Do you have a problem with snacking?
Even if you eat healthy meals throughout the day and you work out like a fiend, you can still sabotage your healthy lifestyle by snacking on unhealthy foods like chips and sweets.
But sometimes, you just get the munchies, and it’s difficult to find the willpower to stay on track. However, you don’t have to give up your snacking entirely – just modify it! Here are some tips on how to make your snacking healthy.
How to Make Your Snacking Healthy
1. Don’t make unhealthy snacks available
When the munchies strike, do you have a problem snacking on Doritos? Then don’t buy Doritos on your next grocery trip.
It’s a simple, straightforward solution: if you don’t have the unhealthy stuff available, then you won’t be able to eat it. Unless your craving is so strong that you actually end up going to the store just for Doritos…in which case, well, at least you’re determined.
2. Carry a water bottle with you
A lot of times, you may not actually be hungry – you’re dehydrated. A lot of people confuse the sensation of thirst for hunger, which can be the root of snacking problems. And if you eat those unhealthy snacks, you’re still not going to have your thirst quenched, so you’ll just keep on overeating.
To nip that problem in the bud, keep a bottle of water on you and make sure to drink and refill it often. That way, you know your hunger is real, and your snacking is due to legitimate hunger.
3. Before snacking, look at the ingredients
Before you start snacking on that cherry Pop-Tart, look at the ingredients.
No, it’s not healthy just because it has “cherry” in the name – and when you look at the lengthy list of ingredients and see words like “sodium acid pyrophosphate” and “pyridoxine hydrochloride,” maybe it will be easier to remember that there’s no such thing as a list of ingredients in a fresh bunch of grapes at your local farmer’s market.
4. Mind your serving sizes
Say you just can’t help yourself, and you do buy that bag of Doritos. Do your body a favor and separate out a serving size into a bowl. Having one serving size of Doritos every now and then won’t kill you at 140 calories…but if you eat double that, 280 calories will really start to harm your diet if you make a habit of it.
5. Eat mindfully
When you’re munching on those Doritos while mindlessly watching Netflix, you’re going to eat a whole lot more than 11 chips. You might eat three or four times that which clocks in right around 400 calories…not exactly good for your diet. Pay attention to what you’re eating.
6. Use your freezer…
Healthy foods have a ton of snacking opportunities! Try freezing some drops of yogurt on a tray for some yummy snacks that taste like ice cream without the extra calories, or freeze some grapes. Your freezer can be your best friend.
7. …and your oven
That being said, your oven can be just as great in the realm of snacking. Addicted to chips? Slice up some zucchinis or throw some kale on a tray and bake them in the oven with spices for a tastier, healthier alternative. Craving fries? Slice up some sweet potatoes, spray lightly with olive oil, and bake them for a tasty and healthy snack.
Related: 7 Healthy Cookout Foods
8. Buy some goodies
You can buy some high-quality, healthy snacks online—like Pure and Jimmy bars, for example. They might be a little pricier than Oreos at the grocery store, but they’re just as tasty and far healthier.
9. Indulge in high-fiber snacks
If you’re snacking because you just can’t kick that rumbling in your stomach in between meals, try indulging in some high fiber snacks, like raspberries or brown rice, to keep yourself full and content.
Do you tend to eat one particular unhealthy food during your snacking bouts? Odds are, you can probably make it yourself – and it will be healthier and tastier.
By substituting the unhealthy ingredients with wholesome ones (hello, buffalo chicken dip with Greek yogurt!), you can make your favorite snacks…and not feel guilty about it.
11. When in doubt: fruits, veggies, or almonds
Don’t feel like making anything yourself, or don’t have the time for it? Stock up on some fruits and veggies, cut ‘em up ahead of time, bag ‘em, and get to snacking. You can also buy a container of almonds so you can grab a handful when needed. It’s pretty hard to overeat fruits, veggies, or almonds, so they’re a great go-to for healthy snacking.
Related: Why You Should Eat Monk Fruit
Is snacking your downfall? You’re not alone. However, don’t feel like you have to sit on your hands in between meals to keep yourself from snacking. You can modify your snacking to make it healthy. By only purchasing healthy snacks, keeping yourself hydrated, looking at the ingredients, making them yourself, and keeping ample fruits, veggies, and almonds handy, you can keep your snacking and your trim waistline!
Photo by Daniel E Lee