Probably the second most asked question coming from clients, friends, neighbors, and the Time Warner rep wanting a health tip. Snacking can be defined as many things:

- It can be a meal in itself

- It can be an in-between, tie-me-over-til-dinner thing

- It can be an essential source of fuel on a long hike

- It can be something you automatically you do behind the desk or while watching TV

- It can be an after school treat for the kids

- It can be quick grab at the gas station and something to and tie you over until you get to a place where you can grab a real meal.

Snacking is a very important part of your eating strategy and something you have to learn and practice to be successful. Finding a good quality snack, one you like and one that is good for you, is essential. It has to be strategic in the sense that you have to be prepared so you don’t make a bad choice. Another thing, and the most important thing, is that you have to have your snack and be done with it. No sitting around with a can of nuts, bowl of popcorn, or a jar of candy watching TV and you look down during a commercial and the whole container is gone. Seriously folks, that can of nuts can have more calories than an entire meal.


Snacking throughout the day is also no way to go. Grazing, as I call it, has a few problems:

It never lets your digestive system rest

You can pile on more calories than you think

Most likely you are exchanging chewing and crunching something with not much nutrition to it instead of a meal full of nutrients.


Strategic Snacking Tips

1) You want it to have protein and fat so your hunger is curbed. Carbohydrate snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers are basically just sugar in disguise cooked with bad oils.

2) Not that I am a calorie counter, but until you get used to a portion size, keep your snack around 200-300 calories or a couple of handfuls. That’s just over a ¼ cup of mixed nuts or 3 ounces of beef jerky.

3) Low-Fat, Sugar-Free, or Gluten-Free do not mean a snack is healthy. Usually it’s the opposite: High-Sugar, Fake-Sugar, some other grain than wheat repectively.

4) Buy lots of what you like and keep them around. At our house, we always have an ever revolving and bottomless nut mix. Everytime you’re at Trader Joes, grab some nuts throw them in the container and shake it up.

5) Which nuts are the best? Read THIS

6) Jerky. It comes in every beast you can imagine now, but watch out for the sugar and msg in most leading brands. Check THIS place out.

7) Kids like sugar. Kids will find sugar. Try finding snacks that don’t have any in it. Although looking apparently healthy on the label applesauce and yogurt can have tons of HFCS in them.

8) Even at a gas station you can find nuts & good jerky.

9) Leftover meat makes a great snack.


Bill’s Top Snacks

Nuts, mostly roasted almonds, cashews, pumpkin, and pecans.

Leftover meat or nitrate-free deli meat.

Cheese: manchego or some other dry goat or sheep cheese. Less lactose than cheddar and softer cheeses.

Santa-Fe grilled chicken salad from Quick Trip. Yup, a nice big salad for under $5 from a gas station.

Boiled eggs

Meat torpedoes: wrap a slice of cheese in salami or turkey, a dash of tabasco, roll it up.

Shake. Portable and you can chuck whatever you want in it. You have to use a high-quality protein powder like Structure instead of the wallpaper paste whey from Costco! Here are some Recipes.


There you have it folks. Successful Strategic Snacking. Get in – Get out, Fuel the Body.