I think a lot of us associate the word snacks with junk food... and we have a good reason to. When you walk into the gas station or rest stop, the first thing you might see is packaged snacks like chips, donuts, and candy.
These things are SO high in calories, and as someone who counts macros and uses my calories wisely, I simply can't afford to waste them on something so small, so unhealthy- and I won't even be full!
The goal is to find snacks that are healthy (fuel), satisfying, and ones that fit into your macros and won't throw off your day.
Truthfully, I try to avoid snacks because I'd rather have all my food at my meals. I'm actually pretty strict with snacking and avoid it unless I am super busy or traveling. Since we can't completely avoid it, we must find healthy snack alternatives!
The simpler, the better with snacks. Grab a banana and a small to-go pouch of PB or even almond butter, you can find both of these in a deli, rest stop, or airport. You can also pack a banana in your bag and buy small to-go PB's at the grocery store ahead of time!
Rice cakes are your new best friend! They're so low in calories and they still fulfill that carb craving. You can put peanut butter and banana on two of these, or you can spread your favorite hummus on a few! They are about 30 calories each, so enjoy the crunch!
Whenever I'm talking to a client about diet, I always say veggies are unlimited. They are low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals. Pick your favorite veggies, cut them up at home, and throw them in a baggie with your favorite seasoning. I use mushrooms, peppers, and carrots, I then add "Everything But The Bagel" seasoning into the bag. You can get this seasoning at Trader Joe's or online. Lastly, I'll pack a container of my favorite dip, just make sure the ingredients are clean and that it is not too high in fat. Try to avoid things like ranch dressing that are high in dairy.
Sometimes I bake my veggies ahead of time and pack those in a container. My favorites are brussel sprouts and cauliflower. I'll cover them in garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, etc, then I bake them! Simple and soooo good!
Protein! it's going to be extremely hard to find protein-filled snacks in places like gas stations or airports. The protein bars they have in stock are most likely high in carbs, and also fat. They aren't all bad but if you're like me, you can't afford to waste so many calories in one place. I'm rarely full from a protein bar.
Hard-boiled eggs are great! Grab 3 of them, and enjoy! For me, I keep my fat macro pretty low, so I'd only eat 1 or 2 yolks, but the whites are what's important.
Pretzels? Yes. They are non-fat and the ingredients are clean. Let me explain. You're walking in circles at the airport, picking up bags of chips and getting more and more depressed. Why? Because you read the label and see that after just 10 chips you'll be up to 14g of fat. NO! All these packaged chips are fried and high fat.
Do I recommend pretzels daily? No! But I'm referring to those times we all have when we are starving and have 10 minutes to find a snack before the flight or next meeting!
At a lot of rest stops and airports, you'll find to-go containers of guacamole. This is the better option over high-fat dips because avocado is a healthy fat. In regards to meal prepping, you could pack a whole avocado in your bag and cut it open fresh when it's snack time. Depending on what you can pack in your bag, you could have the guac prepared, or some salt and pepper ready to toss in! I know some people that cut open the avocado and dip their pretzels right into it! There's no shame in being healthy like this. People notice my snacking choices and often ask a lot of questions, followed by them doing the same thing!
The odds are against us in the snack world. We are teased with pretty packaging and labels that read "HEALTHY" or "LOW FAT" followed by pathetic serving sizes.
We must fight the snack fight and put in that extra effort to not ruin our diet. One of the worst feelings is finishing a bag of high-fat chips or candy and not only feeling sick but also checking the serving size to find out there were 10 servings inside at 200 calories each... greaaaaaat!
Snacks can be the death of us or we can control them!
Healthy snacks means higher volume! When I'm hungry I want to EAT! I'd rather go healthy not only to feel good after I snack, but to still look good, and also to be FULL!