Snacking throughout the day can really make or break your efforts at the gym…Thankfully, there are so many easy tasty options that will help you reach your goals but also be minimum effort if you are stuck for time or space.
A bit of forward planning goes a long way when you have muscle to build and fat to lose, and being prepared by having a few snack ideas close to hand means you won’t have to go out of your way to have some tasty treats in between meals.
You can also increase portion sizes if you want to change a snack to a full meal!
1) Plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Greek yoghurt is a fantastic snack and packs a triple punch of nutritional power.
✓ High in protein
✓ Great bedtime snack as the type of protein in abundance in this food is casein, a slow digesting protein that will help keep you fuller for longer.
✓ Excellent source of calcium, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones and it contains no added sugar.
The low fat version makes it a super snack when you are watching your calorie intake and by adding berries you can make this an extra healthy treat increasing its fibre and anti oxidant content.
Tip: Greek yoghurt is perfect as a healthy dessert – try adding sugar free drinking chocolate powder/cocoa powder to it. Alternatively, add stewed apple if you want to increase the carb content!
2) Wholegrain oats
Oats are an excellent snack as they are a complex carbohydrate. This means that the energy they provide is released slowly preventing any dramatic dips or lows that you can get from eating high sugar snacks.
✓ Sculpt those abs – Research has shown that eating three portions a day may reduce belly fat.
✓ High in fibre.
✓ Help reduce cholesterol.
You can make more than porridge with oats – although it is a very tasty option especially with a scoop of your favourite protein. I like to make healthy flapjacks and oat cookies too – they make a great post workout snack but also support my fat loss goals.
3) Protein bites
Chip lovers – don’t hesitate about removing your lovely snacks whilst on your weight loss journey! Myprotein’s new Protein bites are the perfect solution to satisfy your cravings whilst benefiting your goals – whether that be fat loss, muscle gain etc!
Swap your normal high-fat chips for these convenient, tasty bites:
✓ 15g Protein per bag.
✓ Low fat and sugar content – (No saturated fat and just 1g sugar.)
✓ Available in BBQ, Chargrilled Chicken, Cheese and Jalapeno or Sour Cream and Spring Onion.
✓ Handy to keep in your gym bag, work desk or stashed in your ‘healthy treats’ cupboard (everyone has one of these, right?…)
Although bananas are best known as being an excellent source of potassium which is crucial for muscle contraction.
✓ Great source of vitamin B-6. This is essential for an important process in muscle building, amino acid metabolism.
✓ Low to medium glycemic food, which means they provide slow release energy to fuel you through your training sessions.
Bananas are great eaten on their own, but they are also delicious with peanut butter or in a smoothie.
You can also make a low sugar version of banoffee using sugar-free syrup and slices of frozen banana with some Greek yoghurt on top!
5) Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is incredibly rich in casein, the slow digesting protein!
✓ Great bed time snack.
✓ Great at any time of the day.
✓ Versatile for savoury or sweet foods – e.g. add onions and peppers or go with some fruit!
This snack is delicious mixed with pineapple and even berries or nuts which will increase the nutritional profile so that it has added vitamins and fibre.
Eggs are a brilliant snack choice as they are high in protein, essential amino acids for post-workout muscle recovery and also vitamins and essential fatty acids.
✓ Easy to prepare and transport depending on how you cook them.
✓ Hard boiled eggs make a great snack for on the go.
✓ Omelettes make a very filling meal choice.
You can pair eggs with vegetables and even salad to give them a nutritional boost.
Nuts are another super food due to their nutritional content. Containing both good fats and protein they are a nutritional powerhouse!
✓ Available in nut butter form, e.g. peanut butter – delicious blended into smoothies or on rice cakes as a handy quick snack requiring little preparation.
Nuts can be added to most dishes including salads and even curries, and also make a handy snack on the go raw or added to pieces of fruit.
8) Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein Isolate is an excellent snack post workout but also at any time of the day, with a huge 90% protein content. It is a fast digesting protein meaning it goes straight to where the body needs it most after training- the muscles.
It is available in a variety of flavours and is easy to prepare!
✓ Simply add the powder to water or milk and shake it up to make a tasty but nutritional filling drink – add oats, fruit, peanut butter etc, whatever takes your fancy!
You can also add Whey protein Isolate to recipes such as cookies and cakes to boost the protein content in them!
A true staple in most athlete’s diet – the humble chicken fillet makes a great snack due to it s high level of protein. It is a lean cut of meat and very versatile, you have more options to prepare it than simply grilling it plain.
✓ Chicken fillet with spices.
✓ Chicken bites and sweet chilli sauce/hot sauce.
✓ Chicken chunks dipped in egg and rolled in wholemeal bread crumbs and cooked for a healthier version of chicken nuggets!
✓ Chicken fillet burgers on a wholegrain bun are extremely tasty – by adding some homemade oven baked sweet potato fries you can make it a balanced meal, jam-packed with vitamins that will help you to reach your goals.
Take home message
The above foods are a small selection of what I include in my diet to ensure I meet all my nutritional requirements while helping me to get the full benefit of the time I spend training at the gym!
The foods you eat fuel your workouts and define how much progress you will make from your training. By making as many healthy choices aspossible you will make your journey a whole lot faster and enjoyable as you will not only look but feel great too!