Power Snacks

If you’re like me, then you’re awesome.  Oh, and you also get hungry pretty darn often throughout the day.  As a student, I’m on campus most of my days, and it is hard to eat regularly, healthily, and inexpensively.  I’ve given into the temptation of a flaky chocolate croissant several times, especially during the mornings I forget to make breakfast.  When I’m hungry, I make the worst decisions and I tend to overeat (a.k.a. I eat everything in sight).  To remedy this, I pack my lunch everyday with a TON of healthy snacks!  Common discussion in the health/fitness community agree on snacks being around 200 calories or less.  This helps to limit overeating.  But, let’s be real: 200 calories is not a lot!  That requires me to find things that not only taste great, but pack a lot of nutrients within the limited calorie/energy ceiling.  Forget those 100 calorie snacks from snack well or nabisco, and try some of these.  Here are TEN delicious snacks that are easy to prepare/pack and won’t break your waistline.

200 Calories Snacks:

– 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt + 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

– 1 large apple + 1 tablespoon peanut butter

– 1/4 cup (dry) of oatmeal + handful of fresh/dried fruit

– a handful of dry-roasted, unsalted whole almonds (about 1/4 cup)

– 2 cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with 1 tsp of sugar (to taste) + 1 tsp of salt (to taste)…homemade kettle corn! all you need are plain popcorn kernels and a paper bag. the sugar and salt is added to make your own kettle corn.  add them right away while the popcorn is hot so that the sugar crystallizes. it’s all to taste and it isn’t that much sugar or salt so it’s all good!

– PB & J: 1 slice of whole wheat bread + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter + 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries (try subbing over-sugary jams/jelly for fresh fruit!)

– 3 large carrots + 1/4 cup of hummus

– 6 Large Triscuits + 1 stick of mozzarella string cheese

– 18 Baked Chips + 1/2 cup of salsa (salsa is hands-down the best and healthiest condiment ever!)

– 4 Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate (60% cacao) squares

General Snacking Tips:

– Plan them out & pre pack them for the next day/week.  I usually pack everything the night before, so that in the morning, I’m not rushing and forgetting to bring anything to munch on.  Plastic/Glass tupperware containers are fantastic of this!  Pop them into a reusable grocery bag to take them anywhere you go (school or work).  They’ll always be on hand when a craving strikes.  This also helps to prevent irrational spending when hungry (avoid the vending machine temptation)

– Snack regularly.  If you have 3 meals a day, then 3 small snacks are appropriate.  It helps to maintain your blood sugar levels, and it prevents overeating when it’s lunch/dinner time.

– Snacks should keep you going throughout the day.  However, we are hungry people, and we tend to overeat.  Try eating foods that are low in calories (< 200 kcals) but fulfill your satiety needs.

– Feast on fruits and vegetables.  You could pretty much get away with eating a plate of fresh vegetables because you can’t attach them directly to your hips.  Oh, and I truly believe there is a HUGE misconception about fruit and their sugar content.  A lot of people relate sugar with diabetes or weight gain.  That’s simply not accurate.  Our body runs on carbohydrates which are sugars.  Fruit and vegetables provide great sources of simple sugars as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.  Fruits and vegetables are the BEST go-to snack.  It’s one food group you should never limit.

– Indulge moderately.  Going cold turkey is tough and some can successfully do so.  But to avoid binge sessions on sweets, allow yourself to enjoy a craving at least once a day.  Whether it’s one cookie or small pieces of dark chocolate (< 200 kcals of course), give yourself a moderate amount to satisfy that craving.  And don’t feel guilty about it.  Eating should be enjoyable!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Margo Lang says:

    Awesome tips Thomas! I agree that i hate those days when I am on campus all day with not much time to grab anything (which I will have more of next semester too) so great tips to remind me for next semester.

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