Whether you’re looking to grab a bite between meals, fuel up post-workout or simply eat something on the go, choosing junk food over healthier options is usually the most convenient– and the most common.
A lot of processed drinks and foods give you that burst of energy at first, but then result in a crash-and-burn later (they won’t keep you full for long, either).
In my last post, I talked about the 30 by 30 Challenge I did; however, I realized you have to adjust both exercise and eating habits if you want results.
Fortunately I came up with some simple ways to snack healthier, rather than aimlessly going through the fridge, freezer, and pantry. It’s kind of turned into a little game, discovering how I can switch this for that, without sacrificing flavor or satiety.
I challenge you to try a few of these and maybe invent some of your own to share in the comments section!
–Winner: whole wheat bread
–Loser: white bread
–Why: Your body take longer to digest the whole grains than the refined stuff (woohoo, fiber!) and there are endless whole wheat varieties out there to try.
–Winner: chicken, fish, or lean meats
–Why: Lunchmeat is filled with harmful preservatives and additives (often MSG, a.k.a. monosodium glutamate). If you opt for the grilled winners above, you can usually search the ingredient list, then customize it to your liking. Bonus points for grilling (or pan-searing) it yourself, which means refrigerating/freezing leftovers to save time later!
Loser: Creamy veggie dip
Why: As long as you’re eating vegetables, a little ranch dip never hurt anyone… right? WRONG. It’s easy to lose track of the skimpy two-tablespoon serving suggestion on the package. Instead, choose protein-filled hummus to save several grams of saturated fat. You can add garlic, paprika, or really any spice/seasoning to bump up the flavor.
Winner: DIY Greek yogurt parfait
Loser: pre-packaged yogurt cups
Why: Did you know one traditional Yoplait has up to 27 grams of sugar? That’s the equivalent of two scoops of ice cream! I Also, a lot of yogurts have questionable artificial flavors and sweeteners in them. I prefer starting with Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla), then adding my own fresh fruit for flavor– often a few nuts and granola too!
Winner: microwave or air-popped popcorn
Why: Scarfing down a bag of Lays seemed like no biggie… until you saw there are 10 grams of fat in about 15 chips. At only 100 calories for about two cups, air-popped or microwave popcorn wins for its fiber content and ability to satisfy any salty, crunchy craving. In a pinch? I highly recommend Skinny Pop, a brand located at Costco and most grocery stores.
Winner: bed of leafy greens
Why: I know, salads aren’t everyone’s favorite. Yet, you can transform several meals into salads. Deconstruct your sandwich by including everything but the bread. Put stir fry on some torn Romaine lettuce. Ditch the burrito at Chipotle and go for a salad next time; you still get all your usual fixings! (Psst, according to calorieking.com their burrito tortilla has 300 cals, 10g fat, 46g carbs, and 29% of your daily sodium allowance).
calm healthy and snack on!