Snacking accounts for up to 50% of your daily calories intake. That's a lot of calories. One thing is when these are good calories the other is when these calories are empty (not doing good to you). As a nutrition coach I always tell my clients if you have junk food laying around your kitchen or office you will end up eating them. It doesn't matter if you are strong now. All that junk food will be eaten some days in small amounts and some days in bigger amounts. Eventually it will all disappear. End of story. It's a psychological issue. If it's easy to access, taste good (salty, fatty, sugary) your brain will crave it and will not let you pass by it. So long story short. If you swap your junk food for something more healthy you will be surprised how much less food you eat and with that increase your fat loss.
So let's get down to business. What are my top 5 healthy snacks that I keep home at all time?
1. Pistachios (shell on)
This is my all time favorite snack. I love it, my guests love it, my superintendent loves it. Pistachios are very nutritious and high in plant protein, healthy fats and low carbs.
Here's how to measure your serving. Whatever you can grab with your hand is gonna be your portion. The bigger person the bigger hand and vice versa.
Currently $40 (subscribe & save) price may change
Money saving tip: If you want to save a few bucks buy them in bulk (5lb) like I do. It will last you a month or more. Go even further and save more (10% off) if you use subscribe&save feature on Amazon. Choose your frequency and modify/skip anytime you want. I get it delivered monthly. Note. Buy them with shells on. This way you'll eat less and prolong your eating time = more satisfaction.
I've discovered this bar over 2 years ago and became a big fan ever since. Another thing that I teach my clients at YuryFit nutrition is how to read nutrition facts when you pick up an item at the store. If the label has a handful of ingredients that you don't recognize or can't even pronounce then you probably shouldn't eat it. This bar on the other hand has all ingredients listed on the front side of it and it's pretty straightforward: 3 egg whites, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, 2 dates and no B.S. They are proud to show the quality and purity of their bar. RxBar has only 210 and packed with nutrients: 12g of protein, 24g of carbs and 9g of fats which makes it a great well balanced snack or meal replacement depending on your daily caloric demand.
Currently $12/box or $1/bar(subscribe & save) price may change
Money saving tip: Buy it in bulk (at least 1 box=12 bars) or go even further and sign up for subscribe&save feature (extra 15% off). I receive 2 boxes every month through subscribe & save
P.S. Chocolate sea salt is my all time favorite flavor.
3. Protein Shake
Here's another valuable tip when you try to lose fat and preserve lean muscle mass. You have to consume enough protein. It becomes especially challenging when you are following vegan or plant-based diet. In this case protein shakes are the best available meal substitutions. There are plant-based options as well. It so easy to take it with you and have on hand whenever you are busy. You can mix it with almond milk and sip it while working at your desk. What can be better, getting quality nutrients and saving time. How I do it: I pour a protein powder in a shaker the night before I leave for work without any liquids so when you take it with you next morning it doesn't go bad. I mix it with almond milk and have it during lunch while chewing on banana or a handful of pistachios. That makes is a complete meal or a snack with 25+ grams of protein.
Here the brand I've been using for over 4 years. It's called MyProtein. A UK based company that won a top spot in purity and quality of the ingredients among most of GNC and VitaminShoppe brands. It was tested by an independent third party laboratory called Labdoor.
Impact Whey Isolate (non-vegan, fast absorbing, 21 g protein, 0 carb, 0 sugar)
Blends easy with water. My favorite flavor is Chocolate smooth and my second choice is Vanilla.
Vegan Protein Blend (plant-based, 21 g protein, low carb, low sugar)
Save 30% on $30+ purchase with my promo code YURY-R8
Money saving tip: Save 30% on $30+ purchase with my promo code YURY-R8. Full disclosure I get a small percentage from your purchase.
To save big buy 11 lb bag (200 servings) and it will last you for 3-4 months. It will cost you around $80-90 with my discount code. That means your price per serving will be $0.45. You can't beat it. I personally buy 11 lb bag and share it with my fiance. P.S. It doesn't go bad.
4. PopCorners Vegan Protein Chips
One of the most calorie dense foods that contribute tons of empty calories in a shortest period of time is chips. Greasy, oily, crunchy and salty chips. Why do we love it so much? It's simple. Our brain gets stimulated from crunchy things, our mouth gets watery from salty foods and we love fatty and oily things because they taste good. Well chips have it all. One bag of 5 oz chips can contain up to 1000 calories which we can consume in a blink of an eye. Insane! It's close to 50-70% of daily calories intake for most of people.
I'm the kind of person that would rather not have any junk at home to avoid binge eating and I'm fine with that but my fiancé loves chips and crunchy things so I had to find a middle ground. I've been looking for a better alternative for a while until recently I came across this brand PopCorners. The whole bag has 450 calories and 50g of plant-based protein (soy), 60g of carbohydrates and 12g of fat. I've never seen anything like it with such high amount of protein per bag. It's very satisfying and filling. Although I wouldn't eat the whole bag. After all it's still a processed food.
Currently $28 or $2.3/bag (with subscribe & save)
Money saving tip: Buy it in bulk (12 bags) to save 30%. Get even more savings buy doing subscribe & save option (extra 15% off).
5. Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes Whole Grains Cereal
We all love cereal. It's easy to make and it's delicious but not all cereal are made the same way. Most of the products that Americans grew up on had tons of added sugars and artificial flavors (Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops). Some of them had up to 60% of calories come from sugar. It's 12-20 g of pure sugar per 1 cup of cereal, 130-150 calories and very little amount of fiber and protein. Let's be honest nobody eats just 1 cup. Usually people consume 2-3 cups of cereal per meal. That's whooping 400-500 calories and 36-60 g of sugar per serving not including milk and other additives. No wonder there's almost 1 in 2 adults has diabetes or pre-diabetes in the US and 1 in 3 adults is overweight in the world.
I always look for better alternatives to current unhealthy brands and when it comes to cereal my choice goes to Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes Whole Grains Cereal. This cereal is packed with nutrients like whole ancient grains (barley, spelt, quinoa) with 7g of fiber, 5 g of protein and only 5g of sugar per serving (1 cup). Even though a cup contains 160 calories these calories are much better and more filling then highly processed cereals. Also 7g (28 calories) of fiber are not digestible so you end up having 130 calories per serving. You can eat it with almond milk or regular milk.
My way of eating it is...
- mix almond milk and a scoop of MyProtein (see #3)
- handful of mixed berries
- sprinkle of shredded coconut flakes
- teaspoon of chia seeds
Current price $33/6 pack or $5.5/bag (with subscribe & save) price may change
Money saving tip: Buy it in bulk (6 bags) to save 40% from retail prices. Go further and add it to subscribe & save to receive an extra 15% off. This is what I have. I get them delivered every 3 months.
Final notes: It's not a permanent meal replacement. It's a filler for when you don't have time or don't have better options around you.
Keep in mind It's a huge bag of cereal (2 lb) and it has approximately 22 servings. Do the math. If you buy 6 pack it will give you 132 servings. Divide it by 30 days and you have 4.5 months of cereal (if you eat it every day). This way you can determine your purchasing frequency.
I hope I could shed some light on you to get more educated in health and nutrition. Always remember even doing a small thing is still doing something. Take it one step at a time and change your snacks. Best,