For Indians, an evening snack is not just about taming the hunger pangs that sneak in post-lunch and pre-dinner. It’s a ritual and an important one at that.
Snacking is interwoven into the Indian lifestyle. Those little munchies shared over the latest gossip, the quick bites grabbed amidst work breaks, or the delightful samosa accompanying a rain-washed evening – it’s hard to imagine an evening without them.
However, in the current fitness-driven era, a few murmurs suggest ditching these evening delights altogether. Misconceptions have risen that evening snacks are calorie bombs. Some even fear that snacks can derail their weight loss journey.
But, the truth is, if done right, evening snacks can be healthy, nutritious, and yes, even conducive to weight loss!
Healthy Snacking Habits
● Mindful Snacking is the Key
Overeating, just for taste, is a slippery slope. Your body has its own language. Understand when it’s genuinely hungry and when it’s just the boredom talking. Tune into hunger and fullness cues and avoid mindless snacking.
For this, you can try avoiding snacking in front of the TV or computer. Maintaining portion size can also be proven beneficial.
● Avoid Snacking Post-Dinner
Avoid snacking post-dinner as our metabolism slows down at night, making digestion sluggish. You may have snacks after lunch and before dinner.
● Fresh Over Packaged, Always
Packaged foods often hide sugars and additives. Fresh, unprocessed choices, on the other hand, bring you nutrition in its purest form. They are the healthy snack recipes that nature intended.
● Go Local, Go Seasonal
These snacks not only taste better but are bursting with nutrients. For this season, sweet potatoes (shakarkand) and sautéed singhadas should be your go-to snacks.
● Say No to Deep-Fried
Deep-fried foods might tickle your taste buds but won’t appease your health. And those sugary beverages? They are calorie-loaded without any beneficial nutrients. So try to avoid them as much as possible.
● Avoid Caffeine
Avoid coffee with your evening snacks as much as possible. It can do wonders for your sleep quality.
● Protein-Carb Combo
Pair proteins and carbs in your evening snacks for sustained energy. A delectable example? Peanut chikki or nuts combined with jaggery.
● Plan Your Snacks
Decide what you are going to eat in the evening ahead of time. This will help you avoid making unhealthy choices when you are feeling hungry.
● Handy Snack Option
Keep some healthy snacks on hand at all times, like nuts, makhana, roasted chana, etc. This way, you are more likely to reach for a healthy snack when you need one.
Some Healthy Evening Snack Choices
We, at Addlife, wholeheartedly promote eating evening snacks, but healthily. Some of our favourite snack options are:
- Seasonal foods like sweet potatoes (shakarkand), sautéed singhadas and kheel
- All-year staples like roasted chana, makhana, and bhel
- Millet laddoo or millet roti with jaggery/khand and a dollop of ghee
- Stewed apples or stewed pear for when you are craving fruits in the evening
- Dhokla, idli or boiled veggies with a dip for when you want something fulfilling
Navigating the world of snacks might seem daunting, but the right choices can transform snacking into a healthy habit.
Some folks also often find value in consulting a renowned nutritionist in India to get a tailored snack plan. After all, there is a certain joy in munching without the guilt.
So, the next time the clock strikes snack o’clock, remember these tips. Add life, flavours, and health to your evening snack ritual!