Snack Attack: How to Practice Responsible Snacking

I am a huge fan of the snack act. Truthfully, I am far more interested in constantly sort of “grazing” on small, little snacks, than I am in huge, hearty meals. Obviously I’m no nutritionist, but I don’t know how anyone could go without snacking– eat three square meals and nothing in between and I may start to cry. Thing is, snacking can become dangerous in terms of health and calorie intake if you aren’t intentional and organized about it.

When it comes to snacking, I find that people most often reach for whatever is easiest to grab and gobble. No one wants an elaborate and involved preparation for a measly snack, and I don’t blame them. So, if you want to make sure you’re grabbing for healthy snacks, make your snacks easy to grab. By this I mean, force yourself to do all the necessary prep work ahead of time, so that in the moment, there’s zero work involved in your snack. Here are just a few snacky suggestions:

Fruits and veggies

I love fruits and vegetables, but man, facing a whole, unwashed, uncut, piece of produce can just feel far too daunting sometimes. I, personally, won’t ever make a snack of a whole red pepper, for example. But I’d be a whole lot more likely to snack on that pepper if I opened the fridge and found it already washed and cut up. Bam! Hello?!

After you buy your produce, devote a small chunk of time to snack-ifying them. Get out your cutting board and a great knife, and make an event out of washing and cutting up everything, and then storing them in small ziploc bags or other storage containers. I promise you it will make all the difference in the likelihood you reach for them as a snack.

Trail mix/cereal/crackers/ large, bagged goods

Trail mix, cereal, crackers and the like can also make great snacks. But if you’re digging into a huge bag, you’ve just entered dangerous snacking grounds. Before you know it, you’ve consumed your weight and then some in cashews. Oops.

If you typically buy large bags of trail mix, cereal, crackers, and so on, use the same process as described for the produce. Force yourself to prepare them for snacking ahead of time. Look at the serving size on the package, get out a little measuring cup, and create single serving baggies.

Bars

Anyone who knows me will know that I am embarrassingly invested in energy bars. Bars are so convenient, and if you can find a brand with low sugar and whatnot, can also be very healthy. The best part? No prep work at all. Buy a box, grab a bar, and you’re off.

Yogurt

I love yogurt as a snack staple, especially greek yogurt. Like bars, these are an incredibly easy snack item, because they require next to no preparation. I recommend buying the single serving size rather than a large tub. Then, peel back the lid, maybe add a sprinkling of fruit or cereal or whatever, and you’re good to go.

The takeaway

Regardless of the particular snack, the overall point here is to make sure you do all the necessary leg work for your snacks ahead of time. Don’t ever trust that in the moment you will exercise good judgment, and take the time to cut up a mango, rather than shovel a handful of cookies into your mouth. Bank on your own laziness. That’s right, I said it. Bank on it. And then compensate for it and guard against it by taking the time beforehand to make your snacks grab-and-go-able. Then? Grab and go, son!

Now, I would love to know, what are some of your favorite healthy snacks or snack tips? Do tell!

Image credits: Corbis, unknown, Everyday Health, Colourful Palate, Real Simple,  Cooking LightMother Lovely, Real Simple, Parents

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Comments

  1. I love the idea of single serving-sized baggies! It’s time for a grocery trip tomorrow and I’ll definitely be utilizing some of these tips. :)

    A side note on snacking, there’s a really interesting book my mom just gave me called “The Hunter/Farmer Diet Solution” by Mark Liponis, and it breaks people’s metabolisms down into two groups: hunters and farmers (duh). Anyway, Dr. Liponis said that if you tend to be the snack all day type, you probably have the “farmer” metabolism, and snacking all day is okay, as long as you portion! He also recommends to get the majority of your caloric intake from healthy carbs and use protein as the secondary. It’s been a very interesting read, you should check it out!

  2. I agree completely – the prep is key to me following through with the healthier options. Though it may take a bit more time, it is ALWAYS worth the effort :)

  3. Love this article!!!! Livesimply website and posts are brilliant!! I am trying to loose some weight and this post was fab!!

  4. “Anyone who knows me will know that I am embarrassingly invested in energy bars.” is maybe the funniest sentence ive ever read. you crack me up girl! GREAT tips!

  5. I am a natural almonds girl – they fill me up & they’re good for me & they tide me over until the next meal. (Even if I’d rather be eating a doughnut!)

    Melissah

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