Ever feel like there is no possible way to avoid the deadly freshman 15? You seem to be eating fairly healthy, working out occasionally, and walking to class. Yet you still feel sluggish and bloated? Here is a question, now try and answer honestly: are you snacking more than you did at home? Snacking is one of the biggest causes for the freshman 15, besides other things ;). You can have a bunch of yummy munchies in your dorm room while you’re studying, or even if you are just hanging out with friends and are craving something crunchy. But STOP EVERYTHING! I am not trying to convince you that snacking is bad, but rather what you are snacking on could be healthier for you. And in turn, maybe you could shed those last couple of stubborn pounds off by Thanksgiving and wow your family and yourself! Here are my favorite healthy alternatives for when you just gotta snack snack snack.
1. Crunchy veggies/fruit – replacing potato chips and the need for the crunch
Broccoli with ranch
2. Nuts – get that salty craving under control
Lightly salted almonds
Lightly salted cashews
Side note: if you have a local farmers’ market near your college campus, take some time to go and check it out! Chances are, there will be a nut stand with millions of flavored nuts. While candied pecans are not the healthiest, they sure beat a slice of chocolate cake!
3. Frozen fruit – that sweet tooth is about to be stopped (sort of)
Grapes – these taste like pure candy when frozen
Bananas – if you mash them up too it ends up the same consistency as frozen yogurt!
4. Healthy spreads and toppings – make all these foods taste even better!
Chocolate coconut butter
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Apple cider vinegar (trust me, this with veggies tastes terrible at first, but it grows on you and is great for your metabolism)
Reduced fat ranch (if you really need something to mask the taste of your vegetables, this is a great alternative)
5. Protein bars
Normally I would not say protein bars are a great healthy alternative, but if you are in a pinch they can do the trick! I have a class that ends at 12:00pm and one that starts at 12:10pm, and I usually snack on a protein bar or nuts in this time instead of reaching for an easy and cheap bag of chips.