Snacking can definitely be a part of your healthy meal plan and I encourage some healthy snacks every day! When changing your lifestyle, you can often feel deprived, but one to three snacks daily can be included as long as you make healthy choices, watch your portions, and avoid unplanned snacking. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by food, and not always the healthiest food. My full-time job is in healthcare and there seems to be an abundance of snack foods in every facility. Food is in our faces all day: from donuts, cookies, chips, cakes and then the vending machines loaded with unhealthy options - we are set up to fail. Try to think about how many times you just pick up a cookie here or there, a brownie, or candy bar. Those calories add up over time and can lead to significant weight gain. However, if you plan your snack time, bring your own healthy snacks, and stick with your plan, you'll be much more successful in reaching and maintaining your goals. So, instead of setting yourself up to fail, try planning snacks and set yourself up to succeed!
Try adding some of these healthy snacks to your routine. Maximize your daily nutrition and you'll feel great and avoid feeling deprived as you change your lifestyle.
1. 6 oz Greek yogurt with 1/4c low fat granola
2. Banana with 1 Tbsp almond butter
3. Vegetable sticks with 1/4 c hummus
4. Avocado and tomato on whole grain toast
5. 1/4 c nuts with a few dried cranberries and dates
6. 1/4 c Dried dates or figs
7. Small sweet potato with pepper
8. Raw vegetable stick with 1/4 c guacamole
9. 1/4 c tuna salad with 10 whole grain crackers
10. Oatmeal with 1/8 c dried fruit
11. Apple with 1 Tbsp nut butter
12. 1/2 fruit salad
13. Sting cheese and 1/2 ounce nuts
14. 3 c Air-popped popcorn
15. Hard-boiled egg
16. Fruit smoothie made with 8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
17. 1 c vegetable soup with 6 whole grain crackers
18. 1/4 c roasted chickpeas
19. Raw vegetable sticks and 2 oz lean turkey or chicken lunch meat
20. Bean dip with raw vegetable sticks
Remember we're talking about snack time here, not meal time! These should be small servings and healthy choices. We want to use our snacks to improve our nutritional status, not lead us down the wrong path! Happy snacking!!!