It’s that time of the week! Tuesday is the day where my blogger friends and I all link up via Lisa @ The Skinny on Health and discuss little tips we have to make healthy living easier. Thanks again, Lisa for hosting!
My tip for the day is all about snacking. While snacking can be a bad thing (usually this is more like grazing) it can also be a really powerful tool to keep your stomach happy all day. That way, you don’t get home from work and open that gallon of ice cream as an “appetizer” while you make another healthy dinner because you just can’t wait.
I usually snack twice a day, either between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and dinner, or right before bed. I’ve noticed that working in an office now makes it a little trickier to sneak wholesome snacks in. However, with a little pre-planning and (hopefully) access to a fridge, it can be done! I always try to eat snacks that are full of whole grains, fiber, or protein so that whatever I’m eating has enough staying power to keep me at a good serving size.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Plain Greek yogurt mixed with stevia/sugar and fresh fruit
- 1-cup of fat-free, plain Greek yogurt has about 9 grams of sugar and 23 grams of protein, fulfilling almost half of an adult’s recommended daily intake of protein.
- Greek yogurt is a healthy source of probiotics which aid digestion
- Fruit naturally sweetens the yogurt without all the additives
- Often called one of the world’s healthiest foods, sweet potatoes are inexpensive, versatile, low in calories and high in nutrients
- Sweet potatoes contain twice as much fiber as regular potatoes.
- They are rich in beta-carotene, one of the most potent antioxidants that are known to prevent many types of cancer
- Adding fat to the sweet potato (like peanut butter) helps increase our uptake of beta-carotene
- You could put peanut butter on a car tire and it would be delicious
- Sure, they’re high in calories and fat, but it’s the good kind of fat! They fill you up faster and longer and taste oh so good
- Frequent nut consumption can aid with weight loss and reduce your risk of major chronic diseases
- Fat, fiber, protein, these little guys have it all!
- Apples are full of fiber and are known to ward off hunger in between meals
- The fat and protein in peanut butter plus the fiber in an apple makes this a great choice
- Lean protein and calcium makes my bones and my stomach happy at 3pm
- This is one of my favorite low-calorie grab-and-go snacks because it can be stored in my purse for whenever hunger strikes
- This one is iffy…veggies alone aren’t even close to a good powerhouse of fat, protein, or fiber. But if I’m not starving but want to get some extra veggies into my day, I love to heat up a bag of frozen veggies. I keep them everywhere I go (my parents’ house, Zain’s, and even work). That way, I’ll always have the option to add extra veggies to any meal or just to eat them as a snack.
- I’ve always been big on volume-eating. If I know I’m going to have deep dish pizza, I’ll usually eat a huge bowl of veggies beforehand. That way I’m filling my stomach with tons of good stuff before getting to the star of the show. It’s a trick that works for me and still lets me eat what I want–just not too much of it that I feel sick.
- The health of soy milk is often debated. I choose to think that, like most things, it’s okay in moderation. It naturally has less sugar than milk and still has around 8 grams of protein for every cup. Plus it makes lattes so enjoyable because they’re so naturally sweet and creamy. I’m never even tempted anymore to add syrups to my lattes because soy milk makes it a treat in and of itself. Sometimes when 3pm hits, a soy latte is the perfect snack.
As you can see, many of these snacks have a great combination of fats, fiber and protein. They do a great job of keeping my hunger at bay until my next meal–no empty calories here. So the next time you feel guilty about snacking, don’t! I’m not promoting eating six mini meals or anything like that, but if you’re hungry, eat! Just eat something that is going to fuel your body, make you feel great, and fill you up. A healthy lifestyle should be that simple.
- Do you snack between meals?
- What’s your favorite snack?