It’s a new month and a new year! Many of us make resolutions to achieve special goals for the near year. One common New Year’s resolution is to get in shape and eati. This can mean going to the gym more, eating healthier, or taking up a physical activity as a hobby. Making simple changes to your daily eating habits can have a big influence on keeping your resolutions. One area in particular is snack food. While munching on crackers, chips, and cookies may be convenient, they don’t help your waistline.
Making some small swaps in your snacks with healthier options is just one step to eating healthier and helping you maintain your New Year’s resolution.
Skip the chips and dip, and aim for the whole-grain goodness of popcorn! A serving size of unpopped corn is 1 ounce. Once popped, it yields almost 3 and a half cups worth of fluffy popcorn. This one serving (if air popped and without toppings) clocks in around 100 calories. You can easily pop popcorn at home with an air popper or even in the microwave. Simply place the kernels in a brown paper bag, roll the top down to seal tightly and pop like you would a store-bought bag of popcorn.
Or you can purchase plain popcorn to have on hand. Separate into individual servings and store in plastic zip sealed bags, so you have a healthy snack that is “grab and go.”
Got a sweet tooth? Before you reach for the cookie jar, why not try fruit? Apples and bananas are two of the most popular fruits, especially because they are both naturally sweet. Fresh cut apple slices are a healthy snack option. You can even add a small dollop of peanut butter or vanilla yogurt for dipping. Bananas (especially when very ripe) are incredibly sweet on their own. If you’re in the mood for ice cream, try this: Freeze a few very ripe bananas and then blend together in a food processor until smooth. What you’re left with is a cold, creamy dessert similar to soft serve ice cream, without the fat and calories. If that doesn’t sound tasty, add a few strawberries, a cup of nonfat milk, and plain yogurt and blend to create a delicious smoothie. If that’s not healthy enough, blend one of your favorite apple varieties with a celery stick, a few cherry tomatoes, a handful of spinach to create an energizing green smoothie!
While celery isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the benefit of eating celery is that you burn pretty much the same amount of calories of a stalk of celery simply by chewing it. In essence, celery has “zero” calories as the act of eating the celery cancels out its caloric content. If you can’t do celery by itself, feel free to add a dab of cream cheese or peanut butter (which will add a small number of calories).
Looking for healthy New Year’s recipes? Read our Healthy Recipes for the New Year blog post.
© Featured Photo by id-art, Getty Images