Health & Fitness

Day Three: Snack Smart

YOUR GOAL: Keep the munchies at bay without relying on processed snacks.

You’ve made it two whole days without meat — yay, you! You may be tempted to reward yourself with all the vegan treats for your otherwise healthy eating, but be on the lookout for “plant-based” sugary bars and salty chips that may just be masquerading as better-for-you choices. It’s important to look for options that are made from mostly filling whole foods and to pay attention to sugar content, sodium counts and portion size. When those intense afternoon cravings strike, you can also employ these strategies to keep your grazing healthy and under control.

Gnosh on bites high in healthy fats.
Foods like avocados, olives and nuts, are rich in satiating monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help you stay satisfied, avoid cravings and reach a healthier weight.

Choose snacks that require a little effort.
It’s pretty simple: Snacks that require a little work to eat, like pistachios or fresh cherries, slow you down. “This allows you to be more mindful of what you’re eating,” says nutritionist Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD. Plus, having leftover shells or pits as visual cues reinforces that you have, in fact, chowed down on a decent amount of food.

Buy single-serve packages.
Since you can only eat what’s in front of you, it’s time to beat yourself at your own game. On your next grocery haul, pick up smaller, individual-sized packs of your favorite plant-based snacks, like nuts and dried fruit. “Smaller, portion-controlled packages make you less likely to eat endless amounts in one sitting,” says nutritionist Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet.

Skinny Dipped Almonds: Buy ‘em in snack-sized bags or larger ones, these salty-sweet treats are everything you’d ever want to satisfy a hunger pang.


Reconsider what you buy in bulk.
Loading up at Costco and BJ’s feels sooo satisfying, but having a metric ton of food at your disposal increases the odds you’ll snack on a lot of it at once, says Gans. If buying snacks in bulk contributes to your mindless snacking, consider cutting back. Otherwise, portion out that 64-ounce tub of almonds into reusable containers as soon as you get home.

Don’t multitask while you nibble.
When you reach for the hummus and carrots, put away whatever you’re doing and just spend some solid time with your snack. “Concentrate on chewing and actually tasting it,” says Cording. “It should help you feel more satisfied and aware of how much you’re actually eating.”

Meatless Challenge: Day 3 Menu

Back to Challenge / Go to Day 4

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