One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions amongst Americans has to be dieting, and despite the irony of also being one of the more chronically obese nations out there, we Americans know how to keep our resolutions, right?
We know nobody will touch that one with a ten foot pole, so given the timing we thought it wise to share some snacking info to help keep those dietary resolutions alive well into 2014.
Are your New Year’s Resolutions still intact?
It’s not enough to simply trade out the Snickers Bar for a so-called nutrition bar or bran muffin, especially when all the added sugars and salt make that “health bar” or gut-bulging bran muffin a less desirable alternative come snack time.
With the interest of keeping this short and albeit not so sweet, let’s go ahead and give credit to Harvard Medical School and their HealthBeat newsletter for the following 7 tips to snacking smarter.
If you’re feeling like you need some written guidance, check out the Harvard Health Publications 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating. You can click this link to order your copy of the 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating now!
1. Go for the grain. Whole-grain snacks — such as whole-grain low-salt pretzels or tortilla chips and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals — can give you some energy with staying power.
2. Bring back breakfast. Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as a nutritious snack later in the day. How about a slice of whole-grain toast topped with low-sugar jam? Low-sugar granola also makes a quick snack.
3. Try a “hi-low” combination. Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks.
4. Go nuts. Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small.
5. The combo snack. Try to eat more than one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Try some whole-grain crackers (carbohydrates) with some low-fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied.
6. Snack mindfully. Don’t eat your snack while doing something else like surfing the Web, watching TV, or working at your desk. Instead, stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.
7. You can take it with you. Think ahead and carry a small bag of healthful snacks in your pocket or purse so you won’t turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine.
Got any more suggestions to keeping those dietary New Year’s resolutions intact with smarter snacks?