One of the easiest ways to mess up on our diet is to give into the old fashioned snack-attack. This can be particularly tempting in this age of quarantine when many of us are at home, under a lot of stress and the kitchen is only a few steps away. The reason snacking can get us in trouble is it is easy to chose quick and easy choices that are high in carbs, sugar, and salt with little nourishment to help us get through the day. We can also load up on coffee and other types of caffeine in what we think will give us a rush but actually does the opposite and brings us crashing down.
But what if it didn’t have to be like this? What if we could snack better? If we can figure out a way to do so than it will not only help us with our fitness goals but increase our energy and help us to be better employees whether working from home or not.
Here are some suggestions for snacking better:
- Prepare fruits and vegetables ahead of time so they are ready when you need a snack. This is as easy as cutting celery, cucumber, bell pepper into strips, peeling the vein off of sugar snap peas, washing and cleaning fresh fruit so it’s there for the snacking!
- Pick fruit and vegetables at a farm or farmers market so that it actually tastes good when you are looking for a snack. It’s very disappointing when you take the time to peel an orange or apple only to find out it is bland and doesn’t taste very good. If we purchase our fruit and vegetables from local farmers there is a better chance it is in season and will taste better.
- Drink water whenever possible. Pretty much every other fluid we like to drink is wasted calories and diet drinks are not good for the body. If you need flavor try adding lemon or lime (or both!) and it should do the job well.
- Make yummy dips. One of my favorite parts of snacking is delectable chips and dip. Well, we can make this experience healthier by working in good fats like guacamole with avacodo in it or a salsa with fresh vegetables and fruit. Yogurt can be a good dip for fruit or even dark chocolate can be good for a small snack.
- Speaking of yogurt eating Greek yogurt with fruit and a little honey can be a wonderful snack loaded with calcium, potassium and protein. Make sure you don’t get the yogurts that are high in sugar but look for full-fat Greek yogurt or something close at your grocery store.
- Peanut butter can be your friend. The traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be too sweet and heavy for a snack but apple slices or celery (ants on a log anyone?) make for a great snack. Peanut butter has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce the LDL bad cholesterol. The creamy or crunchy peanut butter mixed with a tart fresh apple is delicious!
- Make your own snacks is the way to go! One of the great parts of making your own chips, popcorn and chocolate treats is you get to control what goes in. For example, if you pop your own popcorn than you control the salt, butter, and other additives that can make it unhealthy as a snack. And homemade is even better tasting so it’s a win-win situation in the end.
There are many other tips that help to make snacking a positive experience rather than something that derails your diet and fitness routines. What has worked for you? What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? We would love to find out in the comments section.