I’m trying to be good and not have too many calories before the holidays. My goal is to cut the calories down low and my exercise level high for the weeks leading up to all the festivities so that if my grandmother offers me a piece of her famous cheesecake I won’t feel guilty!
If you are new to being calorie-conscious, you are probably feeling the hunger roll in during the day. You may think that starving yourself all day is a good thing – but the reality is it’s a sure fire way to end up resorting back to your old ways. It is actually more effective to snack throughout the day and eat several smaller meals, rather than one large feast.
Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks that help me make it through the day in between meals.
Oranges and clementines are my favorite. They are sweet and watery which helps with hydration and the zesty flavor keeps me energized all morning. Plus, I get the extra Vitamin C to boost the immune system during this cold and flu season :)
An apple a day keeps the doctor away….but not only that, it’s just a great healthy snack. It’s easy to pack (no hassle of packing it in plastic ware) and it fills you up. Apples are also very hydrating as well!
Bananas are easy to pack too and can satisfy a stomach growl in between meals. Refrigerating and buying them when they are green is a good way to keep the bunch lasting throughout the work week.
Berries are also great snacks because they are sweet and delicious. Weight Watchers actually states that participants can have an unlimited number of fruits and veges! So this means you can snack on as many berries and other fruits as you would like and it will keep you feeling satisfied.
Nuts are a great way to get some protein in your body during the day. Low-sodium, unsalted, or lightly salted nuts adds a perfect contrast to the sweet-tasting fruits. Avoid the honey-roasted or regularly salted nuts (as delicious as those can be!). Don’t let those sugar-coated nuts fool you into thinking you are cutting back the calories. The truth is that many of those types of nuts can be packed with calories, even in a small handful. Having unsalted, plain nuts is best, but lightly salted is ok too.
I personally love raisins. A great snack to try is low-calorie yogurt covered raisins. You are getting both the antioxidants and dairy in you at the same time. Plus, they are simply delicious. I find that raisins can actually be a very filling snack.
4. Low-fat cheese
Cheese is an excellent way to satisfy hunger. Pair it with a fiber rich or multi-grain cracker and it’s even better. Avoid orange cheeses and stick with the ones with low sodium and low saturated fats. Also if you have crackers with it, avoid buttery ones that will only add to the daily calorie count.
5. Dark chocolate
Yes, chocolate is GOOD for you! This is an excellent snack and helps take care of a sweet tooth. Try dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses – you can throw a handful into your purse or work bag and bring it with you to snack on in the office. Studies show that dark chocolate is actually good for your heart, eyes, and skin.
6. Fiber bars
FiberOne bars are fantastic. I’ve tried the generic store brands (to try saving a few bucks), but they weren’t as good. FiberOne bars really fill you up and give you the fiber that your body needs. They also come in delicious flavors like peanut butter or oats & chocolate. You feel like you are eating a bakery treat but in actuality you’re having something very healthy for you.
Although it isn’t a “snack,” black green tea or herbal tea is a great way to reduce the calories, give you antioxidants, and keep you hydrated throughout the day. I know they can be pricey, but Teavana actually has some amazingly delicious teas that you should check out.
Whatever reason you are trying to count calories for, remember these important rules:
1. Do not starve yourself
2. Do not avoid eating protein & fiber rich foods (even though they are higher calorie)
3. Do not try to cut out too many calories at once
4. DO try walking every day – it’s low impact, doesn’t get you sweaty, and gets you moving
5. DO try drinking more fluids – water, tea, low-calorie/low-sugar all natural drinks
6. DO get a good night’s sleep – the amount of sleep you get can really affect your metabolism so don’t skip it!
How many calories should you be having each day to lose weight?
Here is a great tool that I found that will help you figure out how many calories you need:
Happy Friday! :)