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Despite losing over 50 pounds and transforming myself from a binge-drinking, chain-smoking, fast food addict to a marathon running health freak there's still one habit that I just can't (and don't want to!) break: snacking. I can eat the biggest, healthiest, most well-rounded meals and still I get the nibbles in the afternoon and again after dinner. So, I realized a few years ago that I should just factor 2 snacks a day into my overall calorie count for the day and try to make the healthiest snacking choices possible.
As a kid my snack of choice was always popcorn. I inherited my love of the buttery snack from my Dad. I believe starting in middle school I ended almost every day with a big bag of microwave popcorn. When I snack I always go for a major crunch factor. Smooth and sweet just doesn't cut it for me! After I started loosing weight I switched to air-popped popcorn which is delicious, but can get borrrring. So, when I heard Skinnygirl was coming out with new 160 calories bags I had to swing by Walmart and grab some to try out.
I've had other mini bags of popcorn before and if you go with the ones that are low calorie they usually taste like it. I was very pleasantly surprised that the Skinnygirl flavors (butter & sea salt and lime & salt) don't taste like they are low calorie at all! They are rich and so, so good. I may have made two bags a day a few times already. Other reasons why this popcorn rocks:
- Every Skinnygirl product offers at least a 20% calorie savings vs. it’s competitors
- No artificial flavors
- No artificial colors
- No artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, sucralose)
- No high fructose corn syrup
Along with popcorn I have a few other go-to snacks that I eat at least one of daily. They are all under 200 calories and some pack quite the nutritional punch (hello eggs + hummus!)
- 1 bag #SkinnygirlSnacks Popcorn
- 1 apple sliced with cinnamon (an a bit of sugar if I'm really craving something sweet!)
- 1 100 calorie tortilla cut into strips, sprayed with PAM and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, baked on parchment paper for 8-10 min at 350 degrees F + 2 TB PB2 to dip it in
- 3 hard-boiled eggs with the yolks removed with 3 TB hummus (waddup 20 grams of protein)
- 5 crackers with 1 PB or Tahini (I am really feeling Tahini lately!)
I've found through my own weight loss journey and helping other people reach their goals that it's best to work with your eating habits and not against them. Trying to totally cut-out food groups you enjoy, or giving up your favorite late night snacks usually doesn't stick in the long run. Modifying your eating habits to make them healthier and more appropriate in portion sizes is more likely to equal a lifelong permanent change. So, I may not ever go back to eating a giant bag of microwave popcorn every night, but when the mood strikes I'm glad I have a great alternative on hand!
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What are your favorite healthy snacks? When do you typically feel most snacky?