4 Tips for Snacking Smart!

diet-5-smart-diet-tips-cut-calories-lose-weight-sleep-nutrition

A note on mindful eating:

During my 2.5hr flight to Miami, I witnessed 3 passengers around me ingest nearly 4,000 calories! Chips, bars of chocolate, Reese’s cups, kit-kats, soda, family-sized bags of Twizzlers being handed to an 8yr old.  (I braced myself for the kid’s sugar-high fidgets against the back of my seat for the next hour!!)

I’m headed to Miami to teach spin classes at Soul Cycle’s seasonal South Beach studio.  South Beach. I’ve been pining for the warm weather everyday of January in NYC and envisioning a bathing suit every time I snacked.  Focus is a real challenge in daily life.  And even though supermarkets and eat-out spots are advertising “healthy alternatives” everywhere we look- it’s actually more difficult than ever to nourish our bodies effectively.  Many low-fat/low-carb/fat-free eat-out options lack nutrients, protein, taste, and often leave our bodies unsatisfied. Anyone who’s tried to live off of “diet-food” can attest: you’re set up for failure.

Which brings me back to eating right on-the-go.  Take this flight for instance.The healthiest thing American Airlines has to offer me is trail mix, with added salt and sweetener. mmmm. (help me!)

Here’s 4 great ways to avoid unnecessary calories:

1. Plan ahead.

As I sit on this flight, my tummy rumbles. Turns out I did forget something: my fr*&%in’ lunch!  Since airport food is $$$ and um, just plain gross, it’s imperative to pack snacks.

Snacks I usually go for:

- baby carrots and hummus (zucchini hummus for a lower carb option)

-  1/2 cup raw almonds (not eaten all at once- they are filling and calorically dense)

- apple or orange

- grilled chicken and kale and a touch of dressing (Kale won’t get limp when kept in tupperware like salad greens)

- Turkey or Chicken cold cuts rolled up in a romaine leaf on the outside (makes for easier/cleaner eating) with a touch of mustard

- blanched broccoli with sea salt and pepper

- yogurt

2.  Ask “Why do I want to eat?”

Whether sitting in a meeting or taxiing on the tarmac, always ask yourself if you are truly in need of nourishment before breaking out snacks.  Stress and boredom are common impulses for snacking but they are surefire waistline ruiners.  If you have a workout coming up or if you know your schedule won’t allow you to eat for a while, then by all means- EAT SMART!

3. Trick the treat:

Cravings are legit. I am certainly one to reach for the sweets depending on mood, hormones, or energy levels.  Here are some good substitutions:

Craving chocolate?  try coffee or a sugar-free hot cocoa

Craving chips?  try my raw kale recipe or edamame sea salt. OR pop some popcorn! you’ll still be saving loads of calories… and fat!

Craving salt?  try adding a squirt of lemon or lime to your lunch (citrus satisfies the salty tastebuds)

Craving baked goods?  try a nap! (your body craves carbs when it’s run-down)

Craving sweet? Try a navel orange, or greek yogurt with berries

4. Pack the right portions

Keep small baggies and tupperware readily available in your kitchen.  Some of the easiest snacks and lunches are the leftovers from last night’s (healthy) dinner!  After preparing your dinner, set aside a lunch portion for the next day. This will prevent over-eating at night and keep you running the next day!