When the munchies hit are you prepared or are you drooling at the vending machine, knowing you should just walk away but too hungry not to put your dollar in? Or worse, do you come up with a lame excuse to walk by the secretary’s desk with the fully stocked candy bowl? With a little planning you can head off temptation. Here are 10 quick and easy snacks to give you energy and keep you slim.
Nuts. Go for unsalted and unsweetened. Lots of shops have pre-packaged single serving sizes or you can just buy some from the grocery store and divvy them up yourself. I keep a stash at my studio to grab between clients.
Fruit. Throw an orange, apple, or a few grapes into your bag in the morning. Avoid dried fruit; all you’re really eating then is the fructose, i.e. sugar. The fiber from an apple will help you feel full longer and you can add a smear of protein which will help you feel sated longer.
Yogurt cups. So easy, just peel off the top and eat. If you don’t like plain yogurt, you can add your own mix-ins. If you really like flavored yogurt, try the kids varieties instead. These usually have a lot less sugar than the adult portions. Check the labels.
Oatmeal. Grab a pack of instant oatmeal, throw it into a coffee cup, and heat it up in the microwave. I do this a lot and it really keeps me full. Read your labels again; it’s easy to buy some that are high in sugar. Look for the organic brands to be a bit more wholesome.
Whole grain crackers and cheese. Make sure you’re buying whole grain ones; skip over the processed flour type. The fiber will help you power through the afternoon. Keep the cheese portion on the small side but the added protein will help you feel full longer.
Fruit cups. I’m adding this because almost every single Starbuck’s carries them and if you’re getting coffee in the morning you can grab a fruit cup for later. Don’t reach for the muffins and croissants; your skinny jeans will thank you.
Tortilla wrap and a filler. I found 80-calorie whole wheat tortilla wraps at my local grocery store and I’ll take on and throw in something else to go with it. A little peanut butter or cheese works great; whatever appeals to you.
Overall it’s about 150 calories and a great little snack. Read the labels on the tortillas though; some of them go as high as 400 calories.
Veggie sticks. You can pick up pre-cut celery and carrot sticks in the store but I find they are fresher when I cut them myself at home. Think outside the box and go for cucumbers and bell peppers too. My son loves these, they are his go-to snack.
Rice cakes and … As with the tortilla wraps, you can add lots of things to a rice cake. They are very low in calories and filling because of their bulk. I would definitely try to add some protein such as a slice of cheese so you can stay sated as long as possible. Avoid the “flavored” ones; this usually just means they’re covered with some sort of sugary glaze.
Granola. Be careful here. I only recently realized some granola I’d been enjoying was mostly sugar! Read the labels and make sure you’re getting more than empty carbs when you grab some. Better yet, make your own at home during the weekend and divide it up for the week.
What do you use for snacks for yourself and your family? I’m sure you guys have some great suggestions, please share.
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For some more ideas, check out Michael Pollan’s 10 Best Food Rules.