When I first started this blog I had this all or nothing attitude, much like many of my fitness and health attempts. I either do it every day, every week, or I don’t seem to do it at all. That’s not productive OR effective. So I’m back on here making the effort to contribute to my blog more consistently much like my health and fitness goals. 🙂
Lately I’ve realized that even though I’ve lost 40lbs in the last 18 months, I’ve still got 20 more to go. When you first start to lose weight, it can melt off, I’m not saying it’s not hard, because any lifestyle and habit change IS difficult, but the first shift in eating and working out tends to yield bigger results at a faster rate, especially depending on how much weight you have to lose when you start.
In order to meet my next goal I am going to have to focus in on my nutrition and eating habits more than ever. Maintaining my weight hasn’t been an issue, AT ALL. In fact, once you reach a goal weight you can usually start eating slightly more calories everyday than you did to lose the weight. Which is a great incentive for people just starting out. I remember feeling like “OMG THIS IS GOING TO BE FOREVER!” and it’s not true. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it does involve being able to eat more, just in moderation, as always 😉
Today I wanted to share with you some of the products/snacks I’ve found that are REALLY great when you are trying to stick to a low-calorie diet for a while to lose those last 5-20 lbs. Making sure you are satisfied and full at all times is VERY important. Feeling like you’re starving yourself and unhappy is the best way to binge eat at night, at least, it always was for me. Brown rice and chicken breast EVERY night with no variety, yeah um ok, I’m gonna go make nachos with a pound of cheese now. So let me show you some of the things I’ve been keeping around my apartment lately to keep me happy knowing I get a reward without jumping off the deep end.
Today I was shopping at Safeway after a killer workout at the gym. I love grocery shopping after I workout, it keeps me accountable. I think to myself “people see me in workout gear and see all the sweat on my back, so they are gonna assume that I’m going to be eating healthy” which means I really do shop smarter. Use these kind of mind games to your advantage 😉
There are some things I’ve learned I can’t buy or keep in the house, like nutrigrain bars or those Quaker Oats Chewy Dips (OMG the peanut butter chocolate ones are sooo good). Sure they really aren’t THAT bad for you, coming in at around 150 calories, the problem is I can’t eat just one and before I know it the box is gone, I feel guilty, and that “smart” snack ended up being me murdering the cereal isle. Learn what these kind of snacks are for you. And when you do go to buy snacky snacks, make them count. Look for high protein, fiber, low sugar (this can be hard, I try to aim for 11g or less), and healthy fats. Here are my current 5 favorite snacks in no particular order:
Snack #1 – Oatmeal!!!
I recently discovered these BetterOats oatmeal packs at QFC, I’m sure they have them other places, too. The main reason I fell in love with them was that they pouch they come in can also be used as a measuring cup for the water you need. This was great since I wanted something I could take to work and eat on the go. Another reason why these are great is that many of them contain flax which has great benefits for your skin, lowering cholesterol, etc. Also, they are just flat-out delicious and most are under 160 calories with 3g of fiber and 3-4g of protein. Here are some of my favorites below! Perfect to throw in your car or in your office at work 😉
Snack #2 – Dreyer’s Creamy Coconut Fruit Bars!
I can eat healthy ALLL day no problem. But something about that hour or so after dinner and I want something sweet. When hot tea doesn’t cut it (always a good go-to at first) I let myself have either a skinny cow ice cream or one of these babies. I LOVE coconut and when I found these in the ice cream section I was soo excited! Real chunks of coconut in these makes them heavenly. And only 120 calories and even 3g of protein makes it a great dessert!
Snack #3 – Iced Coffee Drink (great for weekends and the Summer Summer SUMMER TIME!)
Oh it’s warm out and I hear Starbucks calling my name! But those frappichinos are a NO GO and even the smarter choices they have there are pricey! Here’s a healthy (and cheap) solution to get your summer coffee fix. On the weekends I always make at least 1/2 pot of coffee for myself even though I never finish it all. Around 2pm when it’s cooled down I’m ready for a pick me up. Fill a cup up about 2/3 of the way with ice and pour in left over cooled black coffee into the glass then top off with either coconut or almond milk. I made this one with coconut since it’s a bit sweeter and has a kind of tangy kick to it, makes for a great drink and no blender needed! I’m a HUGE fan of almond/coconut milk. I’ve switched over from regular milk months ago and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Fewer calories, less sugar, and waaay more calcium. I drink it now by the glass sometimes and couldn’t tell you the difference. Plus the unsweetened almond milk I get is 35 calories/glass! Can’t go wrong there 🙂
Snack #4 – Veggies with hummus!
I LOVE any type of veggie with a bit of hummus. The key is getting a small bowl or plate out a head of time and limiting the amount of hummus you are going to eat. Otherwise you’re going to end up halfway deep into a Costco sized tub of hummus with it all over your knuckles, just sayin’. Peppers can be pricey so I often buy them frozen and then let them thaw out ahead of time and then NOM NOM NOM! They are also great mixed in with eggies or over brown rice.
Snack #5 – Quaker Banana Nut Bread Soft Baked Bars!
I JUST bought and tried these today and OMG I am impressed! I often have a hard time letting myself buy any kind of bar or cereal bar because many of them are full of sugar and expensive! These were on sale and I thought I’d give them a try. Plus, if you start to think about how much you were probably spending on nachos and beer every Friday night, spending $3.79 on a box of 5 cereal bars that will help in your goals doesn’t really seem that bad. I went ahead and warmed one of these up like the box suggested for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave and I really felt like I was eating something I shouldn’t be. I took my time and ate very small bites at a time and it truly felt like a dessert! Only 140 calories, 5g of fiber, 6g of protein – I think I may have found my new afternoon snack!
I also thought that in this post I could show you a few pictures to let you know where I am right now. I’m currently 5’5” and last time I checked around 170lbs. Even though I am a STRONG believer that the scale is NOT something you should measure your health by. Scales don’t know the difference between muscle mass, fat, and visceral fat which is internal fat. Point is, there’s a LOT of ways a body can look at a specific weight. So here’s mine.
I never thought to post pictures of my body because I just kinda thought it’s not something people necessarly want to see or are interested in, but the more health/fitness blogs I read, the more I realize how important the personal stories are. Seeing what other people’s day to day lives are like and the struggles they come across are really what help to inspire others.
What are some other snacks that you love? Any homemade recipes or suggestions? Keep at it! Everyday is progress!