When it comes to healthy eating and controlling your calories, making your snacks count is extremely important, indulge in healthy snacking. It’s imperative to think of them, not in terms of freebies or fill-ins that are there simply just to “tide-you-over” until your main meal, but as built-in and essential parts of your daily food intake.
That said, they certainly don’t have to be a ton of work, boring or unappetizing. They are sometimes, in fact, my favorite part of my day’s food! If you have a hard time avoiding the vending machine or grabbing that muffin sitting on the table, you’re actually missing out on some fabulous snacks! Not only are there healthier and better tasting options, you’ll find yourself with more energy and an improved mood thanks to better snacking.
Here Are Some Of My Top Picks For Healthy Snacks:
Healthy Snacks On The Go:
If you need a go-to and on-the-go snack, my top recommendation is a Lara bar. You can stuff a couple of these in your purse, your briefcase, or even a backpack and have a smart snack instantly with zero mess and zero cleanup. While many “energy” bars are criticized as being nothing better than a candy bar, a Lara bar is the furthest thing from a candy bar, but tastes just as good. They are made 100% from fruits and nuts, meaning you get an excellent balance of fats, protein and carbs, and without any processed sugars whatsoever. They’re loaded in Omegas 3 and 6, come in under 200 calories and are available in flavors sure to meet any craving, whether you want tropical or lemon, apple pie or chocolate brownie.
Are You Starving?
Fell like you’ll never possibly be full ever again? Then I suggest a smoothie. Although, be careful here. Smoothie does not mean an orange julius or a banana-mango craze from a nearby smoothie shop. Typical smoothies are nothing but fruit flavored sugar in liquid form, and high calorie at that. You can easily whip up your own smoothie at home, making it much cheaper and much healthier. Opt for fruits that are lower in sugar and carbs, like berries, than choices like bananas. I also always go for low fat or fat free plain yogurt as a base, and if I’m in need of protein, I really like to use cottage cheese. Flavor it with vanilla and some Stevia for extra kick. The best part about smoothies is the length of time they take to finish, which allows your brain to register a full feeling, before you panic and go into starvation mode.
Would Like To Have Something Salty?
When you’re craving salt for your snacks, try something like brown rice cakes or plain air-popped popcorn. Although neither is actually salty, our brain naturally associates them with a salty flavor and they can help cut the craving. Another great afternoon snack is a small bowl of soup. Try chicken noodle; it’s low in calories, offers both protein and carbs and will quench your salt craving without having to resort to a bowl of potato chips. Other good options are veggies and hummus or a handful of almonds (just a handful!).
It’s bound to happen, we hit that place where we “need” sugar. The worst options are those that will leave you craving more. Sugar free items will generally make you feeling hungrier, as will items like cookies and breads. One of my favorite snacks to combat a sugar craving is Greek yogurt. Not only is it sweet, it’s loaded with protein that will leave you feeling full. A square of dark chocolate is also a really good option. The fat will help you find that satiated feeling we so badly seek to find.
Remember, try to keep snacks between 150-200 calories, otherwise they will do nothing to fill you up. Aim for a good balance of fats, carbs and proteins to cut your immediate hunger and carry you over without hunger cravings until the next meal. And, maybe most importantly, explore! You have to find the healthy snacks you enjoy and like, or you will never be able to stick to it, and soon, that dreaded donut will be calling your name again.
Do You Mind Your Snacks?
How do you consider your snacks? Do you consider the health values in the snacks you have or just consider them as fill ins between meals? Do share your views with us.
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