So youíve got your set meal plan for your fitness goals. You know exactly how many meals you need to eat to achieve your goals and what they should consist of. The problem is, sometimes you get really hungry in between meals or after youíve eaten them all, but you donít want to sacrifice your discipline and hard work for a measly little snack. Is there anything you can eat to hold you over until your next meal that wonít destroy your progress? Absolutely.
First and foremost, vegetables are an excellent snack food. While most people do not think of vegetables when they think of snacks, veggies are an excellent way to satiate your hunger without sabotaging your nutrition plan. Vegetables are packed with fiber, causing a feeling of fullness faster than typical snack foods, and youíre doing your body a favor when you eat them instead of junk food. Of course, dousing your vegetables in ranch dressing or other sauces pretty much defeats the purpose of snacking on them. Raw or steamed vegetables are the optimal way to go.
Another great snack to munch on is fruit. I know that some people will claim that fruit has too much sugar to be eaten often, and sometimes avoided, but my question to these people is; when was the last time you ever heard of anyone getting fat because they ate too much fruit? No one binges on a bushel of apples. Fruit is my personal favorite over vegetables as a snack food, and I like to think of it as Godís candy. Itís like cheating without cheating. I like to combine organic fruits like grapes, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries into one big bowl and munch on that instead of chips or pretzels.
Your whole food meal and shake choices can also make great snacks when used in smaller portions. A can of tuna or an extra scoop of protein powder mixed into a thick pudding can be a healthy alternative to the traditional snack foods, and they really wonít hinder your fitness goals. Theyíre much better options than having a slice of cake.
There are also plenty of snack food options available at the grocery store that are much better than binging, but you must be careful when choosing them, as they often contain hidden sugars or sugar alcohols. The manufacturers want them to taste good, and the makers typically are not in the health food business. Some of these options would be fiber bars, popcorn, whole grain crackers or soups.
I have heard that when you have a craving for a certain food, such as chocolate, that you should eat a small amount of this food to help satisfy the craving so it will go away, allowing you to focus on the rest of your day. If you do need to do this every once in a while, it will probably not cause much harm to your fitness progress. Now, that is not to say that you can eat candy just because you have a small craving. You need to use your discretion with this approach.
Healthy snacks are supposes to be just that; healthy. Munching on a bag of pretzels every day or having a Snickers is not the way to be healthy snacking. By following the examples above, sticking to your nutrition plan can be much easier than you thought.