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How to snack in a healthy way?


Are you one of those who can’t resist the urge to snack? Of course, the alternative consisting of completely avoiding the snack aisle at the grocery store makes sense. Indeed, if you don’t have chips in the pantry, there is no risk of yielding to temptation.

You should still be aware of a principle that I call the vicious circle of deprivation; indeed, restriction leads to deprivation, which leads to frustration, which, in turn, leads to compulsive behaviour. Suffice it to say that subjecting yourself to a draconian regimen that allows no pleasure may eventually lead you to binge on “forbidden” foods. With that being said, how should we proceed? I recommend that you allow yourself one little cheat per week; this will enable you to set yourself a limit, while keeping you motivated on the long term.

Also, before opening the pantry, always ask yourself if you are hungry, or if you are eating due to habit.

Here are some healthy alternatives to popular snacks that could be eaten as light meals:

This is an excellent choice, if you don’t add tons of butter and salt. Eaten plain, popcorn contains no fat, and is rich in fibre. Three cups (750 ml) of popcorn equals one serving of starch, or one slice of bread. At the grocery store, choose low-fat options, as well as those offered in mini-bags (for example, Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop, or Balance Équilibre from the Compliments line).

Homemade “Tostitos”
This is a low-fat, low salt alternative that is also rich in fibre: for one serving, cut a half whole wheat pita in spikes, and dry the spikes in the oven. Serve with salsa and ¼ cup (60 ml) of ricotta for proteins. You will be delighted!

Other alternatives at the grocery store
Quaker’s Crispy Minis
small rice cakes can be a good alternative (12 chips), or you can use Oven-Baked Lays (around 10 chips) or oven-baked lentil chips from President’s Choice Blue Menu (around 15 chips), effectively replacing traditional chips with a lower lipids, saturated, and trans fats.

If you can’t resist your favourite chips, buy a small convenience-store sized bag (50 g) on occasion; this way, you won’t have any in stock at home, thus minimizing temptations!

Bon appétit!

By Marilyne Petitclerc

Marilyne Petitclerc

Holder of a degree in nutrition from Université Laval, Marilyne has worked as a nutritionist for Nautilus Plus since 2010. Passionate about healthy eating and sports nutrition, she also gives lectures and hosts cooking workshops. With her clients, Marilyne makes extensive use of the instinct diet approach and the Mediterranean diet model. Furthermore, she has attended classes on live nutrition at the Hippocrates Health Institute. Maryline ran the Quebec City Marathon des Deux Rives - Half Marathon in 2010 and 2012. She also took part in the Staircase Challenge, another event held in Quebec City in June 2012. Marilyne also plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league and trains regularly at the Nautilus Plus branch where she is employed.

How to snack in a healthy way? is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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