Whether you like to admit it or not, everyone is guilty of occasionally stuffing their face with unhealthy snacks. We’ve all been there. To keep your energy up and your mind off of what you will be eating for your next meal, you should be snacking throughout the day. The key to this is snacking smart. A handful of almonds or an apple is always a safe bet, but we want you to feel satisfied, not dreaming about brownies and potato chips. Let’s be honest, you would have to eat an entire box of those granola bars to stop the mid-morning grumbles. Lucky for you, you can beat the guilt with these seven snack tips.
You can never go wrong with throwing your produce into a blender. Smoothies are an easy way to get in a serving of fruits and vegetables. With the right fruits you can say ‘hello’ to fulfilling sweet cravings and ‘goodbye’ to the bitterness of greens. Get creative and satisfy your taste buds by alternating smoothie flavors: bananas, strawberries, kale, fresh ginger, almond milk, the possibilities are endless! One smoothie serving will run at about 250 calories, plus it includes a multitude of antioxidants to keep your hunger satisfied longer.
Pack in the protein
It’s time to ditch the protein bars. Pack in the protein and have a fiesta with your taste buds by preparing a protein-rich quesadilla. Heat a small whole wheat tortilla in a non-stick pan with shredded cheddar cheese (resist the urge to add the entire bag…we know it’s hard), half a cup of black beans and a spoonful of salsa. This has about 18 grams of protein and adds a boost of fiber and calcium too.
Bring on the chocolate
Chocolate. Need we say more? Spread a tablespoon of chocolaty-goodness onto two crisp bread crackers and add a few slices of banana on top. Keep in mind that moderation is important to avoid sugar overload. Sugar is necessary for your body to create energy, but processed and added sugar can be difficult to avoid. This crunchy treat runs at around 200 calories with six grams of fiber and four grams of protein.
Yes, you read that correctly. Bacon is always an option. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Instead of frying, bake your bacon and wrap it in a few leaves of Bibb lettuce with a slice of tomato and a little bit of blue cheese dressing. Only 80 calories, and you get to eat bacon. Everyone wins.
Satisfy your Sweet tooth
Get all of the taste of apple pie minus the three billion calories per slice. Core and slice your favorite apple. Toss with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and heat in the microwave for three to four minutes. You now have a sweet snack that’s less than 100 calories with three grams of fiber. You can also add some nut butter or raisins for a boost in fiber and protein.
Grab and go
You may be the more “grab and go” type and avoid dirtying dishes at all costs. In this case, stick with what you know. Go with a small bag of popcorn, a cup of trail mix, nut butter on anything, spicy hummus and raw vegetables, or instant oatmeal with sliced fruit. Each will give you an energy boost and keep you from getting hangry. Pairing protein with fiber should settle your mid-morning grumbles.
Creativity is key
Portion control is something to consider when working to snack healthy, so steer clear of bringing the whole box or bag of your chosen snack to bed. Get creative with your snacking otherwise a gas station burrito will seem a lot more exciting than nonfat yogurt (because we’ve all been in this predicament). Be creative, and the temptation should subside.
The next time you feel the urge to scarf down a candy bar or french fries, pause, and reflect on the pros of snacking smart.