We all snack once in a while (or sometimes, more than that - guilty!). It’s best to account for your snacking needs than pretend that it doesn’t happen and then fall into a junk food snack-hole!
But a word of caution, even if you’re swapping an unhealthy snack for a healthier version, that doesn’t mean you should eat all you want! Overeating something healthy doesn’t mean that the calories don’t add up. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!
And as always, before you get a snack, drink a glass of water first, because a hunger cue feels the same as a thirst cue. Many times we mistake our thirst for hunger and end up snacking instead of hydrating!
Here are five on-the-go natural and healthy snack alternatives:
Instead of sweets, try…
A homemade chocolate trail mix. Be sure to add dark chocolate with 70% and above cocoa content so you get the healthy benefits from the antioxidants present in the cocoa. You can also add in a handful of raisins and dried apricots to help with the sweet tooth. Again, don’t overeat this snack because you’re still eating sugar, even if it comes in a healthier form.
Another great option is to make yourself a fruit salad. Pre-cut fruits and pack them in zip-lock bags so you can easily grab a bag when you’re feeling munchy. I find that a berry salad is an awesome way to get a healthy dose of goodness without excessive sugars. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries all taste great but are low on sugars.
And finally, a homemade granola bar (or if you’re short on time, then get a store made one but make sure you find a company that only uses the good stuff!) will hit both your sweet and salty spots and keep you on the go as well!
Instead of chips, try…
My preferred go-to snack is the almighty cashew nut. Buy raw, unsalted cashews and aside from using them in your granola bars or trail mix you can also eat them as is. I love creating a little nut and seed mix with cashews, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts (and whatever else is available) and munching on them whenever.
If you have the time you can also bake your own kale crisps or veggie crisps. If you’re a crisp fiend then this will give you the crunch without the bad stuff.
And finally, grab a pickle! Yeap, you heard me. These salty and sour little fermented vegetables are full of antioxidants and are great for your gut health. However go for a low-sodium option or just make some yourself.
Instead of fries, try…
Ah fries, sometimes you just want to stuff your face with them! But we all know just how unhealthy that is. It is a little hard to replace fries with anything healthy, but if you absolutely must have some fries, go for sweet potato fries as opposed to regular potato fries.
Instead of ice cream, try…
Frozen yoghurt is a great replacement for ice cream. Yes, it’s still not the healthiest option but it’s definitely better than ice cream. Or you can make a yummy yoghurt treat using some natural, greek yoghurt - mix in some nuts and berries and drizzle some honey over it! Yum!
Another simple option is to freeze some grapes. It’s give you the chill you’re craving without all the extra fat! Or go ahead and make yourself a fruit smoothie! It’s a much healthier option to ice cream!
Instead of cookies try…
One of my favourite snacks used to be apples smeared with nut butter. It’s a healthy alternative to eating a cookie for sure! But be careful with this, nut butters are loaded with fat, and while it’s the good fat, it’s still fat. You might want to keep the quantity low if you’re trying to lose weight.
We all want to snack sometimes, but you should be eating a balanced enough diet that you don’t really feel like snacking much. So, if you’re snacking a lot throughout the day, look into your meal plan and see if you’re getting enough food there. Perhaps you are snacking because you are nervous, or bored. Either way, pay attention to the foods you’re eating and don’t over snack! Good luck!