Healthful snacking may provide numerous benefits, such as increased mental clarity, fewer cravings for junk foods, and more energy. The key, of course, is to snack smart! I’ve listed my 3 essential strategies to snacking healthy as well as 5 of easy-to-make snack ideas below:
3 Strategies for Snacking Smart
- Include at least two of the following:
- Fiber-rich carbohydrates (e.g. fruits, veggies, dairy, and/or whole grains)
- Lean protein (e.g. lean unprocessed meats, low-fat dairy, legumes)
- Healthy fats (e.g. nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, olives, olive oil)
- Focus on portion control. Purchase foods pre-packed, or do it yourself.
- Read the Nutrition Facts Label and ingredient list. On the Nutrition Facts Label, check the serving size first. Try to limit unhealthy fats (i.e. saturated and trans fats), sodium, and added sugars (look at the ingredient list). Look for options rich in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats (i.e. mono- and polyunsaturated fats).
5 Healthy Snack Ideas*
- Cottage Cheese with Fruit or Veggies:
- Try this: ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese with ½ cup unsweetened applesauce and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon OR ½ cup diced tomatoes and bell peppers. For an on-the-go option, buy individual cottage cheese cups. Pack with an on-the-go fruit or veggie, such as a banana, mandarin orange, unsweetened applesauce cup, grape tomatoes, or mini bell peppers.
- Hardboiled Eggs
- Try this: Guacamole-stuffed egg whites. Fill a halved hard-boiled egg (yolk removed) with 2 tablespoons guacamole. For an on-the-go option, purchase pre-boiled and pre-peeled hard boiled eggs at the grocery store and individual guacamole or hummus cups.
- Veggies & Dip
- Try this: Cut up a bunch of raw vegetables, and place them in re-sealable bags to have throughout the week. Pair the veggies with a low-fat dip or hummus; look for individual cups of these at your local grocery store. Short on time? Buy bags of plain, frozen vegetables that can be cooked in the microwave; sprinkle with 1 oz reduced-fat cheese.
- Medifast Shake
- Turkey & Cheese Roll-ups
- Try this: Take 1 to 2 slices of reduced sodium, lean turkey or chicken deli meat and top with 1, 1-ounce slice of reduced-fat cheese. Add a little yellow mustard and a slice of tomato and/or lettuce, and roll it up to make a wrap.
*For those on the Medifast Go™ and Flex™ plans, refer to the Green Options, Lean Options, and Condiment/Healthy Fat lists for serving size recommendations. Fruit is not recommended during the weight loss phase of the Medifast Go™ Plan.