Who’s not guilty of grabbing a snack in between meals to curb out hunger and keep their energy levels boosted? Snacking is not in itself the problem; in fact, it’s extremely good for you as long as you opt for healthy options. It’s eating the wrong types of food that causes weight gain and other health risks. Do you want to learn how you too can transform your kitchen into a healthy-eating haven that will help keep you away from the unhealthy snacks when hunger strikes? Oh and just in case you’re wondering, yes, that box of cookies or bag of chips is actually unhealthy.
Step 1: Get Rid of Temptation. Completely!
You want to start snacking healthier but your kitchen cabinets are full of sugary snacks and your fridge is jam-packed with sodas and other unhealthy temptations. Don’t kid yourself by thinking your willpower can overcome all temptations; after all, even Eve was tempted into eating a forbidden apple! Somehow, having all the restricted food within reach makes your mission that much harder on you, so why the struggle when you can make things easier on yourself?
Your first task is to clean out all of the bad snacks from your kitchen. No, I don’t want you to toss perfectly good food in the trash, but give them away! There are tons of charities who’d love a large box of goodies, so you won’t be lost for ideas.
Making the choice to snack healthy will be so much easier when you don’t have high-sugar and high-fat temptations lurking in every cabinet. We’re human and old habits die hard so be sure to take every measure possible to make it easier on yourself. Think positive and you will succeed!
P.S. Don’t forget your icebox! All those frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets have got to go too.
Step 2: Foods You Need To Stock Up On
You’ve cleaned out your kitchen and you find yourself with an almost empty space now that you’ve gotten rid of those unhealthy foods. It’s not time to go shopping for some healthy groceries! Below is a list of some of the things you should make sure you stock up on:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits (this one’s a no-brainer, fruits and vegetables are fantastic for you in all the possible ways)
- Whole wheat crackers, tortillas and bread (healthy carbohydrates are necessary in any well-balanced diet and they really help keep your hunger in check!)
- Low fat / cottage cheese (eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to cut back on everything you love—in fact, it’s advisable that you don’t omit anything from your diet completely! Who doesn’t love cheese? As long as it’s low in fat and you eat it in moderation, cheese is very nutritious!)
- Fresh ground peanut butter (again, in moderation!)
- Nuts and almonds (only a few a day—great for your heart!)
- Skimmed milk or soy milk
- Yogurt (you need your calcium and yogurt is a great alternative for anyone who isn’t keen on milk)
- Rice cakes
- Popcorn (not the kind drenched in butter!)
- Low sugar cereal (with skimmed or soy milk)
Step 3: Make Sure Your Snacks Are Ready to Eat!
What good would a snack be if you still have to prepare it? Snacks are supposed to be convenient, you open your pantry or fridge, pick something out and eat it. If you don’t have quick-fix healthy snacks available, you’ll be quick to fall back to old habits because it’s easier. Make it easier on yourself to stick to healthy snacks by preparing them so they’re ready for you to munch on whenever hunger strikes. Below are a few good ideas to get you started:
- Cut your fruit and vegetables up. You can have all the fruits and vegetables in the world in your fridge but won’t be tempted by it because you still have to peel and cut. Rather than do that, you go reach for a bag of chips (pop open and you’re done). Make it easy on yourself when you don’t have time to fix a healthy snack up by keeping your fridge stocked up with peeled and cut fruits and vegetables, ready to eat and packed in containers so you can take them with you if you’re snacking on the go.
- Trail mix—an alternative to high-sugar cereal bars. Make your own trial mix from low sugar cereal, nuts and dried fruit. Not only is it delicious, but it’s low in fat, high in energy and extremely healthy. The next time your favorite TV show comes on, you can grab your own trial mix and munch on that instead of any unhealthy alternative.
- Home-made granola bars. If you’re craving for something sugary, there’s no beating the home-made granola bars. Why home-made and not off the rack? Simply because you get to control what ingredients go into the mix. Make sure to stick to whole grains and dried fruits.
- Cooked chicken breast. Feeling particularly hungry one lunch or night? Keep some cooked chicken breast stocked up in your fridge for a protein-rich snack. If you want to make a quick chicken salad, be sure to use low-fat mayo and add some raisins.
Snacking healthy really isn’t as hard as many people make it out to be; all it needs is some preparation and you’ll actually find that healthy snacks are tastier than all those unhealthy options you used to indulge in. Plus, nothing beats feeling light and rejuvenated—and snaking healthy makes that possible!
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