Did you know that eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day can help you to lose and maintain a healthy weight? Does that mean that you should graze all day long? NO!
But, when you eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals, you are more likely to eat the proper portion, less likely to be hungry in between and more likely to make smarter choices instead of being so hungry that you eat whatever is in sight.
Most clean eating meal plans and many other weight loss/maintenance plans recommend eating 3 meals a day with 2-3 small snacks in between.
If you are not familiar with Clean Eating, the basic principle of is to consume food the way it is naturally delivered. It is NOT a diet, rather a lifestyle approach to the way you prepare and eat your food.
- Eat 5 to six times a day– three meals and 2-3 small snacks
- Include lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This will keep your body energized and burning calories all day!
- Choose organic whenever possible
- Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water a day (If you weigh 150 pounds, then drink 75 ounces of water)
- READ labels. Any product with a long list of human made ingredients is not natural.
- Avoid processed and refined foods– like white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Instead, enjoy whole grains.
- Steer clear of trans fats and things high in sugar
- Consume healthy fats
- Be aware of your portion sizes
There are tons of ways to prepare fresh fish and lean proteins like turkey, chicken, and pork. And what about your veggies? You can roast them, saute them, bake them, steam them, eat them raw.
But often times the next question becomes, what should I eat for my snacks?? I find the key to staying on track to always have healthy options on hand for those times when I am hungry and need something. Once you have them on hand, then you are able to pack your snacks to enjoy throughout the day.
Here are some of MY favorite snacks:
- Fresh fruit– Strawberries, blueberries, apples, banana (1/2 banana should count as one serving, most other fruit is 1 cup sliced), kiwi, melon, and MORE!
- ¼ cup Hummus with cucumbers or sliced bell pepper
- 10 Baby Carrots with 2-3 tsp of natural peanut butter
- 1 small apple cubed with 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon
- Apples with orange Greek yogurt (combine orange zest with a squeeze of fresh orange juice, 1 tsp (or more to taste) of pure maple syrup with Greek yogurt)
- 1 whole wheat waffle (toasted is best) with 2 tsp natural peanut butter, topped with ½ sliced banana or a few sliced strawberries
- 1 small apple with 1 mozzarella string cheese stick
- My favorite morning snack! 1 piece of whole wheat toast with 2 scrambled or hard boiled eggs
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt with 2 tsp honey, ½ banana sliced and cinnamon
- Nuts—(in these amounts) 12 almonds, 8 cashews, 14 peanuts, 20 pistachios, 10 pecan halves
- Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Quesadilla
- 3 Ingredient Ice-Cream (This really is just frozen fruit!!)
- Apple Nachos
- Special Treats– Sometimes you want a snack that is a little more decadent. Here are some of my favorites to treat myself!
- Here are some delicious looking snacks that I plan on trying soon!!!
- Favorite snack bars– Lara Bars (most only include fruit and nuts but have flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Pecan Pie!) and Kind Bars (most only have nuts with honey or maple syrup!)
I hope these snack ideas help you as you navigate this world of processed and overly sugared up foods!