I’ve been named the queen of snacking as I graze all day long. It’s taken me years to learn that not all snacks are created equal though. Marketing for snacks have gotten quite sly over the years using somewhat deceiving terms like “non-GMO”, and “all natural” when in reality these snacks are less healthy than you’d think. The calories, fat, and sugar intake from snacking can be unforeseen and unaccounted for. This is why I’ve learned it is important to have healthy snacks prepared ahead of time to prevent unhealthy habits. Snacking has a bad reputation because it is easy to reach for one more handful. Mindful snacking, however, will support your diet and health goals.
PLAN Snacks Ahead of Time
There tends to be a negative connotation around snacking because it’s easy to overindulge and get lost in snacking. It’s also easy to snack out of boredom and before you know it, you’ve eaten an entire bag of potato chips! Oops! Trust me, I’ve been there and done that.
ACTION TIP #1 – PLAN YOUR SNACKS ahead of time. Meal planning should support your health and fitness goals. Choose a few snacks from the healthy list below and make it your goal to only eat the snacks you planned. Don’t buy what you don’t need!!!
Meal planning is the act of planning everything that will be eaten throughout the week. It’s best to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks into this planning.
Remember, snacking only becomes a problem when it’s mindless and unaccounted for. By planning ahead of time exactly what snacks you intend to eat for the week; there are no surprises. Meal planning makes it less temping to buy from the vending machine or reach for that second piece of chocolate.
PREP Snacks Ahead of Time
ACTION TIP #2 – MEAL PREP your snacks! I have an entire blog about meal prepping for beginners which goes into greater detail. You can read my meal prep article here.
You DO NOT have to meal prep to meal plan but you DO have to meal plan to successfully meal prep. Please note that both meal planning and prepping is SO SIMPLE if you eat the same food for at least 4 days in a row. At first, this turned me off to meal prepping but I quickly learned how to make every dish versatile and taste like a new meal every day. Snacking on the other hand, I never get tired of.
It is a lot easier to meal prep snacks than you’d think. Purchase small containers, like the ones found here on Amazon. Having everything pre-packaged for the week helps with accountability. If I’m hungry, I don’t have to stare into the abyss of the pantry. Naturally, some days I am more hungry than others and as an intuitive eater, this isn’t an issue. I have plenty of healthy back up snacks if needed but typically 3 small meals and 3 snacks is plenty for me.
10 HEALTHY Meal ‘Prepable’ Snacks
- Protein balls – My favorite variation is peanut butter chocolate! The recipe can be found on my instagram and soon will be posted to the blog too!
- Be Free warrior mix granola – to purchase this soft and chewy granola, please use my affiliate link which can be found here. By using this link and using code WARRIORSTRONG30 at checkout, you will receive 30% off your first purchase!
- Protein bars – I did the taste testing for you! To read my article about the best and healthiest protein bars, click here.
- Fruit salad – I often cut up the fruit Sunday (prior to the start of the week) and put an allotted amount of fruit in separate containers.
- Snacklins – these are the perfect snack if you’re looking for that chip-like crunch. Made from plant based products and only 80 calories per bag, you’re sure to love them. If you would like to purchase a bag, or 2, or 3, please use my affiliate link, found here. Be sure to use code HEALTHY15 for 15% off your first purchase!
- Hard boiled eggs – it took me a long time to get this recipe just right for the perfectly cooked egg. The way I make them is I submerge the eggs in water and make sure they are not too close together (more eggs requires a larger pot). Cook on high until the water starts to boil. Once boiling, lower the temperature to low and cover for 18 minutes. Transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water for another 5-15 minutes. Enjoy!
- Hummus and carrots – find my roasted red pepper hummus recipe here. You will LOVE it. Within the article I give advice on how to make it and what to eat it with.
- Peanut buttery celery sticks – I usually cut the celery ahead of time and lather just enough peanut butter to fit inside the celery. Be careful not to overindulge in peanut butter – the calories and fat can add up very quickly!
- Protein smoothies – my 3 most popular smoothies recipes can be found here. Similarly, I love a good smoothie or acai bowl like the one found here.
- Trail mix – nuts are so nutrient dense that a handful of nuts should be incorporated into snacking almost daily. My favorite trail mix variation is to mix 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, and 1/2 cup dark chocolate nibs. This will make a large batch that will easily last for a week of meal prep and should be divided evenly amongst the days to prevent over snacking.
Snack Calories Count Too!
ACTION TIP #3: TRACK YOUR SNACKS. This step is optional but if you have specific health and fitness goals in mind, tracking calories and/or macros may be fitting for you. Even healthier snacks like hummus, protein bars, and smoothies have a high amount of calories which should be considered. When consuming a large amount of snacks, the macros accumulate into alarming amounts. If you follow ACTION TIP 1 & 2, you shouldn’t have to worry about tracking snacks unless you are purposefully counting macros.
ACTION TIP #4 – DRINK MORE WATER. Remember you need to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces. A large glass of water can be very filling so if you are having a snack craving, go for the water. Staying hydrated is not only important for regulating bodily function and homeostasis but it can really help curb cravings and keep you full for longer. I wrote an entire blog about hydration which you can read here.
Example Meal Plan:
Breakfast: scrambled egg whites on an Ezekial english muffin
Snack: handful of almonds
Lunch: chicken and rice
Snack: fruit salad
Snack: protein balls
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What are your favorite snacks? Do you meal plan or prep snacks to prevent over indulging? Let me know in the comments below!