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Smart Snacking

Awhile back, it was common for many of us to sit down and eat three balanced meals a day. Occasionally we may have a snack here and there to hold us over or as a special treat but now there is food EVERYWHERE! There is food in the break room, vending machines at the office and on the street, at concerts, the movies, the drug store. . .it is everywhere! One might think that grazing throughout the day may keep us satisfied and our metabolism boosted. But in all actuality, grazing may cause many of us to consume more calories throughout the day which can lead to weight gain in the long run. The bottom line is: skip the unhealthy snacks and when choosing to eat snacks try them in place of a meal rather than in addition to your three larger meals.

Ideas for Easy Grab & Go Snacks: 

Hard boiled eggs- great stick-to-the-ribs protein

Instant oatmeal- Buy a big package of instant or quick cooking oats and pre measure 1/4 cup into snack size bags. Add your own cinnamon, raisins, dried cranberries or nuts, mix with water, pop in the microwave and BAM! a hearty, healthy snack. Doing it this way not only saves you money but saves all the added sugars in prepackaged instant oatmeals.

Trail mix- combine your favorite nuts, dried fruits and cereal for a great combination snack. Be aware of portion size here due to the nature of nuts and fruits being nutrient dense foods

Crackers and tuna- purchase some whole grain crackers and portion them into individual snack bags, buy some pouches of tuna and combine for a nutritious and delicous snack

Nut butters and fruit- keep a jar of peanut or almond butter handy and bring different fruits into work each day. When feeling hungry, spread a tablespoon or two over the fruit and enjoy!

Veggies and hummus- When you buy your groceries, once you get home, clean up the produce and make your own veggie snack bags. Add a side of hummus or dip made with greek yogurt and consume.

Rice cakes and nut butter- spread your favorite nut butter on a rice cake or two, top with nuts, raisins or fruit

Cottage cheese and berries- have a scoop of low fat cottage cheese with sliced melon or fresh berries, sprinkle with salt or drizzle with honey and embrace the tastiness

Popcorn- enough said!

Fruit and cheese- a little bit of carbs and a little bit of protein and fat, makes a well balanced snack

The options are endless! But if you find your self craving something bad or you want to make baby steps towards modifying your favorite snacks, here are some tips to help you snack on this and not that.

  • If you used to eat potato chips try having some popcorn or sunflower seeds
  • You love cream cheese and sour cream dips in any way, shape or form. Try having some humus, salsa or black bean dip
  • Soda- save yourself the calories and sugar and try some seltzer water or herbal iced tea
  • Ice cream sundaes- try a fruit and yogurt parfait with a touch of granola for crunch
  • You used to eat a personal pan pizza but now you can try a homemade pita pizza. Get a 6 inch whole wheat pita, topic with some fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, some diced ham or turkey and top with a light layer of cheese-whoa! Skinny pizza!!

I hope this snacking tips help. Just remember, anything outside of your regular meals is added calories and can lead to potential weight gain. If you prefer snacking rather than having three large meals, plan out 5-6 small meals and keep them lighter. Try these healthy ideas and remember, if there is any thing you need, we are hear for you!

 

 

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