I personally think that one of the hardest parts of getting back on track with your eating is quenching the hunger. When I'm eating poorly I'm also eating a lot. I recently told Justin that I used to be able to eat a whole takeout serving of Pad Thai in one sitting (he knows this, he was around, but still). I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to eat that much, I'm just saying that in some cases, like my own, you don't need to eat that much in one sitting. When my eating really gets out of control, like it sometimes can over the holidays, I find myself not only craving more junk but also eating way more than necessary.
The easiest way I know to eat smaller portion sizes at meal time is to not be starving by the time dinner rolls around. When I really need to get myself reset, I find some healthy snacks that can tide me over without adding at on of unnecessary carbs, sugars, etc. to my diet. By eating smaller portion sizes at meal time I train my body to not overeat because I'm only eating until I'm full. For me, snacks are an important part of being full and getting the right nutrition in my diet. And let's face it, it's January, we can't just make up a giant bowl of fresh fruit - it's just not really in season currently. I've come up with some other yummy ideas for you.
1. Popcorn. Specifically, in my case, SkinnyPop. This snack is delicious, hits that salty need we all have but isn't bad for you at all. SkinnyPop only has 150 calories in every 3.5 cups, which is quite a bit of popcorn. I usually just fill a decent size bowl up and snack away.
2. Edamame. I love to buy the frozen packs of this stuff and then just microwave it and top it with a bunch of pepper and maybe a pinch of salt. You can also sprinkle these with things like red pepper flakes, or any other spice you enjoy and they're delicious and super good for you! This particular snack can have a lot of flavor, and more importantly, they're full of protein which will help you stay full longer.
3. String Cheese a lot of people think cheese is bad for you, but it doesn't have to be. A lot of string cheeses are part skim which is good and most are entirely mozzarella or mostly mozzarella which certainly isn't the worst thing for you. I also love string cheese because it's a super simple grab and go snack. I used to bring two of these to eat in the car right before going into Hot Yoga because if I didn't I got super faint.
4. Dried Fruit obviously this option has some sugar in it, but it's actually really good for you. I personally like dried apricots and dried mangos but there are a ton of options, Costco even has some! The nice thing about dried fruit is it's a compacted serving, meaning, you're getting more nutrients out of each piece than you would if that piece were fresh. Google tells me that dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins, and minerals of fresh fruit. I actually have a dehumidifier that I LOVE using for apple slices or bananas. Makes them totally healthy and it's easy to do!
5. Toast with peanut butter or avocado or tuna or any number of other toppings (think cottage cheese, hummus, etc.). I like peanut butter because it's got a bit of protein in it, but I also love avocado or tuna or egg salad and you can make all of those options healthy. Since you're getting a bit of carbs in your whole wheat toast, you stay pretty full.
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Anything that's particularly filling? Because those are the kinds of snacks I need right now! I should also mention, I LOVE snacking on pickles, something about the cold and the crunch, but those obviously have a lot of sodium so I try not to overdo it!