For those on a medical weight loss plan, snacking is more important than you might think! For one thing, a light snack gives you the energy you need to stick with a regular exercise program (on top of work and all of your other obligations). Plus, snacking keeps your blood sugar more level, and prevents you from getting too hungry and indulging in calorie-heavy cravings.
But of course, there is a right way to snack… and a wrong way. You already know that the wrong way involves sugar, white flour, baked goods, packaged snack foods, sodas, and lots of calories. But what does the “right way” look like? How do you portion out a healthy snack that gives you the fuel you need, without exceeding your daily calorie guidelines?
The trick is to keep your snacks at around 200 calories. To get an idea of what 200 calories looks like, check out these snack ideas:
- ½ cup cottage cheese and one piece of fruit
- 2/3 cup greek yogurt with ½ cup berries and two tablespoons sliced almonds
- one hard-boiled egg, one apple, and one ounce of cheese
- one slice of whole wheat toast, topped with ¼ of an avocado, sliced tomato, basil leaves, and a sprinkle of feta cheese
- half of a whole wheat pita, sliced cucumbers, and six tablespoons of hummus
- one apple with one tablespoon of peanut butter
- carrot sticks with two tablespoons of creamy dip
- ten baked tortilla chips with ½ cup of salsa
- half of an English muffin and two tablespoons of cream cheese
- ¼ cup of almonds or cashews
- a fruit smoothie – watch your recipe, though, and use only nonfat milk, Greek yogurt, and fruit such as blueberries
These are just some ideas to get you started. As you can see, the key to healthful snacking is to balance protein with complex carbs, and keep it low in fat. Since these items often won’t be available in a vending machine or drive-through, you will need to support your healthy snacking efforts by planning ahead. Just remember to pick up snack ingredients each week when you do your grocery shopping.
And of course, make an appointment with us to discuss medical weight loss. We can help you decide upon your target calorie goals for each day, and make a plan to lose weight the healthy way.