We’ve all been there before…rushing through the grocery store aisles on an empty stomach. When you’re famished, EVERYTHING looks good. Shopping on an empty stomach is a no-no if you want to lose weight and feel healthy—it’s just too easy to give into a craving that leads to a processed snack aisle or fast food drive-through. Instead, pack your own waistline-lovin’ snacks so you can nibble during errands, without the extra fat, salt, sugar, or chemical additives. Not only will this help you avoid tossing unhealthy food choices into your cart, but it will also ensure that you have the energy you need to make it through a shopping session without a meltdown.
Check out these 12 snacks to take along while shopping to avoid the temptations:
1. Almonds– You’ll go nutty for these nuts, which help you feel full so you can avoid unhealthy snacks while shopping. Tuck a pack of 12-14 unsalted almonds, which equals about 100 calories, into your purse or bag for a snack you’ll feel good about. Learn more about almonds in The Top 25 Flat Belly Foods.
2. Banana– Nature’s original on-the-go snack is a smart way to fuel up on potassium, which keeps you hydrated during a long day of errands. They taste yummy on their own or in a to-go batch of Strawberry Banana Smoothie.
3. Apple– The apple has plenty of fiber to keep your stomach full so you can avoid food temptations, plus it delivers the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to handle everything from broken grocery bags to mid-afternoon traffic.
4. Grapes– They’re perfectly sized for shopping trips, making it easy for you to make a smart snacking choice. Grapes are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Researchers also believe they may help prevent degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s. Since grapes are known to contain some of the highest pesticide residue levels, buy organic. See a complete list of The Dirty Dozen, foods with high levels of pesticides.
5. String Cheese– No, these aren’t just for the kids’ lunchboxes. These carry on snacks go anywhere you go. One stick offers protein to fuel your muscles and beat back carb cravings. Reach for the low-fat mozzarella sticks.
6. No-Bake Snack Bars– Forget processed energy bars and make your own clean-eating snacks to be carried while shopping. Click the link to try one of our 3 popular and simple snack bar recipes.
7. Dried Fruit– A small baggie of dried fruit is the perfect way to satisfy a sweet snack tooth while you’re shopping. Enjoy raisins, figs, bananas, apricots, or prunes.
8. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds– When you’re looking for snacks to be carried while shopping, you can’t beat pumpkin seeds. Put a handful in a to-go bag, and then toss with a few shakes of your favorite seasoning. Instant healthy snack!
9. Baked Apple Chips– Keep the cravings at bay with this sweet but crispy treat. The cinnamon topping may work as a natural appetite suppressant by allowing the body to process insulin more effectively.
10. Air-Popped Popcorn– It usually takes less than 3 minutes to pop yourself this healthy snack for shopping. Look for popcorn that is low fat, low sodium, and has little added sugar (in other words, avoid most varieties labeled “Movie Popcorn.”)
11. Homemade Trail Mix– Many store-bought mixes are super high in fat, sugar, and sodium. Get the benefits of a trail mix by making your own so you can have healthy snacks while shopping. Combine sliced nuts, no-sugar-added dried fruit (like cherries or bananas), sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and a few dark chocolate chips.
12. Kale Chips– Avoid snack temptations by taking these chips on your shopping trip. These oven-baked snacks are tossed with plenty of flavorful spices, like cayenne, a spice that contains substances that may stimulate weight loss by increasing calorie burn.
For more delicious and nutritious recipes from SkinnyMs., check out our SkinnyMs. Recipe Collection of 101 Fan Favorites.