Low Maintenance Snacks To Improve Your Health
February 21, 2006 –Several popular diets, and many more physicians and dieticians, recommend increasing the number of meals eaten in a day. For people on the go, shuttling between school, work, classes, or carpools, this can mean grabbing fast food from a window, or getting selections from a vending machine – not exactly the healthy choices doctors had in mind.
So how can you seamlessly incorporate two new meals – and healthy ones – into your busy schedule?
You can start by eating breakfast. One of the most frequently skipped meals – hey who needs to sit and eat breakfast when you can swing by Starbucks and grab a frappachino? – breakfast is the keystone to a healthy eating pattern.
“Individuals that eat breakfast are less likely to overeat through the day,” said Dallas-based Fitness Trainers To Go nutritionist Anna Yuschak, MA. Instead of grabbing a pack of pop tarts, or a jelly donut, both of which are comprised mainly of carbohydrates, pour yourself a bowl of whole-grain cereal or granola, with skim milk. When you start off your day with carbs that quickly burn off and leave your system craving more, you put yourself at a disposition. Your body craves its next snack. Opt for a breakfast food that will stick with you.
When you leave the house, take with you a couple of low maintenance snacks that are either prepackaged or can be prepared the night before.
Fitness Trainers To Go CEO and founder Robert Korngiebel has clients who assemble Ziploc baggies of fresh vegetables and keep them in the refrigerator. When they leave the house in the morning, they grab one on their way out the door.
“It is a snack that requires absolutely no thought,” said Korngiebel. “The portions are pre-measured so they don’t have to worry about overeating, and it is the perfect-sized pick-me-up for the middle of the day.”
Yuschak advises eating every three hours to help the body’s metabolism stay at an increased, and more efficient, level.
Other healthy snacks can include sectioned fruits, nuts, vegetables with low-fat dip, cheese and whole-grain crackers, hummus and wheat pitas, and fruit smoothies. Try alternating snacks so as not to get bored with your new menu options.
For clients who love to cook and be surrounded by good food in the kitchen, Yuschak recommends looking for recipes whose ingredients are low in fats and sugar. She advises her clients to use substitutions in favorite recipes that are high in calories. For example, substitute ground turkey for ground beef, dark chocolate for milk chocolate, and frosty evaporated skim milk for heavy cream. Low and nonfat varieties of popular favorites, such as cheeses, yogurts, and butter, are easy to substitute for their fattier counterparts, without sacrificing taste.
While it seems counterproductive to eat more in order to weigh less, the scales are not lying. The trick is to make sure that the extra food you consume is low in fat and calories, but still tasty and fulfilling. Experiment with different foods and flavors until you find some healthy treats you look forward to eating.
You will save time by avoiding fast food restaurants and you won’t have the telltale greasy spots on your pants when you get to work.
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