Slimline Snacks For Female Runners
This time of year is tricky. Many of us want to lose a bit of weight, but it’s so cold that salads hardly appeal. What’s an active runner to do? Snack smart.
Regular running creates hunger, causes our bodies to need fuel for recovery and means we need to eat a little more than our sedentary sisters. At this time of year, sub-zero temperatures really do mean we need more calories, too (it’s true!) But some of us are keen to lose a little weight. So what’s the answer? If we need to create a calorie deficit, but must fuel our active runners’ bodies, what’s the best approach?
Hopefully by now you eat a good breakfast, a healthy lunch, and a home-cooked dinner. You understand the body’s need for healthy fats and protein as well as carbohydrates, and you’ve discovered for yourself the kinds of carbohydrates which make you feel healthy and energised. But what about snacks?
Hungry runners often can’t go 5-6 hours between lunch and dinner without reaching for a snack. But one snack can so easily derail your weight loss plans. Here are some great snack ideas for runners. They will keep you feeling full, will work with your hormones (rather than against them) and will give your body plenty of fibre, vitamins and nutrients.
Homemade trail mix. Try a combination of raw, unsalted cashews, pistachios, or dried (unsweetened) coconut, some plain popcorn or crumbled rice cakes, some dried berries, and chopped dark chocolate. Just watch the portion sizes – most of these ingredients are calorie-dense. A little will go a long way with this taste and texture combination.
Your favourite crunchy vegetables dipped in natural (or homemade) hummus. Never tried making hummus? It’s easy, try it this weekend and store it in the fridge. Great veggies for dipping into hummus include carrot sticks, celery, sliced bell pepper, green beans or cucumber.
A small pot of real Greek yoghurt (Fage/Total is the best option here in the UK) with some berries, seeds, a little dark chocolate or a squeeze of honey to sweeten.
Homemade energy bars and protein bars. We’ve blogged about these before – how about our recipe for No-Bake Bars https://www.running4women.com/healthy-quick-grab-back-to-school-snack-recipes or search online for protein bars and balls, most of which need no baking.
Chopped coconut. This is full of healthy fats and an amazing source of energy for runners, but watch the portion size as it’s very calorie-dense. You won’t feel the need to eat much, as your body will recognise the fats and fibre in this natural snack.
Bananas, citrus fruit and apples. All fantastic choices of fruit for runners. Try to limit intake to 2 pieces of fruit per day, and focus on vegetables at meal times.
Nut butter – but why not try something other than peanut butter. Almond butter or cashew butter (widely available) is much better for us and has a host of health benefits that peanut butter just doesn’t have. Try it spread on apple slices, celery sticks, or a rice cakes or couple of oat cakes.
Fancy something warm? If you’ve got access to an oven at snack time, try this delicious snack which is amazing for heart health, hormones and fat loss. Cut an avocado in half, remove the stone, crack a whole egg into the hole and bake in the oven until the egg white is cooked through and the yolk is “done” enough for you.