Snacking might be the No. 1 enemy of a New Year’s resolution to eat better, lose weight and get healthy. But, snacking is an important part of tiding you over in between meals. So, the question is, can you have your cake and eat it too? Absolutely! You just need to snack smarter.
Fortunately, there are some wonderful snack ideas that taste great, satisfy cravings and won’t ruin a diet. You just have to make better choices and make a conscious effort to shop smarter and reach for the right foods.
Here are some fantastic choices for snacks that won’t push a dieting plan to the breaking point:
- Popcorn. When you just can’t get the craving to crunch off your mind, unbuttered, lightly salted popcorn is a great choice. Toss in some granulated beef or chicken bouillon instead of salt for an interesting flavor.
- Pita slices with tuna. This is an excellent snack for satisfying an appetite and keeping health in mind. For vegetarians, a low-fat hummus is also a good choice, as it has protein that will help you feel fuller longer.
- Fruits and raw vegetables. Carrot sticks, grapes, celery with peanut butter (remember to go light on the peanut butter!), apples, bananas, oranges and more can keep a healthy diet on track and ensure that snack-time hunger is well satisfied.
- Granola. Plain granola bars, fruity granola and other similar options are great for keeping health in mind and hunger at bay. Just make sure that it is a low-calorie granola — some are quite high in calories.
- Yogurt. Add a little fruit to plain, low-fat yogurt, or even toss in crushed granola and this option is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. I’ve found that adding some Fiber One cereal to yogurt makes a great snack and gives you fiber, to boot!
- Trail mix. If the hankering for chocolate is too much to bear, grab some trail mix with tiny carob pieces or even a few small chocolate chips blended into the creation. Trader Joe’s has a great anti-oxidant trail mix that is quite filling.
- Apple chips. While it can be hard to convince some that this alternative to potato chips actually tastes good, it does. Plus, it’s generally a whole lot better nutritionally and fat-wise.
- Cottage cheese and chicken. If there’s a desire for a more filling snack, cottage cheese, shredded chicken and even a cracker or two can work perfectly without busting a diet plan. For extra flavor, mix in some taco seasoning.
- Whole-wheat pretzels. This unusual snack tastes pretty much the same as its processed flour counterpart, but it’s much better nutritionally.
- Raisins or other dehydrated berries. This is a sweet alternative for some very bad snack ideas. Carrying a box or two of raisins can provide a perfect snack. Don’t like raisins? Try dried cranberries or blueberries, instead.
- Low-fat ice cream. It’s hard to cut this favorite out of a diet completely. Instead of reaching for the fatty, high calorie stuff, try the diet versions. The truth is some of these are rather incredible.
When it comes to healthy snacking, the possibilities are almost endless. If it’s your resolution to eat better and lose weight, consider snacks carefully before reaching for the first thing that simply looks good. There are better choices that are just as easy to grab for as a bag of chips or big piece of pie.
Take Charge of Your Health!
Changing your eating habits can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be if you take a little time to think it out and create a plan.
This Healthy Eating Worksheet will walk you through the process of creating a healthy eating plan. All you need to do is print it out, set aside some time to complete it, and then fill it out. Then you can create your plan, knowing that you have addressed potential obstacles and came up with some creative ways to handle them.