Motivation Monday: Snack Swap

Each Monday, we're rolling out a new challenge to change the way you think, act, do, or feel. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be motivated to try something different for a week. And if you love it, keep it going!

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This week's challenge is super simple! Swap out your favourite sweet and salty snacks for healthier choices. According to LiveScience.com, 25% of our daily calories are now coming from snacking. The good news? There's nothing actually wrong with snacking - it's a good way to keep your energy up and discourage bingeing during your main meals.

The bad news? Snacks are often associated with treats, meaning up to a quarter of your daily calorie intake is now a floodgate for fat, salt, sugar, and general junk. The trick is to find healthier alternatives for what you normally nibble on. You'll feel way more energy, avoid the dreaded mid-afternoon sugar crash, and probably stay fuller for longer too.

First start out by identifying what you typically snack at both at work and at home. Next, if you can, avoid restocking on those items when you grocery shop this week. Or just tuck those items away for the week. 

Next, jot down what each item is and what you like about it, and how much you typically eat. For example, maybe you eat a package of mini rice cakes every day because you love the airy, crispy texture and the salty taste. 

From there, it's all about swapping out what you're eating. Look for foods that are rich in nutritional value - opt for items that are high in protein, fiber or vitamins, and low in calories, sugar, salt, and fat. 

If you like salty foods, try:

  • Air-popped popcorn with a light sprinkle of salt
  • Roasted chickpeas (there's tons of recipes online)
  • Kale chips
  • Roasted nuts
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Bean chips and salsa

If you like sweet foods, try:

  • Raisins or figs
  • Sunflower seeds and mini chocolate chips
  • 'Dessert' looseleaf teas
  • Grapes with cheese
  • Trail mix
  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Plain oatmeal with fresh fruit

The options are pretty endless and you'd be surprised at how easy it is to key into some of your favourite flavours with healthier options. If you make it through the week sans treats, give yourself a major pat on the back - and see if you can keep it going! No one says you have to be a snacking saint. But if you swap out even half of your daily treats, you'd be amazed at how great an impact it is for your health.

March 14, 2016 8 tags (show)

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