Healthy Snacking Tips and Ideas
My clients frequently ask, “What are some healthy snack ideas?”
It is pretty common for people to snack and snacking can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
But what you have for a snack is crucial.
So let’s dive into whether you should snack, tips for picking out a healthy snack, and examples of snacks to have and snacks to avoid.
Should you snack?
It depends. Snacking may not be beneficial for everyone.
If you currently don’t get hungry between meals, then you may not want to add a snack as it might simply be more calories than you need to consume in one day.
If you do get hungry between meals, a healthy snack may keep you from getting “hangry”, making a poor eating choice, and/or overeating when it is time for the next main meal.
If you struggle to get the proper amount of nutrients every day for your goals, a healthy snack can help. For weight loss, snacks can be beneficial to ensure you get enough quality whole real food of protein and veggies each day. For mass or muscle gain, snacks can help you get enough protein and carbs.
How to Pick Out a Healthy Snack
Not all snacks are created equal. Some snacks will help you achieve your nutrition goals while others will inhibit your progress.
Here are a few things to consider when you pick a snack:
- Real whole ingredients. Skip anything processed, refined, or full of sugar/artificial sweeteners. For more, see my article How To Erase Confusion About Real Food.
- Plan ahead. When traveling or if you know you will be away from home for a long time between meals, pack a snack.
- Think outside the box. Traditional, pre-packaged snacks are typically of poor quality and lack nutrients.
- The most ideal snack includes a veggie, protein, and good fat.
- Recognize your hunger cues so you don’t overeat. Ask yourself if you need a snack or if you just want one.
- To point out the obvious, remember this is a snack, not a meal.
Snacks to Go For and Snacks to Avoid
Using the tips above, here are some great options for healthy snacks. I also included a second list of typical snack foods that aren’t ideal if you are working to improve your nutrition.
For a free print off of these snacking tips and ideas, click the image. No email required.
Snacks To Go For
- Raw sliced veggies with hummus/guacamole
- Apple/banana/celery with nut butter
- Bars (Prefect, RX, Core, Larabar, Kind)
- Protein shake or green smoothie
- Lunch or dinner leftovers
- Hard boiled eggs
- Fresh or frozen fruit
- Quality dried meat (Epic, DNX, Nick’s Sticks)
- Raw tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- Dark chocolate (a few squares)
- Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt with berries/nuts
- Pickled veggies
- Sliced turkey wrapped in lettuce
- Trail mix of mostly nuts and seeds
Snacks To Avoid
- Candy/fruit snacks
- Veggie chips/straws
- Poor quality peanut butter or Nutella
- Cereal or cereal bars
- Juice / all fruit smoothies
- Poor quality protein bars
- Sweetened hot or iced coffee drinks
- Cheese or cheese-like products
- Fruit based yogurt, especially non-Greek
- Pizza or other appetizer bites
- Trail mix of mostly dried fruit and candy
Some of my favorite snacks are apples, mixed raw veggies, Larabars, and smoothies. I make my smoothies with protein powder, a handful of spinach, half a banana, coconut water, and ice.
What are your favorite healthy snacks? Share below in the comments. If it is something I missed, I’ll add it to the list.
Overcoming the desire for unhealthy snacks can be a challenge. If you need some accountability or encouragement to create a healthier snacking habit, schedule a call with me.
To your best health and wellness,