Contrary to Dr. O’Briens second rule of ‘The 8 Golden Rules’ “Thou Shalt Not Snack”…I believe there is a time and place for healthy snacking. In fact I have found that a well-timed healthy snack can lead to less fluctuations in blood sugar, less bingeing and greater weight loss.
Why Do You Get Hungry?
When your band is well-adjusted you may find that you have no problem going for four hours without hunger on a small meal in the earlier part of the day (when the band tends to be tighter). As the day goes on we know there is a bit of a fluid shift in our bodies. Gravity pulls some of our interstitial body fluid down and our rings get looser and our socks get tighter…the band gets a little looser too. This is why many find it very difficult to go from lunch to dinner without a snack. I actually find it dangerous to try to do this as it often leads to eat a small ‘dinner’ while preparing dinner, or eating too much for dinner, or continuing to eat throughout the evening. Drops in our blood sugar can increase our cravings for carbohydrates and make it incredibly difficult to make smart choices…especially if you are not prepared. Ever notice that there are very few healthy, low-calorie, pre-packaged snack options out there? Those ‘100 calorie’ packages of Doritos, or single Aero’s look great but they are total carbs, leave you hungry in 20 minutes, and who the heck can eat one ‘single’ Aero?? So best to have something on hand to keep you going.
(To get the MOST bang for your buck it is best to consume protein, and even better if you can combine it with some fiber and a small amount of healthy fat (mono and poly unsaturated not saturated fats). When you balance your carbs, protein and healthy fats it helps slow down the digestive process, making your snack more satisfying and keeping your hunger at bay for a greater length of time.)
Below are some healthy snack ideas that all contain 100 calories or less. Some you can carry with you so that you have something in case of emergency. Keep healthy foods at home, keep them handy and when possible portion them out. There are lots of great ideas out there for healthy snacks and recipes, you only have to google “healthy snacks” (I know, you all thought I thought this stuff up didn’t you?).
Fruits and Veggies
- 1 cup of: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, mango chunks or grapes (combine it with a dollop of low-fat yogurt to boost the protein and calcium)
- 1/2 medium cantaloupe with 2 TBSP low-fat yogurt
- 1 oz of raisins or 3 dried prunes (keeps you regular!)
- 3/4 cup apple slices with 2 tsp light peanut butter
- 1/2 medium baked potato with 1 TBSP salsa and a sprinkle of shredded cheese
- 1 cup veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, pepper slices, or 8 baby carrots with 2 TBSP hummus
- 1/3 cup edamame (soy beans) steamed, with 4 whole wheat crackers
- celery sticks (they say it takes more calories to eat them than there are in them) with 2 tsp light peanut butter
- 1 medium tomato sliced with 2 TBSP Tzatziki
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/3 cup diced fruit such as pineapple
- 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt with 1 tsp sunflower seeds
- 6 oz low-fat yogurt with 1/3 cup berries
- 1 laughing cow light cheese wedge with 3 Triscuits
Savory (not all high in protein but good for when a savory craving hits)
- 12 raw almonds
- (yar..like any of us can stop at 20…but for those who can) 20 roasted peanuts or pistachios
- 40 pretzel sticks
- 1(100 calorie) mini-bag microwave popcorn
- 8 (WOW!) medium cooked shrimp with 2 TBSP cocktail sauce
- 1/3 cup wasabi peas
- 15 mini pretzels with 1 TBSP low-fat cream cheese
- 8 mixed olives
- antipasto plate: 1 pepperocini, 1/2″ cube low-fat cheddar cheese, 1 slice pepperoni, 1 garlic-stuffed (or plain) olive
- 1/2 mini bagel toasted with 1 tsp light cream cheese and 1 oz smoked salmon
- 1 hard-boiled egg with 1 slice Melba toast
- 1 slice Weight Watchers whole wheat bread toasted with 2 tsp light peanut butter
- 1 oz water-packed chunk light tuna in 1/2 whole wheat mini pita with a few fresh spinach leaves
- 1 slice smoked salmon rolled around 1 TBSP low-fat cream cheese
Sweet Treats (for an after-dinner treat? pms ladies?)
- 1 Whole Foods Market 2-Bite Brownie
- 1 Healthy Choice Mocha Fudge bar
- maple-pumpkin yogurt: 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt, 2 TBSP pumpkin puree, 1 tsp maple syrup
- grilled pineapple: 2 1/4″ slices of pineapple, 2 tsp brown sugar, grill for 2 minutes or until golden
- chocolate banana: 1/2 frozen banana dipped in 2 squares melted dark chocolate
- chocolate strawberries: 5 strawberries dipped in 2 squares melted dark chocolate
- 1 Skinny Cow Fat-Free Fudge bar
- and my sisters favorite: skip the fruit and go for one small bar (check the calories) of best quality dark chocolate…yummmmmm!
Snacking doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be over-the-top in terms of calories. Choose your snacks wisely and leave room in your total days worth of calories to work them in. Even if you aren’t necessarily hungry late in the afternoon, it may stave off over-eating later in the day/evening if you have one of the above mentioned snacks to keep your blood sugar regular and preventing that ‘bonking out’ late in the day. Once I’ve figured out how to do it, I’ll add some of the links I like to snacks and nutrition content to my blog 🙂
Yours in Health and Fitness and Good Snacking!