If your New Year’s resolution calls for a bit of fitness, you’re not alone. In fact, weight loss resolutions are incredibly popular. No wonder gyms are so crowded in January and February. But, sadly, a lot of people give up on those fitness goals a few months into the year. The number on the scale isn’t always that important, though. Health, however, is, even when it’s just not convenient.
Apparently, nearly half of all Americans wish they could lose weight. That means you can look outside at a busy street and figure that around 50% of the people you see aren’t happy with their bodies. Since our schedules are so jam-packed, it’s hard to make time for healthier routines. And that’s not all. The American Psychological Association reports that 27% of people stress eat, meaning they use unhealthy snacks to manage their emotions and their workload.
The good news is, change is possible. And the best way to make healthy changes that stick is to do things gradually. Since much of weight loss focuses more on what you eat rather than exercise, one of the quickest habits to tweak is how you snack.
And chips are some of the worst offenders. Give some people a bowl of wavy chips and French onion dip, and they’re set.
But there are healthier snacks that are way more satisfying.
1. Sunflower Seeds
These seeds are a great snack since.
Removing them from the shell is also a way to stay occupied and eat less overall. Plus, salted sunflower seeds can offer a taste and texture that’s similar to chips. The natural snack has a bunch of healthy fat. And you can eat it either roasted or raw, depending on your preference. Need more reasons to dive into a bowl? Studies suggest sunflower seeds help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Want another food to keep your hands busy; why not try a pomegranate?
If you snack out of boredom, this healthy treat will serve as a project. Pomegranates also have a ton of antioxidants, and Healthline has gone so far as to call the fruit one of the healthiest things you can eat from the produce section. They’ve even been linked to helping prevent prostate cancer, as pomegranate extract can help slow down the reproduction of cancer cells.
3. Air-Popped Popcorn
Not the kind you get at the theater drenched in butter, but still good.
Popcorn is often on top of the healthy snack list. You just need to keep track of how much you eat. And try not to add anything that might accidentally rack up unnecessary calories. Reader’s Digest confirms that it’s all about how you pop it. The kernels contain a healthy amount of whole grains and reportedly have even more iron than spinach.
4. Baked Apple Chips
The secret is they’re a lot healthier if you make them yourself.
Apple chips are healthier than banana chips that you find in stores. Those are shockingly filled with sugar. To make your own version of this snack, include some sugar (along with a bit of cinnamon) to bring out the flavor while baking. And don’t worry, you’ll have complete control over what you add. If you’re against added sweeteners, a few recipes cut the sugar out completely, making this a truly healthy choice.
5. Mini Rice Cakes
Rice cakes may sound a little dull, but there are a ton of varieties.
Smaller rice cakes can make you feel like you’re eating chips. That’s why they’re so ideal. Because of their fiber, the rice cakes can make you feel full in a way that chips won’t. The only problem is that they aren’t as nutritious as they could be. Consequently, you may want to pair them with a nut spread for more of a boost.
6. Beef Jerky
It’s hard to believe that beef jerky is actually pretty good for you.
The one con? It’s often expensive. That’s why you might want to try making your jerky at home if you’re a big snacker. Beef jerky is filling, satisfying, and it contains a great amount of iron and zinc. Certain varieties can be high in sodium, though. So if you’re looking to reduce your salt intake, jerky might not be your best bet.
If salt is what you crave, why not snack on pickles?
Dill pickle chips make a great snack. They’re low in calories, filling, and satisfying. Plus, pickle juice is a popular go-to beverage for curing all sorts of things, from muscle cramps to hangovers. Pickles also last a long time in the fridge. It’s good to buy some and have them ready when the chip craving rears its head.
Nuts, in general, are a good snack, but almonds are the most versatile.
Almonds come in plenty of different “flavors,” meaning that you’ll never get bored with them. LiveScience reports that not only are they one of America’s favorite nut varieties, but almonds also help aid a bunch of people with their weight loss goals. Turns out, they offer up more nutrients than chips and keep you fuller longer.
They’re so delicious you might forget they’re also really good for you.
Salt fans are especially fond of edamame. In fact, many snack producers top the bean with fine salt. These pods are fun to eat and can also serve as a quick go-to side dish for any meal. Additionally, they’re high in whole protein and chock full of folate and Vitamin K. Even better, they may help prevent breast cancer. What’s not to love?
10. Roasted Chickpeas
Did you know you could easily turn chickpeas into a snack?
When they’re roasted, chickpeas turn crunchy, much like potato chips. Some varieties are even salted, proving that you could easily turn your meal plan around with this simple hack. It doesn’t hurt that chickpeas are great for you. They provide an excellent source of protein and can help with your gut health.
Okay, we know. Celery doesn’t sound very exciting.
But it’s got a satisfying crunch. And you can top the veggie with fun spreads that can help boost the nutritional value. A little bit of peanut butter or cream cheese can give celery some flavor. Even if you use a light ranch dip, celery sticks still go down better than a big bowl of caloric chips.
12. Pretzels And Hummus
Sabra sells individual to-go packages which are absolutely delicious.
This is also an easy combination to make at home, especially if you buy individually wrapped pretzels. Pretzels are a draw already, as they contain 27% fewer calories than chips. But the hummus spread helps you feel full and adds nutrients to your snack. Since hummus is made out of chickpeas, it’s a relatively healthy dip.
Ever think about snacking on olives before?
People who follow a Mediterranean diet snack on olives pretty often. They’re satisfying for a few reasons. One, olives are salty; they will cure your chip itch. Two, Female First reports that olives surprisingly burn fat naturally. They stimulate a fat-burning protein hormone called Adiponectin. And they’re also great for your skin, too.
14. Fruit Leather
It’s like Fruit By The Foot, but for adults!
Adults can snack on treats meant for the lunchbox whenever they want. But fruit leather isn’t just more mature. It’s more nutritious if you choose to make it at home. Commercially produced fruit leather is bound to have more preservatives and sugar. Never forget that if you’re looking to snack on something, actual fruit is available in many different forms.
15. Wheat Chex
Snacking on some Chex is a great way to get the crunch you’re after.
Wheat Chex stands out among the rest of the breakfast pack because it contains whole grains. It’s also treated with essential vitamins and minerals. Consequently, a bowl of the stuff is more nutritious than what you might normally consume. Cereal doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to healthy choices, but that’s mostly because the popular flavors contain a ton of sugar. Wheat Chex only has around six grams of sugar per cup.
16. Bare Veggie Chips
If you just can’t let go of chips, at least try these out.
They come in carrot, beet, and sweet potato varieties. Plus, veggie chips have an impressively short list of ingredients. For example, the Bare sweet potato chips include sweet potatoes, sea salt, and black pepper. That’s it. They’re also fat-free and provide a decent source of fiber. They might completely transform your idea of “chips.”