It’s Snack Time!! Now, don’t go reaching for the animal crackers and juice box – today we’re going to talk about some real, grown-up, healthy snacks.
I’ve received a ton of requests from you guys with the same question, “what is a healthy snack I can eat?” So, today, I thought I’d tackle just that – Snack Time.
If you’re like me, around 3:00 I start getting really snacky. Like “lock up all the chocolate and hide the sugar” snacky. I do not want to blow my day of good eating by reaching for the wrong, calorie-heavy snacks. So, I try to snack on filling, healthy (and actually tasty) snacks. I like my snacks to be no more 150-200 calories. That way, I can keep my daily calories in check. Here are a few of my favorite snacks:
Fruit: This is my go-to snack. I almost always have an apple in my purse or car. It’s easy to carry and easy to eat. Heck, they even have pre-cut, pre-packaged apple slices in the produce section at the grocery store now. Stop thinking about snacks as “packaged” and start thinking about snacks as whole foods. My house goes through two large bags of apples each week. After all, you know the saying, “An apple a day keeps the abs around…” — isn’t that the saying?
Turkey and Cheese Roll Up: Here’s another great snack. Y’all know bread is not the top food choice – it’s high in carbs and empty calories. So, grab some deli turkey and wrap it up around a little cheese. Delicious, easy, filling and kinda’ cute if you put in frilly toothpicks.
Peanut Butter and Apples: Yummy, yum, yum. I love this snack. I measure out 1 Tbsp of peanut butter and slice an apple. Then dip away. It is so good – I feel like I’m cheating when I eat it. It’s got some protein, a little something sweet and it’s oh so good. (They even have Jiff peanut butter mini cups you can toss in your purse or lunchbox.)
Almonds: Ok, this one is a little trickier. I love almonds. Even the flavored ones (try the Salt & Vinegar flavored almonds, you can thank me later.) But, these little guys can be high in calories. If you are going to snack on almonds, measure out your portions or buy the 100 calorie pre-packaged ones. Otherwise, you’ll eat a lot more calories than you bargained for. But these guys will fill you up and hold you over until dinner.
Greek Yogurt: If you’re trying to get more protein (and most lifting girls are) these creamy guys are the snacking jackpot. They’re delicious, high in protein and come in a million flavors. I eat the Light & Fit Greek Yogurt. It runs 80 calories for each container. Now, if you’re really hard core, you can grab the unflavored, unsweetened version and just add fresh fruit. It’s much lower sugar. But, if you’re like me and prefer a little more flavor, try the strawberry cheesecake flavor.
Snack food is tricky. With all the “Low Fat” and “Sugar Free” labels popping up at the grocery, you can pick up a snack thinking it’s healthy when in actuality, it’s not.
Seriously, guys. You’re not going to find a good, healthy snack in the packaged food aisle at the grocery store. If it’s in a box or a bag, it’s going to be chocked full of calories, preservatives and junk. Or even worse, it can be low calorie but have empty calories leaving you hungry again just minutes after you finish your snack. So, just avoid the cookie and cracker aisle in the grocery store altogether. Step away from the Goldfish (why are those little things so tasty?) Here are some of the most common offenders of unhealthy “healthy-sounding” snacks that will sabotage your fitness goals, sometimes without you even knowing:
100 Calorie Packs: Ok, in theory, these are a great idea – only 100 calories of something chocolatey or salty to satisfy your craving. However, if you’re like me, one packet leads to two (or three….) So, you end up eating 300+ calories worth of snacks that are just going to leave you hungry again in another 20 minutes.
Granola Bars: These are the sneakiest little snacks around – mostly because they masquerade as “healthy.” But a lot of these granola bars pack as much sugar and calories as a candy bar. Yes, you read correctly. I honestly compare most granola bars to a Snickers candy bar. I hear people say, “But it’s a Kind bar” or “It’s healthy, it’s a Cliff bar.” Well, check the calorie count on those guys – they offer enough calories to be a whole meal. When it comes to granola bars, just say “no.” If I’m going to eat that many calories and that much sugar, I’d rather get it from a Butterfinger.
Pretzels: This twisted, salty temptress has performed enough voodoo to make people think they are healthy. Wrong. I hear people say, “I’ll skip the potato chips and get the pretzels, they’re healthy.” Well, not really. That bag of pretzels is going to contain a ton of empty, carby calories. So, even after eating those pretzels, you’ll be hungry again in another 20 minutes. Learn this tip: don’t eat the pretzels (or the chips.)
Snack time can be tricky. Don’t let it sabotage all the good work and smart choices you made at breakfast and lunchtime. Think about what you’re eating. And when those late afternoon munchies hit, pass on the M&Ms and instead reach for an apple…your abs will thank you.