How 100-Calorie Snack Packs Smash 6-Pack Plans

Perhaps one of the most destructive and misleading components of the food industry today is the intense way that snack foods have come to the forefront as an American passion, and yet so little is understood widely about both their benefits and drawbacks. There is about any snack food you can imagine at every grocery and corner store in the nation. Cookies, chips, popcorn, pretzels, and more are ubiquitous as part of the fabric that makes American cuisine. As our nation’s consumers have slowly but surely started to trend towards healthier lifestyles, many snack food brands have responded by putting out what they dub “100-calorie” snack packs. Created and sold to blatantly cater to people who count or are just particularly conscious about what they eat, this well-intentioned attempt to aid portion control works by just limiting the serving size for you.

Unfortunately, this often spells disaster for people actually purchasing the snack. There are a two main reasons this is most often the case. First and foremost, 100 calories is nowhere near enough to fill a person. It really is not enough to give your body any meaningful sense of satisfaction, which is necessary to curb appetite. Instead, although you may mentally know that you just put in a small amount of fuel in the form of a small amount of food, your body is still going to be demanding food after you have finished the snack pack. This dangerous scenario, in which you tease but do not fulfill your hunger with such a small serving, is escalated by the second reason snack packs are diet catastrophes waiting to happen.

100-calorie snack packs just portion of the food into uselessly small portions, but they do not improve the nutritional value of the food itself. As a result, the vast majority of these snack packs consist of food that has no nutritional value and does nothing for your body composition – other than spur increased cravings for overly processed foods. These packs leave you hungry, and they leave you hungry for the wrong kind of food.

Now, do not make the mistake of thinking this indicates there is anything wrong with snacking itself. As a component of healthy dieting, snacking is phenomenal. It just demands that you snack on the right foods. Most packaged “healthy” foods do not fit the bill. Choose snacking on protein-rich, healthy, whole foods to achieve the best results, for life.

 

5 Healthy Snack Ideas

Trying to lose weight, but love to snack throughout the day? There’s no shame in that– in fact, it’s probably the smarter choice. Too many people go on “diets” by putting off eating until they absolutely have to. Then, of course, they feel ravenously hungry and end up bingeing, or settling for the first food they find even if it’s unhealthy. See the problem?

The best way to avoid gorging on mini meals every few hours is to figure out what healthy snack options there are. Once you’ve done that, you’re on your way to staying full and energized without overeating or ruining your diet. Don’t forget to carry your emergency snack on you at all times!

how-greek-yogurt1. A cup of Greek yogurt sprinkled with chia seeds. Add two teaspoons of chia seeds to your yogurt and you’ve met your daily recommended amount of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that can help fight inflammation and prevent chronic disease. Plus, chia seeds are full of protein and fiber, so they’ll help you stay full. Warning: don’t pour out the liquid on top of your Greek yogurt; make sure to mix it in! The liquid is vitamin-rich and supplies amino acids, calcium, and whey protein to your diet.

2. Fruit and cottage cheese. This snack is a double whammy. Fruit is a go-to healthy choice packed with vitamins, and cottage cheese holds its own by supplying lots of calcium and amino acids that support muscle growth. The cheese is also super filling.

3. Nuts in general. A quick and healthy handful of nuts is sometimes all you need to satisfy a craving. I recommend any of the four healthiest nut varieties: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews. Pistachios in particular have one of the lowest calorie counts of any nut. Even if you eat fifty of them, you’re still well under 200 calories total. (Any of these nuts would also make a great topping for that Greek yogurt.)

4. A chocolate square. Who says you have to cut out chocolate just because you’re snacking smart? The key is to not just grab a candy bar from the vending machine. Instead, get an antioxidant-rich chocolate square with 70% cocoa content. You could also find bars with 80% cocoa content, although the taste isn’t as sweet.

5. A smoothie. To easily snack on fruit on the go, toss them in a blender and add in some leafy greens if you’re feeling adventurous. Never mind adding in milk or sugar. Those are the only ingredients you need for a tasty drink.