Don’t forget about snacks when you’re planning your meals for the week! These small bites will hold you over between larger servings, but can easily tempt overeating. If you choose your snacks wisely and plan when to consume them, you’ll have more control over how much you’re eating.
Here’s our advice for mastering a savvy snacking routine:
Don’t trust your hungry self
Even for those with the strongest willpower, the struggle is real when you’re hungry between meals. Don’t cave and inhale the first snack you see. Instead, plan your supplementary small bites the same way you do breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll save calories and money when you avoid vending machines, coffee shops and the cookies someone left in the office kitchen. Pack your healthy, satisfying snacks with portion control containers for easy, on-the-go munching.
Make the calories count
When you’re struggling to eat a full serving of fruits and vegetables, fill the nutritional gap by snacking on them in between meals. It’s also a good idea to combine proteins with carbohydrate or fiber-heavy foods for a more filling snack. Think almonds and an orange or yogurt with granola. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggested snacks with 200 calories or less, including:
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter spread on slices of a medium apple
- 6 whole-wheat crackers and 1 slice low-fat Colby cheese
- Fruit smoothie: 1 cup fat-free milk, ½ cup frozen strawberries and ½ banana
- 1 cup tomato soup with 5 whole-grain crackers
Keep portion control in mind when preparing your snacks for the day.
If you’re craving an “unhealthy” snack, don’t worry! As long as you keep the portion small, it won’t ruin your diet. Besides, sometimes a glass of wine or piece of chocolate is necessary for your overall well-being. Follow the same portion control with all of your small bites. The idea is to quell hunger without overeating.
It seems obvious, but only snack when you’re actually hungry! Ignore the urge to eat when you’re bored or stressed, and instead drink a glass of water. Avoid mindless snacking or grazing throughout the day while you’re working or watching TV. The distractions can make you eat too much, giving you more to work off at the gym. Be mindful of eating slowly, as this will give your body a chance to register when you’re full. Finally, make it easy on yourself by stocking your fridge and pantry with the right snacks rather than temptations with lots of sugar or little nutritional value.
Remember: smart isn’t boring
Like the multitude of delicious and healthy meals, there are countless ways to get creative with your snacking. Delish served up inspiration with easy snack recipes perfect for the work or school day. If you’re running short on prep time this week, there are healthy options you can buy, such as Sargento Balanced Breaks, organic fruit snacks, kale chips, granola bars and nut blends. If you’re tired of eating the same snacks every day, mix it up for a healthy balance of flavors. The variation will actually make you consume less because you’ll feel more satisfied with what you’re eating.