Energy tip #58 snacking for stamina

Snacking is an opportunity to keep those fuel reserves topped up between meals and what you choose to nibble on means more for your overall health than you might think. This week we hear from McNab’s Ambassador and registered dietician, Celynn Erasmus, on snacking for stamina.

Why Snack for Stamina?

While modern living may provide endless perks in terms of convenience and time-saving, it also means that we work longer hours, exercise less and tend to eat on the go, choosing foods more for their quick and easy properties than their nutrients. The result? More stress, less time for ourselves and a negative effect on our health and happiness.

Yet, absolutely everything we do, think and feel is influenced by what we eat. Bottom line: if you want to perform like a high-energy person, you have to eat like one.

When you give your body what it needs, it can — and will — do miraculous things.

How to Snack for Stamina?

Be sure to choose the right SMART snacks to enable glucose balance and high performance and living your biggest life ever:

SMART snacking for stamina

  • Strategic Set yourself up for snacking success by having the right snacks close at hand.
  • Measurable Portion controlled – 500kJ per snack for women and 750kJ per snack for men.
  • Assortment Variety is important – choose fresh or dried fruit (carbohydrate) with nuts/seeds (healthy fat) and yoghurt/eggs /lean biltong (protein).
  • Real food Think fresh fruit, not fruit gums. Raw nuts, not nut brittle.
  • Timed An afternoon snack, for example, will keep hunger pangs at bay and may help you eat a lighter evening meal.

The following each provide 500-750 kJ (120–180 kCal) of energy:

  • Health bar (preferably McNab’s food bars) providing no more than 750 kJ
  • 1–2 pieces fresh fruit (tennis ball sized)
  • A small handful (40g) dried fruit
  • 1-2 slices seed cracker bread with some nut butter
  • 1–2 boiled eggs
  • ½–1 cup yoghurt
  • ¼ tub chunky cottage cheese mixed with 1 Tbsp seeds or dried fruit
  • 40g cheese
  • 2–3 crackers, such as oatcakes
  • 1 cup crudités with 2–3 Tbsp dip, such as hummus.

Four Steps to Successful Snacking

1. Shop

  • Plan ahead. Shop monthly for non-perishables (health bars, trail mix, nuts, dried fruit) and weekly for perishables (fresh fruit, crudités, dips).
  • Have enough different containers and packets for packing snacks.

2. Prep

  • See more, eat more. Buy the correct portion size for snacks (500–750 kJ) or pack bulk items into ziplock packets or small containers (better for the environment!).

3. Drop

  • Put your snacks in your environment; desk drawers, car cubbyhole, handbag, pantry, boardroom, travel or laptop bag.
  • Have the right equipment to support snacking for stamina, such as a cooler bag, ice blocks, shaker bottles, water bottles, disposable cutlery, and waterless hand sanitiser or wet wipes.

4. Stop

  • Snack for stamina every two to three hours.
  • If need be, a meal can be replaced with two or three snacks for a woman, or three or four snacks for a man.
  • Forget to eat? Take advantage of technology. Set a timer or alarm, or look out for smartphone applications that will remind you to snack.


More about Celynn

Celynn Erasmus is a registered dietician, speaker and writer. Along with Joni Peddie, human behaviourist, she is the co-author of the FAB Quotient™ Book 1: Fight Fatigue & Stay Resilient, aimed at changing lifestyle and workplace habits to balance energy and improve performance. Get your copy of FAB Quotient™ Book 1 at






Resilient Energy Center

Wellness Professional – Celynn Erasmus