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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Love to snack? Try this!

I love to eat. I always have and I always will.

Before starting my weight loss journey I thought that I had to give up all of my favorite foods and restrict my diet to carrots and water to be successful. However, that wasn't the case.

What I realized is that I never really knew how to eat well. Up until that point, I would eat anything I wanted and not think about my caloric intake or the nutritional value of the foods I was consuming. In order to lose weight, I knew that I had to be in a calorie deficit and that would likely mean giving up some of my favorite foods, but it didn't mean that I had to give them all up. I initially made some small changes to my diet, opting for healthier choices like eating lean proteins for breakfast instead of bagels and cream cheese or sugary cereals.

As I got healthier I continued to make modifications to my diet. I now eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. One of the key things I've learned through this journey is that snacks to not have to be depriving. They can satisfy your hunger, your cravings and allow you to stay within your daily calorie range. Here are some great snack ideas between 100-200 calories:

Snacks around 100 calories:

• 1 piece of string cheese (although I've found some brands that are only 50 calories per peice!)

• 1 cup of grapes

• 1 cup of strawberries

• 1 large apple (which I slice into tiny slivers so I eat them like chips - crunchy and sweet!)

• 10 baby carrots with ¼ cup hummus

• An orange and 5 or 6 almonds (you can also buy 100 calorie packs of almonds if you don't want to count a few here and there)

• 10 cashew nuts

• 10 almonds

• 2 ounces of lean roast beef or turkey

• Half of a small avocado

• 1 hard-boiled egg and half of a sliced cucumber

• ¼ cup fat-free ranch dressing, with mixed raw veggies

• 1 small baked potato, with ½ cup salsa and 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream

• One 5-ounce tossed salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and ¼ cup fat-free dressing

• ¾ cup of cooked edamame

Snacks around 200 Calories

• 25 almonds

• ¾ cup of strawberries with ½ cup of nonfat cottage cheese or yogurt

• 4 ounces of grilled chicken

• 3 ounces of deli turkey slices with 1 ounce of lowfat Cheddar cheese - roll them up for something different and tasty!

• 1 apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter

• 2 tablespoons of hummus with 2 rice cakes

• ½ cup slow-cooked oatmeal with ½ cup nonfat milk (this is one of my favories, but I sub raisins for milk)

• 2 ounces of shrimp cocktail, with ¼ of an avocado and 1 tablespoon of cocktail sauce

Changing your lifestyle does not mean starving yourself or sacrificing the foods that you love. It's all about balance. With time you'll find that you don't crave the fattening, sugary foods as much as you did and eventually, you'll prefer the healthier options.

I never thought I'd choose an apple over an oreo - but I do!

Be healthy. Bee happy.

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