My client’s biggest trip-ups come from snacking.
Now keep in mind snacking and having a snack are different. Snacking means you grab something on the fly because you are peckish, bored or craving sugar. Having a snack is just a smaller meal to give you satiety so you don’t eat too much for your lunch or dinner. It also helps you get in the calories needed without eating junk food or too much in one meal.
Clients are always asking me “Can you give me some healthy snack ideas?”. Thing is all you need to do is think of a snack as a mini meal. So use the same principles in your snacks as you do in your meals. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you stop snacking but to make sure you have a snack!
Do Eat Small Amounts Of Protein
Protein can come in many forms. Cottage cheese ricotta cheese, sliced chicken, tuna, eggs and protein supplements.
Don’t Assume Having Nuts Or A Bean Salad Is Enough
They are not complete proteins. Combine nuts with a grain or vegetable and have a hard-boiled egg with your bean salad.
~ Snack Examples
Celery with almond butter.
Chopped raw veggies with raw almonds, cashews or walnuts.
Slice a hard-boiled egg over top of a small bean salad.
Do Have Fruits Low In Sugar And High In Fiber
Some great choices are papaya, berries, citrus fruits, apples – are higher in sugar but contain a lot of fiber and melons.
Don’t Have Sugary Fruits, Dried Fruits Or Juices On Their Own
Avoid grapes, mango, fruit juices, dates, figs. Trail mix sounds healthy and we assume dried fruit is great for you but it is coated in sugar and oils. If you are going to have them, eat with a small amount of good protein.
~ Snack Examples
Berries with Greek yogurt.
Sliced apple, cinnamon and cottage cheese.
Smoothie with a small amount of juice, spinach, avocado and protein supplement.
Do Have One To Two Balanced Snacks Per Day
Remember you need calories to function properly. Cutting back on calories too much can lead to damaging your metabolism, fatigue and lack of results. Think protein, fat and good carbs – remember fruits and veggies are carbs!
Don’t Eat High Fat, Starchy Carb Snacks
Meaning don’t grab a bag of chips or chocolate bar. Don’t grab a sandwich full of processed cheese and meats.
~ Snack Examples
Ricotta cheese with a teaspoon of honey and a small tangerine.
Lettuce wraps with tuna or chicken and avocado.
Apples and tuna salad, add a bit of mayo or mashed avocado to the tuna, scoop it up with apple slices.
Do Eat Good Fats!
We need fat in our bodies for many reasons! It helps improve your immune system, good fat gets rid of bad fat, helps improve hormone balance, and creates satiety. Choose nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.
Don’t Eat Fried Foods Or Trans-Fat!
Avoid eating fries, potato chips, cookies, granola bars, crackers and muffins.
~ Snack Examples
Use mashed avocado instead of butter on a slice of Ezekiel bread with sliced chicken.
Small mixed green salad with olive oil, red wine vinegar and shrimp.
Mixed raw nuts and Greek yogurt.
Some Other Great Snack Ideas
Slice of cucumber, a dollop of ricotta cheese and thinly sliced lean beef.
Mary’s Gone Crackers with homemade hummus.
Baked Kale Chips with a Greek yogurt homemade dip – See recipe below
Ricotta cheese, sliced grape tomatoes, pink sea salt and black pepper.
Papaya coleslaw with goat’s milk feta – See recipe below
Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip
1 Ripe Hass Avocado, Pitted and Mashed
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Lime Or Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoon Minced Cilantro
1/2 Twaespoon Ground Cumin
Salt And Hot Pepper Sauce To Taste
In A Bowl Combine All Ingredients And Mix Until Blended
Use As A Dip, Sandwich Spread Or Condiment For Grilled Meats Or Vegetables
Papaya Broccoli Slaw
2 Cups Caribbean Red® Papaya Sliced In Julienne Strips
1 Package Broccoli Slaw
1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce (try the brand from New Orleans for some jazz)
2 Teaspoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
Combine All Ingredients.
Just Before Serving, Toss To Evenly Coat.
There Are Many Ways To Get In Healthy Snacks
Preparation is key but if you are on the run, try to go to a grocery store with a salad bar. Grab unsalted nuts -only eat half the bag. Grab some fruit and yogurt. Small salad with protein. But to avoid panic, just prep simple snacks that you can take with you.
Key is not to just eat to eat. If you are only eating because of a craving or boredom, then you need to look at what meals you are eating or what you drank prior to this. It could be causing you to crave sugar. Think balance. Don’t cut out one macro-nutrient. Avoid low fat, sugar free snacks. Typically low fat will end up being high in sugar and sugar-free will end up being high in fat and preservatives.
We can’t be perfect every day all day. But we can try to make the right choices 80% of the time and that in itself will create many positive changes! Weight loss, increase in energy, improved health and immune system.