When choosing a between meal or a snack it is important to remember that all calories are not created equal. Let’s look at 100 calorie snacks from Nabisco, for instance. Great, 100 cals. Doesn’t sound like a lot, and in fact its not. Unfortunately those calories come from simple starches that your body breaks down very quickly. If you don’t use that energy up in that next half hour or so , it gets stored as excess energy: FAT. (On the flip side, complex carbs take longer to break down in the body, therefore can be burned off all day long and therefore have less of a chance to be stored as fat.)
Ergo (never say “ergo”) you want to shoot for food made up of “complex carbs” = whole grain, high fiber items.
Lets take a look at those 100 Calorie snacks a little more closely:
*There is little to NO FIBER (to keep you fuller longer, keep the digestive tract running appropriately if you know what I mean.)
*NO PROTEIN (to help build back the muscle that you broke down in class therefore leading to muscle wasting and slow metabolism.)
*NO VITAMINS/MINERALS/ANTIOXIDANTS (to replenish what you burned off, rebuild skin/organ/immune system, fight cancer diabetes/heart disease/high BP.)
*HIGHLY PROCESSED, LOTS OF SUGAR & CHEMICALS to maintain years shelf life (leave you feeling dehydrated, drained of energy when insulin/blood sugar peaks then plummets, nudges you towards seeking out another poor choice.)
*TONS of SALT -upwards of 250 mg of salt for a handful of food is OUTRAGEOUS (leaving you bloated accounting for daily changes on the scale, dehydrated, tired and “thirsty” [no pun intended] for a sugary drink.
Look, if you are used to eating brownies as a mid day snack, then yes, 100 calorie snacks (cheese nips, oreos, snack mix) are the way to go! You have made a smarter choice here b/c these packs teach you portion control. Unfortunately that’s all they teach you.
BOTTOM LINE: I can stick 100 calories worth of cheese fries in a bag and market it as a “100 calorie snack” and I wouldn’t be lying, but is this healthy? NO! You wouldn’t be fooled by that so why get scammed by 100 Calorie Snacks??
AWESOME snacks that will leave you full, help replenish protein to build lean muscle, give you energy, hydrate you, contain calcium, make you happy etc etc:
–low fat yogurt plain flavor (with fruit or nuts on top)
–nuts (unsalted of course)
–all the fruit you can handle! grapes, apples, peaches, bananas, etc etc
–sliced veggies with olive oil and vinegar drizzled on top (takes 3 mins cut the night before, or no minutes if you did a batch of them already on sunday night)
–natural peanut butter by itself or on fruit/1 slice of wheat toast
–tuna fish with lemon (keep a can opener in your desk at work and lemon in the fridge
–avocado and beans
–oatmeal (with fresh fruit/nuts/berries on top)
–low fat cottage cheese (NOT fat free, too much salt) with something fun on top
–sweat potato (can easily be thrown in the microwave at work)
–small salad with protein on top
–salsa (read the label! some have tons of salt) and veggies
Once you break the sugar addiction, realize that you must plan these snacks the night before, and get away from the quick fix options you will see a world of difference. This difference will manifest in not only the way you look but the way you feel!
It is important for you to be cognizant of the calorie/fat/salt/protein content of your food. AND you have to also go another step and read the ingredients to uncover what is behind those numbers. They say “the numbers don’t lie” but when it comes to food, most often they do.
Good luck, and if you want more info like this then ask me!
Leave me a comment with other healthy snack ideas that you want to share>>>>>>>>>>>>