10 Go-To Snacks Under 200 Calories

Nutrition experts say that spreading out your meals and snacks throughout the day is the best method for keeping your weight loss plan in check.  After all it is when we’re starved from either skipping a meal or eating too light in our last major meal that we overindulge in quantity and end up choosing poor quality options.  To help foolproof that option, snacks can serve as a great alternative to hold us over to the next meal.

To clear the record it is 100% ok to snack.  Let me give you an idea of how I run my daily routine.  I target thanks to a fitness app 1600 calories a day (give or take a few extra calories if I’m more active one day than another).  I spread that out over the course of the day by: breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, dinner, and even fit in dessert. I could easily order a big breakfast from McDonalds taking up all the days calories in the am and starve myself for the rest of the day but what good would that do anyone?!?

Here are some ideas for snacks I enjoy for mid morning and mid afternoon under 200 calories that will not only give you energy but help patch the length of time until your next meal:

5 AM snack ideas:

*fruit (apples, grapes, plums/peaches etc)

*hard boiled egg

* High fiber english muffin/1 tbsp of natural peanut butter (Thomas makes a great 100 calories english muffin with 6 grams of fiber)

* 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt/add berries (watch out for the fruit included versions they have a lot of unnecessary sugar 12g-30g!)

* 1 serving of almonds or mixed nuts (Emerald brand sells 100 calorie packs of nuts – perfect portion for filling you so you don’t go overboard with your hand in the nut jar!)

5 PM snack ideas

* plain popcorn (great to munch on since even 1 100 calorie bag gives you a ton!)

* cut veggies (carrots, sugar snap peas, red pepper strips, celery, cucumber) and 1 serving of hummus

* high fiber bar (I’m a fan of a majority of the kashi or fiber one bars)

* plain oatmeal packet (oatmeal for a snack?  Yes! Great option when you need to tide yourself over for a late dinner since oatmeal breaks down slowly and keeps you full)

* 1 serving of multigrain crackers/Weight Watchers or Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedge (check the box and know the count – some brands allow you up to 24 crackers for a mere 120 calories!)

Remember whatever your goal may be you need to remember to feed your body.  Regardless of your age the method to the madness doesn’t change.  You still need to eat and eat frequently so that your body doesn’t go through spikes (see my previous post on the glycemic index) and so that your brain is fueled and doesn’t work against you.

Have any great ideas for snacks?  Let us know, leave a comment!


American Obesity Rates Soar!

This post comes in light of recent studies in the news about America and obesity.  The CDC states that by 2030 the average obesity rates across all states will be 44%.  They further mention that in 13 of the states it will be over 60%!!  This is not so much shocking as it is sobering EVERYTIME a study like this comes out.  I had done a post similar to this several months back and unfortunately the stats aren’t reversing instead diving further down the rabbit hole.  So who’s to blame?  Well one could start pointing the finger at food companies, schools, places of employment, government etc but what good would that really do?  America would still eat and the numbers would still soar.

  As far as the Presidential election goes, I know something like obesity rates is not a forerunning topic on the politicians minds.  However I think it should be.  After all they mention a lot about healthcare costs rising and how they can combat that while offering medical insurance to the masses.  But what the root of a large chunk of the problem is stems from what we are and have been eating!  It’s not only obesity that’s gained from excessive calories and fat, it is a lack of activity and all the diseases and ailments that stem out of a combo of the two: heart problems, lung problems, diabetes, to name a few…  Which is why I think it’s great that McDonald’s is finally going to start posting nutritional values on foods everywhere.  I also think it’s fantastic that New York is leading the masses by posting their nutritional information everywhere and most recently outlawing pop over 16oz!  That way those of us who do care about our health can actually confidently go out to eat and know we made a good choice instead of just guessing that what we ate might have been healthy.  

  The one piece to this spiraling funnel is that there is no one size fits all solution. There are those of us who do really care about what they eat and there are others who have an inkling but really just don’t care.  Do you think it’s a better solution to:

a.) Post nutritional information on fast food sites.

b.) Make the choice easier for American’s and limit the amount of calories or fat or sugar manufacturing companies can use in their products.

Source Information Courtesy of:  The Chicago Tribune  http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-obesity-usbre88h0ra-20120918,0,7166415.story

Weight Loss Match Up: Low Glycemic Index Vs High Glycemic Index

glycemic index and weight loss

What is a glycemic index?  Do the foods we eat have a high or low glycemic levels and if they do should we care?  The answer is absolutely.  The glycemic index is essential in how your body interprets and then breakdown sugars.  The glycemic index is a system of numbers used to indicate how fast a food can raise our blood sugar levels from the moment it enters the body. That said, those with low glycemic indexes raise the blood sugar levels moderately and those with a high index raise your blood sugar above ideal levels.

Understanding what the glycemic index is and why it matters is not only important for those with diabetes but also is an essential component in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.  Foods that fall under the category of low are typically your natural foods like most fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, brown rice etc..  Those touting a high glycemic index are generally your processed foods like white bread, wheat bread (that’s not whole grain, read your labels before buying), quick cook oats (not steel cut), cereal, crackers…etc.

How does this effect weight loss or maintaining your weight?  Well generally those in the low index take longer to break down due to their density of unprocessed carbs,fiber, vitamins/minerals etc.  Word to the wise would be to choose foods with 55 or lower glycemic indexes. Other than the obvious processed versus non-processed are there a few sneaky foods that often get classified as one or the other?  YES!  See below:

Healthy Food, High Glycemic Index:

Dark Rye Bread (76 glycemic index) INSTEAD CHOOSE:  Pumpernickel and Whole Grain bread (30-45)

Banana or Watermelon (55-72 glycemic index)  INSTEAD CHOOSE: Apples, peaches, plums, berries

Instant Oatmeal Packets (82) INSTEAD CHOOSE: Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (58)

For more foods and their classifications, check out the Shape Online article i found containing a more detailed list: http://www.shapeonline.com/healthy_eating/7995?show=all_comments

Additional Article:  http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=32

Intense Yoga – Step Outside Your Limits

Dynamic Yoga

I have a new-found love for yoga.  I used to stereotype yoga as a slow, too boring, non active form of exercise and assumed because of the lack of intensity it was a waste of a workout and lacked a good calorie burn.  However I had stumbled upon a deal online for the yoga studio on my corner that was too good to pass up

I decided to check out a class called “Yoga Sculpt” just to see if I could change my mind.  Boy did I!  I not only found that it offered that intense focus and escape from everyday stress, life, and problems but it also challenged my stength and focus beyond belief!  In little over an hour I had worked up a sweat as if I was running 5 miles outside, and had extended my leg and arm strength to the max.  I left the class feeling light and refreshed.

After feeling inspired from that class I decided to challenge myself to the two-hour dynamic class on Fridays.  I was blown away by he hard poses and skills it took to complete the class.  We were balancing in head stands, hand stands, back bends and all different types of ways my body had not been in years!  I once again came out drenching wet and happy.

So I have changed my mind, went outside my stereotypes and comfort zone and in turn found a great type of workout to add to my weekly exercise routines.  My advice to you is try to go beyond your preconceived notions on things and try them.  You never know the impact you could be missing out on.