Healthier Summer Snacking
Summer means being on-the-go, enjoying the hot weather, and—likely—a less-than-predictable schedule. Planning ahead and incorporating healthy snacks are great ways to make sure you stay on track with maintaining your weight loss when life is busy. Here are some fast, easy, and delicious snack ideas for when you’re short on time:
Make your own 100-calorie snack packs. You know why these snack packs are everywhere you look: They control portion size and calories, making snacking a no-brainer. But you can do it at home for far cheaper, while eating a more nutritious and filling snack that feels like dessert. Simply slice a small banana, or a cup of blueberries or other berries, and top with 4 tablespoons light whipped cream. Voila! A simple snack that tastes far more decadent than its 100 calories. Make it fit your hectic lifestyle by making a batch ahead of time and placing each serving in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for at least two hours, and then grab one when you’re heading out the door. In an hour (or even less if the weather’s really hot), you can enjoy it poolside or at the beach, when you’re craving something cool and refreshing.
Bring back the satisfying crunch of a snack. Yes, you can still have the crunchy snacks and dips you’re craving. The trick? Enjoy them with the favorite raw veggie of your choice. You’ll get double the food while adding few calories.
Here are some examples:
10 pretzel chips with a cup of baby carrots and 2 tablespoons hummus: 175 calories.
10 baked potato chips with a cup of sliced cucumbers and 2 tablespoons light ranch dressing: 150 calories.
5 bagel crisps with 5 celery logs and 2 tablespoons light cream cheese: 160 calories.
Bonus: All of the dips mentioned are available in single-serving containers in the portion sizes above, making them easy to pack, grab, and go!
Indulge in summer’s best. You can still enjoy your childhood favorites on your medical weight loss plan. When you’re craving something that screams summer but have to leave in five minutes for your daughter’s swim meet, try these fast and low-cal-but-filling versions:
Pizza. Grab a 100-calorie bagel or flat bread (available in the bread section of your supermarket), a slice of fat-free mozzarella cheese, and a small turkey meatball (available in the frozen foods section of your supermarket—thaw for 20 seconds in the microwave), sliced thinly. Layer ½ the meatball slices on each side of the bagel and top each bagel half with ½ slice fat-free cheese. Toast in the toaster oven for a minute or until cheese is melted. Presto! You’ve got a filling snack for only 200 calories.
Cheese Pretzel. Buy frozen soft pretzels at your supermarket (SuperPretzel is one brand—each pretzel is 150 calories). Top one with a slice of fat-free cheddar cheese and microwave until pretzel is hot and cheese is melted. For 180 calories, you’ve got a tasty snack (that you can eat with one hand as you’re walking out the door!).
**Remember to adjust your dinner portions when you add a snack during your day. This is a great way to start tuning into your body—you should want a bit less for dinner because you added a small but filling snack at the right time during your day. And that’s what snacking’s for!
By: Suja Pilli, MD – Shaun J. Adams, MSN, FNP-C