We’ve all been there. Either we’re in a hurry to get to that next meeting and don’t have time to eat a full lunch, or our mind tricks us into thinking that small handful of trail mix is a low-calorie alternative to breakfast. An hour later, our stomach is growling and we have nothing to show for those couple hundred calories we just sucked down. Take the time to think about your meals for the day before you get wrapped up in your hectic schedule, or so starving that you’ll eat anything in sight.
On the surface, granola has “health food” written all over it. The rolled oats and accompanied fiber do offer some nutritional benefits, however granola is not ideal for those trying to cut calories. Granola is typically sweetened with sugar and the recommended serving size is usually significantly smaller than the heaping scoop we pile on top of our yogurt.
Oatmeal is a much healthier option and is typically more filling than granola. Opt for unsweetened oatmeal and add fresh fruit for added flavor and sweetness.
2. Trail Mix
Can’t break away from your desk for lunch? Grab a bag of trail mix and go to town! Not so fast. Although this may seem like a light lunch (after all, peanuts, raisins and M&Ms are all tiny right?) the truth is, these elements are packed with calories and fat. More specifically, one ounce of peanuts contains 160 calories and 14 grams of fat. Even if you capped your consumption at 1 cup of trail mix (4.5 oz), you’re looking at approximately 720 calories!
Chances are if you eat a cup of trail mix, you’re stomach is going to be yelling at you an hour later to feed it more. For 720 calories you could have eaten a hearty turkey sandwich and a banana. Now that’s a hearty lunch! On days when leaving for lunch isn’t an option, pack yourself a lunch so you’re not left scrounging for whatever food you can find in your cubicle.
Smoothies are a refreshing summer treat. But that’s all we should think of smoothies as, a treat. The smoothies that you buy at fast food restaurants are typically loaded with frozen yogurt and rarely contain real fruit. Although they’re called “smoothies” they’re really more akin to a shake or malt.
If you’re dying to cool off with a smoothie this summer, try making your own smoothies with frozen strawberries and bananas. Instead of frozen yogurt, use milk or orange juice for a healthier alternative. You can even mix in a scoop of protein powder for added nutrition.
4. Canned Soup
Unless your blood pressure is dangerously low, try to steer clear of canned soup. On the surface, soup seems like such a healthy option. After all, it’s loaded with vegetables and consists mostly of water. However, a can of soup typically contains an entire day’s worth of sodium!
For an alternative to canned soup, try making your own soup. You can control sodium levels by using low-sodium chicken stock and add flavor with sodium-free seasonings and spices.
So often the foods that are marketed as health food are highly processed and packed with preservatives. Try to stick to natural, homemade options for a healthier diet. Also, avoid “skimping” on meals with filler snacks because chances are, that snack is loaded with calories and won’t tide you over until dinner.Pin It