Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain: Strategy 1 Smart Snacks

My Bariatric Life Health Guide

    Well, the “most wonderful time of the year” – as the song goes -- is officially upon us. With the taste of Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing still lingering on our tongues, we quickly are whisked into another whirlwind of activities! By now the house has been redecorated – out with the Autumnal theme and up go the Christmas trees and lights. Already we are making Christmas cookies and egg nog, and hustling between malls and online shopping excursions.  Between now and January 1st there are menus to be planned and a bustle of celebrations to attend with friends, family, and co-workers.

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    While I truly do love this time of the year, it can be a real challenge for those of us “on a diet.” So in a series of shareposts throughout the season, I will reveal strategies that empower you to enjoy the holidays without packing on the pounds!


    Strategy 1 Smart Snacks


    The first strategy addresses eating healthy on the go. When it’s 6pm and you’re at the mall famished because you haven’t eaten since breakfast, don’t give in to the temptation of the golden arches or the siren’s call of the king. Instead, BYO (bring your own) smart snacks.


    When you're traveling during the holidays, follow the same strategy: Pack your own healthy snacks for the car, plane, or train so that you're less vulnerable to making bad food choices.


    Control Your Urge


    Have a smart snack of roughly 200 calories that consists of one protein plus one other food listed below about an hour before your normal meal time. The combine protein and healthy fats with high–quality carbohydrates is an ideal mix for keeping hunger at bay and blood–sugar levels even. So, you’ll stave off urges to grab something from the food court.


    It’s OK to eat your food in the food court -- just don’t eat the stuff masquerading as food that is being sold there. If you feel awkward doing so, just remember that the food court is there to keep you in the mall and shopping.  It matters not to the mall management if you eat food that you’ve brought with you (hence the reason that there are no signs reading “no outside food”). Of course, you always can go buy a bottle of water from one of the stands if you feel that you must purchase something.


    Do remember to BYO napkins and plastic forks, too!


    Smart Snacks to Pack


    The following snacks can be thrown in your purse or glove compartment (where it is chilled in colder climates, warmer climates should use an ice pack and lunch cooler).  



    MSG-free turkey or beef jerky

    Canned Spam (it doesn’t contain MSG)

    Canned Red Salmon

    Pouches of Tuna

    Tins of sardines

    Tins of smoked mussels

    Tins of oysters

    Tins of smoked clams

    String cheese

    Hard-boiled egg

    Protein bars (see the list of best protein bars)

    Raw, unsalted almonds

    Raw, unsalted cashews

    Unsweetened coconut

    Macadamia nuts

    Cups of almond butter

    Cups of cashew butter

    Cups of sunflower butter

    Unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds

  • Unsalted roasted sunflower seeds

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    Fresh apple

    Fresh orange

    Fresh tangerine

    Fresh plums

    Fresh apricots

    Cherry tomatoes

    Dried figs*

    Dried mango*

    Dried apricots*


    *Watch the dried fruit if diabetic or have had weight-loss surgery



    Celery sticks

    Baby carrots

    Carrot chips

    Baby cucumbers

    Raw baby zucchini



    Living life well-fed,




Published On: November 26, 2012