Working Your Way Around a Snack Attack! (Chef Isabella)

snack attackI know what gets me in trouble during the winter months—snacks!

I’m proud to say that I follow the program, but whenever I get into the snacky mood, oh boy, no one can stop me from stretching the boundaries…not even Florine!

My temptation comes in the form of sweets. Now that can be dangerous, so I know I have to be careful and work my way around unhealthy food choices. I get so mad at myself for allowing cravings to cause me such problems so I’m working very hard on trying to handle my weakness. I’m not shooting for eliminating sweets completely, I’m just always trying different, healthier ways to handle my cravings and who knows, maybe one day I can look back and say, “I used to like that stuff.” I want to be that person.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a big fan of homemade foods. Instead of heading out to the convenience store for a Snickers or Hershey bar when a chocolate craving hits, I enoy lower-fat and healthier homemade cookies and energy bars. I make a big batch, portion it, count the PointsPlus value of each portion, enjoy one serving and freeze the rest. For me, it’s as easy as that! If i don’t feel like being in the kitchen, I enjoy a Weight Watchers snack bar or rely on one of the substitutions listed below. This strategy gets me off the hook and allows me to stay within my daily PointsPlus target.

I realize that not all of you share my passion for cooking, so maybe I can help you out so you can control your own cravings. It’s all about making a better, healthier choice and taming your craving with something tasty.

If you are a “salty” person, nix the potato chips and have a serving of…

  • Pita chips
  • Vegetable chips, or slices (homemade are the best!)
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Grape tomatoes tossed with some dill or other spices
  • Nuts
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Pretzels
  • Toasted seeds (like pepitas, sun flowers)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hummus

If you struggle with a sweet tooth (just like me), you can calm it down by enjoying…

  • Frozen fat-free yogurt (an alternative to ice cream)
  • Creamy pudding (choose low-fat/sugar free)
  • Homemade cookies (apple sauce or puree fruit to replace oil or butter and use less nuts and chocolate that the recipe calls for)
  • Dark chocolate (at least 65 % cocoa)
  • Frozen grapes (great in the summer time)
  • Fruit smoothies (use old, extra fruit, yogurt, skim milk, ice)
  • Fruit salad
  • Dried fruit (for energy boost), dates are great by the way

If you like both sweet and salty, then make your own trail mix by using a variety of roasted nuts, pretzel, raisin, dried fruit such as banana, and seeds.

These substitutions help but the bottom line is, we should always try to figure out why we want to snack in the first place.I certainly know I have the urge to snack out of boredom. If I stop thinking about the food and take a couple of minutes before going for the snack, there is a big chance I don’t even want it.

Now that may sound like a simple solution but weight-loss and healthy eating starts in the brain. If we can retrain our thoughts and rethink our actions, we’ve got in made. Start slow, but just be sure to start listening to your thoughts and change them to fit your goals. Having a Plan B and Plan C will get you out of messy situations.