot be met with just one meal. Generally, fulfillment is done by consuming the main meal and eating snacks.

Benefits of Snacking

1. Prevent Excessive Food Consumption at the Next Meal

Yup, it turns out that snacking between meals can prevent us from overeating at main mealtimes, you know! This can happen because the snacks we eat can prevent excessive increases in hunger. So that when we enter the main mealtime, we have sufficient and controlled appetite. For example, someone snacks between breakfast and lunch. When it's time for lunch, he doesn't have excessive hunger and will tend to choose foods that are easy to digest with enough calories. This is also one of the tips for workers so they don't feel too "full" at lunch so they can prevent falling asleep during sleepy hours.

2. Reduces the risk of overweight and obesity

Are you surprised? Yes, you read that right, as discussed in point number 1, that snacking can help control hunger. A study shows that consuming nutrient-dense snacks in the afternoon can increase feelings of fullness and limit peak hunger in the evening, which can help control food intake and reduce the risk of obesity. However, this is influenced by the type of snack chosen and awareness when eating it (mindful eating).

3. Has a good impact on the body's metabolism

Eating small portions more frequently turns out to have a positive effect on the body's metabolism compared to eating small amounts of food frequently but in large quantities. Snacking can reduce the potential for digestive and metabolic overload caused by fewer meals a day.

4. Maintain stable blood sugar levels

When blood sugar levels fall, the brain will experience a lack of energy which results in decreased concentration and cognitive function as well as increased drowsiness. This will certainly disrupt your work productivity. Morning and afternoon snacks can also be a solution for someone to have enough energy to complete daily tasks carried out between main meals.

5. Fulfill nutritional needs

Who says snacking only adds calories? In fact, consuming snacks is an opportunity to increase your intake of nutrients that cannot be met from main meals alone, such as protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, this goes back to the choice of snacks we eat. For example, consuming fruit when snacking can help meet the recommended fruit intake in a day. Or consuming high protein snacks can help meet daily protein needs.

6. Improves overall diet quality

Even though snack portions are not as large as main meals, snacks still contribute to the overall diet. That means, if we choose quality snacks, we will improve the quality of our diet.

Healthy Snacking Recommendations

To get all the benefits above, the most important thing to pay attention to is snack time and the type of snack chosen.

The main meal can be divided into 3 times, namely breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snack time can be placed twice between meals, namely a morning snack and an afternoon snack. Some alternative foods that can be an option when snacking are foods rich in protein such as milk, plain yogurt, green bean porridge, edamame beans, boiled eggs and foods rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals such as fruit, vegetable salad and whole wheat bread. The number of snacks is equivalent to 10% of daily energy needs. For example, a person's daily requirement is 1800 kcal, meaning a morning or afternoon snack is 180 kcal.

Eating snacks while doing activities such as watching TV or in front of the computer is not recommended. Apart from that, foods high in sugar, salt and fat and the habit of snacking after 9 pm should also be avoided to avoid the risk of weight gain.

However, that doesn't mean we can't eat our favorite snacks. Considering their positive impact on mood, occasionally including foods that are nutritionally "not optimal" is still acceptable, as long as the total calorie intake is not excessive.

Well, it turns out snacking isn't that bad, right! Are you still confused about what diet is right for you? Hey, don't worry, our dietitians are ready to help you! Register yourself immediately to get a free nutritional consultation service!

Reference

Barrington, W.E., & Beresford, S.A. (2019). Eating occasions, obesity and related behaviors in working adults: Does it matter when you snack?. Nutrients , 11 (10), 2320.

Marangoni, F., Martini, D., Scaglioni, S., Sculati, M., Donini, L.M., Leonardi, F., ... & Poli, A. (2019). Snacking in nutrition and health. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 70 (8), 909-923.

Skoczek-Rubińska, A., & Bajerska, J. (2021). The consumption of energy dense snacks and some contextual factors of snacking may contribute to higher energy intake and body weight in adults. Nutrition Research , 96 , 20-36.

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