It’s the most wonderful time of the year: time for cookies, cheese plates, champagne, and everything else that’s delicious. But just because the holiday season is filled with indulgent treats doesn’t mean you have to have the thought-to-be-inevitable holiday weight gain. How do you keep your waistline in check this holiday season? We went to an expert to find out.
Liz Barnet, Fitness and Nutrition Coach, chatted with Most Wanted and shared that if you’re mindful about what you put in your body, you can (yes, YOU can) come out of holiday season unscathed. But what does mindful eating mean? It means deciding which special treats are “worth it” (i.e. Grandma’s Christmas pie) and passing on the rest (i.e. dry Christmas cookies from a tin). It also means making the rest of your meals and snacks sensible by filling up on protein and fiber to help you stay full. And whatever you do, Barnet says, don’t save up your calories or go to an event ravenous — you’ll only end up binging on unhealthy options. Instead, arm yourself with the snacks listed below to keep you in check when unhealthy options are in front of you.
RXbars, Variety Pack
Barnet dubs these "better-for-you" protein bars. Made from only whole food ingredients (think: dried nuts, fruit, and egg white protein), they’re an upgrade from traditional protein bars because they’re less processed. The best part? They are packed with protein — clocking in at 12 grams — and actually taste delicious. Try the Maple Sea Salt flavor. You won’t regret it.
Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites
When you need something a little sweet but want to keep the ingredients clean and simple, Barnet suggests reaching for these chewy bites. High in potassium and fiber, Barnana combines 86 percent cacao with dried banana and zero refined sugars.
Oh! Nuts Mixed Nuts and Seeds
Mixed nuts and seeds are great as long as you don’t overdo it, notes Barnet. Portion control is key, which is why these pre-portioned packs are the perfect snack for in between meals. Packed with healthy fats and protein, these variety packs are great to grab-and-go as you do your holiday shopping.
Bare Natural Coconut Chips
Barnet insists “these coconut chips will fill you up without filling out your waistline.” Naturally gluten-free and a good source of fiber, these pre-portioned chips are also filled with healthy fats, which make them super satisfying. Plus, research says that coconut oil could help boost metabolism — and we're always on board for that.
gimMe Snacks Organic Roasted Seaweed
If the holiday stress is sending you straight for something crunchy and salty, reach for these seaweed snacks instead of potato chips or popcorn, instructs Barnet. These sheets of crispy, toasted seaweed are addictive, low cal (only 25 for the whole package!), and will please even the crunchiest of eaters.
The Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks
Made with just a few simple ingredients — chickpeas, olive oil, salt, and seasonings — these roasted chickpeas are a great gluten-free and nut-free vegetarian source, according to Barnet. They’re low in fat but high in protein and have a great crunch, making them super satisfying.
With lots of flavor, these pre-portioned, portable olive snack packs are a great way to stave off cravings. Barnet suggests pairing these olives with some fresh veggie sticks and a portion of protein-packed cheddar or Parmesan cheese for a healthy and delicious snack platter for one!
According to Barnet, jerky has recently made a comeback as the perfect portable, shelf-stable, protein-rich snack. With unique flavor combinations like Chili Lime, Black Cherry BBQ, and Basil Citrus, Krave is actually crave-worthy.
Justin's Nut Butters
These nut butters are not only delicious and nutritious, the individual squeeze packs keep you fueled on-the-go and keep your portions in check, Barnet notes. Almond, peanut, and even hazelnut butter varieties are combined with honey, vanilla, and chocolate for a seriously decadent-tasting treat. In fact, we may even prefer these to actual frosting!
“If you really need to treat yourself, barkTHINS help you do it in a better-for-you way,” shares Barnet. This chocolate bark is sweet, crunchy, and salty with nutritious add-ins such as coconut, almonds, and pepitas. So, you can pass on the candy cane and not feel like you missed out.
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