One of the biggest problems many people have when trying to lose weight is that of snacking. I know I am guilty of it, and try to curb some of the goodies I like to munch on throughout the day. The key to addressing the problem isn’t eliminating it all together. It’s about choosing healthy snacks to eat when you want to live a better lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe you need to cut out some of the goodies you love. However, you do need to make healthier choices other than chocolate ice cream.
Healthy Snacks to Eat at Home
There are multitudes of ways you can snack in a healthy way that contributes to losing weight. Whether you choose to cook something or just want something basic and simple, it’s all in what you select for snacking. Here are seven things that I find to be quite effective to curb the appetite throughout the day.
You can never go wrong with salad. One cup of iceberg lettuce and one cup of raw spinach topped with a bit of ranch dressing can easily fill a bowl. Coincidentally, it’s also roughly 1/4th the calories of a chocolate bar and far healthier. This is mostly because of the spinach. This leafy green is virtually a super food and can turn almost anything into a vitamin-packed snack.
2. Mixed Berries
We get the big bag of Nature’s Three Berries from Costco. Not only does this help curb the sweet tooth, but it can also be incredible from a healthy perspective. Since this particular product is loaded with blueberries, you’ll receive a large number of antioxidants, vitamin C and a myriad of other minerals. One cup is a serving, and that’s all you really need. Normally, we’ll separate the berries by serving sizes into zip-lock bags and freeze them. That way, they don’t go bad over time. It’s easy to just pull a bag out and go first thing in the morning.
3. Lunch Meat and Cheese
One serving of lunch meat and a serving of cheese can be quite a tasty snack once thrown into the microwave. Personally, I like to use American cheese singles and turkey lunch meat. Tear up the cheese and roll it up in the meat. Then, pop it into the microwave for 20 seconds. This makes a miniature turkey melt without the added calories of the bread. You’ll be amazed by how many rolls this can make.
4. Dark Chocolate
I like dark chocolate because of the iron and other nutritional benefits. It’s usually less in sugar, carbs and calories than milk chocolate. If you can refrain from eating the whole bar, try buying one of the big units. I break off five pieces, which is the serving size of a Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar, and it usually ties me over for a while. The darker the chocolate, the healthier it becomes.
5. Clementine Mandarin Oranges
These little guys are great to throw into your bag or pocket as you’re walking out the door. One of these has roughly 40 calories and delivers a large portion of your vitamin C needs for the day. Personally, I like to grab two first thing in the morning – they are quite small. If you need just something small to last until your next meal, Clementine oranges are quite effective.
6. Celery and Peanut Butter
I remember having ants-on-a-log when I was growing up. This is peanut butter lining the inside of a celery stick with a few raisins on it. Not only is this a cheap form of healthy snacks to eat at home, but it can be quite filling. Celery itself is more of a filler than anything. It’s not overly nutritious, but it’s not bad for you either. In fact, a full-sized stock maybe has six calories in it. I use it as a spoon to scoop out a bit of peanut butter. Just make sure you don’t go nuts on scooping. Peanut butter does have a great deal of nutritional value, but it can also damage a diet if you use too much. Try to stick within serving sizes.
7. Carrots and Ranch
One of my favorite snacks at night is baby carrots and ranch dressing. As long as you don’t saturate the carrots with ranch, it can be quite filling and very good for you. Carrots contain a great deal of vitamin A as well as potassium. Essentially, you’re boosting the health of your eyes, skin and heart all in one sitting. Usually, a serving of baby carrots is approximately 10 pieces. This depends on the size and the brand. This should be plenty for those who want healthy snacks to eat at night. You don’t want too many carbs before going to sleep, and carrots are quite low in comparison to other foods. Also, bear in mind the ranch dressing. Using too much can be detrimental to reducing your carb and calorie intake.
There is nothing in the rule book that says that a snack has to be covered in sugar. If you do wish to indulge yourself, make sure you’re paying attention to the volume you’re eating. Two Soft Batch cookies may be a nice treat, but two rows of them will vastly increase your sugar and carb intake. Mix up your daily eating routine with healthier choices. It’ll help you feel better in the long run both physically and mentally.
What kinds of treats do you like to snack on throughout the day? Healthy snacks to eat at home that you believe should be on this list? If so, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.