Last week, we launched our leading-into-summer 6-week Healthy Diet Bootcamp. If you jumped in immediately, you’re probably already feeling a little healthier; if you’re just joining us, it’s easy enough to catch up — there are still five weeks to go!
We started off talking about how to decide what you want to achieve, and how to set specific goals. This week, we get into the
meat and potatoes Hummus and veggies of what to eat — or snack on.
Healthy Diet Bootcamp, Week 2: Snacks, and Sticking to Your Diet
You’ve probably heard a lot of advice about what you should and shouldn’t eat when trying to lose weight. I’ve worked with thousands of clients over the past 12 years, as well as behind the scenes of The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp, so I have advice for you too, and I think it will be to your “taste”. I’m going to start with snacks — because no one can realistically make it without snacking. No snacks is just cruel.
Have delicious, healthy, easy food on hand at all times: Go grocery shopping
The first step is to have the right snack foods accessible, at all times. Stock your kitchen with foods that are healthy, delicious and easy to eat on the go. If you fill your cupboards with only plain rice cakes, canned tuna and Melba toast, your diet will last about two days. If your meals and snacks take over an hour to prepare, your diet will last about two days. If you buy healthy food at the grocery store but don’t end up eating it, and then buy junk for a just-this-one-time snack at work, your diet will last about two days. See a pattern? When dieting, invest in yourself and commit. Better still, make dieting easy for yourself.
Top 5 yummy and easy foods to have on hand at all times:
• Hummus: Healthy dip for veggies, or with whole-grain crackers. Compare products at the grocery store and choose the brand that’s lower in fat and higher in protein.
• Greek yogurt: The protein in Greek yogurt will satisfy your hunger much more than other yogurts. Try the brand Oikos: It’s lavishly rich and creamy, offers 8g of protein per serving and contains only 90 calories.
• Raw vegetables: Snap peas, baby carrots, celery, sliced peppers, etc. Raw veggies are the perfect snack for mid-afternoon or late-night munching. Face it: You can`t beat 15 calories (or less!) in ½ cup. Oh, and you can have raw veggies with hummus or a little dip — you don`t have to eat them plain.
• Fruit: Grapes, strawberries, blueberries — these are 3 of the easiest fruits to eat, because there’s no peeling required! ½ cup = 1 serving, and it will satisfy your sweet tooth. Try frozen grapes or frozen mango, you might be surprised at how delicious they are, too.
• Popcorn: Did you know popcorn is whole grain? And, it totally feels like a treat. It’s a great low-calorie snack, and you can eat a lot of it, for very few calories. 1 cup of plain popcorn has the same amount of calories as 1 cup of broccoli, and although I want you to still eat your veggies (for variety), popcorn is great. Plus, it may feel like a treat. A little melted butter (like, 1 tsp) is OK. For more on popcorn, check out “Eat This, Not That: Popcorn, Tortilla Chips and Chicken Burgers”
These are a great place to start, but I’m also giving you homework. Make a list of snack foods you can eat on the go. To get you started, I’ve given you my 5 favourites — but what do you like? Having easy, healthy food on hand, that you like, is a big part of dieting success, because it’s all about making sure healthy food is easily accessible and convenient. If you don’t have easily accessed healthy foods, you’ll just eat what you would normally eat. This list will get you started.
Next week: More about what to eat and sticking to your diet, plus meal plans for weight loss!
Ps. Follow me on twitter @MariaNutrition for tips to help you stay on track, and post Comments or questions below!
*Editor’s Note: This is the healthy eating portion of Slice.ca’s Get in Shape for Summer Bootcamp. Our fitness expert, Katya Mohsen, is providing tailored exercise routines for her part of Slice’s Bootcamp, also weekly!
Maria Thomas is a registered dietitian and owner of UrbanNutrition.com.