How to be a Savvy Snacker
If you’re anything like me, you can’t get through the day without at least one snack!
That said, you have to keep portions in mind and choose wisely! Americans have been trained to LOVE snacking thanks to big food companies and fast food restaurants marketing between-meal food choices – Snacking temptations are EVERYWHERE!
So what’s the best snacking strategy?
- Listen to your body. Are you really hungry or just tempted by the idea of eating? Think about your previous meal and when you will plan to have your next to determine your hunger level. Also, reach for your water bottle before your stash of snacks. Our bodies often times mistakenly interpret thirst as hunger.
- Have a plan. The easiest way to make a bad-snack choice is to be caught off guard by a rumbling stomach and be trapped in the car / office with convenience stores, vending machines, or even worse – fast food – as your only option. Snacks sold at places like these are most likely going to be more caloric than your last meal and contain a hard-to-control-myself-additictingly-delicious amount of sugar, fat, sodium, and processed junk that will leave you hungry yet again in only an hour and craving more
Keep a single serving of nuts (Trader Joes sells awesome pre-portioned nut mixes) in your desk or purse and purchase easily portable fruits, like apple’s (these can handle a bottom-of-the-purse beating any day) so that you’re always prepared!
Otherwise, snacks are going to derail your entire day and undermine your concerted efforts to eat a healthy breakfast or lunch.
Finally, choose snacks that are lower in calories and high in fiber & protein.
Here are a few of my favorite options
The “I just need to fend off this rumble for an hour or 2 before dinner snack” (Each one of these is only about 100 calories!)
- 3 T hummus; carrots & pea pods
- Mini Larabar
- 10 Almonds or walnuts or 100 calorie nut packs
- 1 part-skim string cheese
- 100 calorie smart pop popcorn
The: “I need something with energy and staying power to get me through this next epic meeting” (150-200 cal)
- Granola bar: Homemade, Luna Bar, SoyJoy Bar, Kashi TLC Bar, Luna mini
- Trader Joes single portion Trex Mix
- Apple, 1 T nut butter
- ½ c cottage cheese, 1c fruit
The “This is my last chance before a late dinner. And I’m working out. I need something serious” (200-250cal)
- 1 c plain, nonfat yogurt ½ c berries & 1T nuts or 1/4c whole grain cereal
- 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 T nut butter , ½ sliced banana
- 2 rice cakes, 1/3 c hummus smear topped with sliced cucumber & tomato
Remember – veggies are always a great option that let you snack on a huge portion at the expense of only a small amount of calories.
What are your favorite snacks?!