1. Pair food groups- When you really do need a snack be sure that you are pairing food groups. I like a protein with a fruit or vegetable. Protein gives you the feeling of satiety, and the fruit or vegetable add flavor. Keeping the calorie count lower with more volume.

Suggested snack: ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with a handful of raspberries or your favorite fruit.

2. Watch calories- Being aware is sometimes the best deterrent you need. Thank you Google for making it easier than ever to look up calorie counts.

Suggested snack: A single square of dark chocolate. This will be 50 calories which is less than a fun sized candy bar, and so much more satisfying.

3. Avoid empty calories- A bag of potato chips can cost you 150 calories and leave you feeling very unsatisfied. I like to think of calories as money that you have to spend. You want to invest your calories, and you should question how worthwhile that investment is.  Is that 400 calorie cookie really worth it? Whether or not it came for free with your sandwich, you still have to evaluate its effect on more than your pocketbook, but your waistline as well.

Suggested snack: Trail mix, or mixed nuts. They can satisfy that salty craving without all the saturated fat.

4. Drink water- Are you actually just thirsty? Or are you really hungry? This is a very important question to ask yourself before snacking. I always keep water at my desk, and continually sip throughout the day. This helps keep my body hydrated, as well as giving me the feeling like I am consuming something.

Suggested snack: Water with fresh fruit, or herbs in it to mix things up. Try lemons, limes, oranges, or strawberries paired with mint or another favorite herb.

5. Find something to satisfy cravings- Sometimes what you choose to each is the most important thing so don’t waste your time snacking on those cookies your coworker just brought into the office, or the sunflower seeds that live in your desk drawer if that isn’t what your body needs at the time.

Suggested snack: Homemade fruit popsicle- blend up a mixture of your favorite fruits, and even add some greek yogurt if you want, and freeze in a popsicle maker with sticks. This is a great low calorie, sweet treat.

6. Go for little calories, lots of chewing- Chewing increases your level of satisfaction and feeling of fullness which can keep you from overeating. It is hard to overindulge in carrots because they require so much chewing and are very high volume for the calorie count.

Suggested snack: Baby carrots, celery or your favorite vegetable- they are portable, delicious, and give that jaw a workout as well.

7. Protein= Power- Check for that protein. It sticks with you so much longer.

Suggested snack: Turkey, salmon, or beef jerky- just watch out for that sodium content

8. Evaluate what you really need- Do you really need it? Too often we eat because it is convenient, or we think we should because it is noon and everyone else is grabbing lunch. When it comes down to it, it is really important to just listen to our body.

Suggested snack: Nothing. Are you even hungry?

Becca Capell
iFit Head Trainer