6 Low Calorie Snack Options

Fruits and Veggies
If you’re anything like me, it’s super hard not to snack between meals and even *whisper* late at night. I know what you’re thinking–late night snacking is a huge no-no, especially when you are trying to lose weight. But bare with me, because I have compiled an appetizing list of low calorie foods that are great to satisfy any craving when you absolutely
need to snack!

The best advice I can offer you is to always have a healthy snack readily available. If the only thing you have in your cabinets is swiss rolls and cheetos, that's most likely what you will grab when you're hungry.  Of course, we all break down and want something down right bad for us occasionally. Well, I have a solution! Instead of chips and cookies, keep foods like ice cream or a small brownie mix around. I know what you're thinking; how are these any better for you? In all honesty, they aren't better for you, but I know when I want a snack, I'm also feeling a little lazy. So, preparing a bowl of ice cream sounds like a lot more work then eating a banana or some whole-grain crackers.

I promise, if you keep any or all of these healthy snacks in your cabinets, you'll definitely feel a lot healthier yourself!

My favorite go-to snack is raw veggies. A lot of people like different vegetables, but I prefer carrots and broccoli with light ranch. Mmm, my mouth waters just thinking about it. Although this is loads better than junk food, you still need to focus on not over-eating. Eating too much of anything can be bad for you! The established "serving size" for raw veggies is about one cup.

Another awesome and quick snack is whole-grain crackers or (even better!) sesame sticks. It's kind of like having a few chips, but it's way healthier! I know a lot of you probably haven't tried sesame sticks, but I definitely suggest picking up a bag. They may taste a little bland at first, but after four or five you're completely addicted. I know I buy mine at Walgreens, but they are more common than you think, so I would just check at a local grocery store!

And of course, how could we forget about some sweet, delicious fruit?! This is a healthy snack that can turn unhealthy really quick if you aren't careful. Most dips sold for fruits are really high in calories, so make sure to check that before you buy any! If you like apples, I recommend investing in an apple slicer! It's a much easier snack when you can cut it all with one slice! Now, the reason fruit can be tricky is because some people don't understand which fruits are healthy and which can be a little fattening. Check out this blog by Canadian Living.

Now, if you're someone (like me) who needs a little chocolate or any sweets every now and then, trail mix is a perfect balance between that naughty craving and a healthy snack! If you're savvy with your money, you can buy M&M's, unsalted nuts, dates or raisins, and anything else you like to put in your trail mix and make it yourself! For me, I don't have the self control to be in full possession of a bag of M&M's, so I buy it pre-made! ;)

Granola bars or 100 calorie snacks are perfect for on-the-go snacks! When you're in a rush to leave, odds are, at some point, you'll stop at a gas station or fast food place to grab a quick bite to eat. If you have these in the house, they are so easy to take with you. And, if you get the right kind, they are healthy and delicious! I like the 100 calorie oreo snacks and Fiber One granola bars!

If you don't mind doing a little prep work, and are wanting a snack that's a little more filling, there are options for you! Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and maybe some sliced banana is so yummy and quite filling! You could also make some oatmeal or chop up some fresh fruit and put it in some low-fat yogurt. A small salad (fruit or veggie) could be a very filling snack, especially if you add just the tiniest amount of bacon bits, mmm!

There are tons of low calorie snack options available for everyone, no matter what you like. If you have any suggestions and would like to share what low calorie snacks you eat, please comment below!


How to Get Motivated for a Workout!

As you know, I started my weight loss journey a little before the start of 2013. And as many people tend to do, I have totally fallen out of it. Many things came up -- I got my job in late December, I moved out of my parents house in April, and I started going back to school in June. Of course, there really is no excuse for not even doing a minute-long plank every day. Thus, I am so ready to get my mojo back!

Now, normally, at the beginning of your weight loss journey, you have a reason to do it. Whether you have a wedding coming up, it’s almost summer, or the plain and simple fact that you don’t like the way you look, you are definitely motivated for the first couple workouts!

I don’t know how people just get up at six in the morning and go for a 5-mile run before work, but I hope, one day, I could do that if I wished. That’s my motivation for working out (plus, in actuality, I look horrid in a two-piece). So, without further adieu, here is a list of my daily motivation go-to’s!

  1. The fastest way for me to get motivated is Pinterest. There are tons of different workouts, some sound so easy it’s almost impossible to say no. The biggest reason Pinterest motivates me is because when I’m looking through Health & Fitness pins, I see all the women who do workout and have amazingly toned body’s. After that, I look at myself and think: Do I seriously want to look like this? And if you hadn’t guessed, the A to that Q is a big fat no.
  2. Set goals. This might sound obvious, but many people just think about what they want to do and just “wing it” when it’s time to workout. You need to set a goal. I use a custom calendar and write my workout goal for the month in hours. Then I have a section each day to write if and how long I work out. If I make my goal at the end of the month, I treat myself to a new shirt or jeans (hopefully soon it will be a swimsuit!) If you need a little help getting started, I’ve posted my calendar at the bottom of this post. My only request if you use it is to write your goals in pen–no cheating!
  3. Another way to find motivation to workout is to publicly post your goals — I do that through my blog. If you don’t have a blog, post your goals on Facebook, Twitter, or even just tell all of your friends! Once you have publicly committed to losing weight, it will be easier for you to want to workout. Lets say you post a Facebook status saying, “Today I start my journey, I plan to lose 20 pounds in 4 months!” and then you fall out of your weight loss a month later. A couple weeks pass and your (more fit) friend asks how much you have lost in the last month. How hard is it going to be for you to tell her you quit?

Tinker Toned CalendarHow do you get motivated for your workout? Share your ideas and I’ll add some to the list! 🙂

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat (And What to Replace Them With)

I’m tired of hearing “America is overweight.” That’s putting a huge number of people in the same category that shouldn’t be. About 30% of adult Americans are obese. And even then, some can’t control their weight due to health issues and whatnot. Now, about another 30% of American adults are classified as overweight. Let me clear something up: being overweight means you have a body mass index of 25 or more. Body builders would have an extremely high BMI and others may have one as low as 26 but are still a part of that statistic. Although these statistics might change the judgement on America, finding your BMI is a good way of starting a weight loss plan because let’s face it, you know whether you need or want to lose weight.

Now that I’m done with my rant, we can start on what you’re here for. I’m going to give you a compiled list of foods you should never eat. And I understand, never is a harsh word, but if you are serious about losing weight and becoming healthier, trying won’t hurt. At least cut back on these foods and slowly progress to the point you no longer keep them in your house.

White BreadNumber One: White Bread
White bread is left with almost none of breads original vitamins, minerals or fiber. The flour used in white bread has also been bleached with chlorine. That just does not sound healthy. There are so many other options when choosing bread. Some of the healthiest breads include: whole wheat, rye and pumpernickel (and they’re all delicious!) To find out which type would be healthiest for you check out this article.

Number Two: Corn-fed Beef
Grass-Fed CowsIf you can avoid it, do! Cattle are meant to eat grass, not grains! Originally, cows were fed grass and it took them 4-5 years before they were able to be slaughtered for meat. With grain-fed cows, they can be ready in 14 months. This is because of how fast the farmers are able to fatten them up. They even use growth hormones. It is a bit more expensive, but isn’t everything that’s good for you? If you’re like me and don’t want your arteries clogging, I believe the healthier choice is obvious here. More info: Corn-Fed Vs. Grass-Fed Beef

sad_potatoNumber Three: Non-Organic Potatoes
Pretty much self explanatory, don’t ya think? They absorb so many herbicides and pesticides while they are stuck in the ground. And even after they come out, they are sprayed with more gunk so they don’t sprout. In my opinion, it’s probably one of the worst non-organic foods out there. A lot of other fruits and vegetables should be bought organic. Here’s a list of foods that you should buy organic and foods that are normally clean.

Last, but not least: Fatty Foodsfatty foods
Unfortunately, this includes: fast food, sweets, frozen dinners, pizza, anything fried or greasy, and the list goes on. We all know we aren’t suppose to eat them, but then we have our excuses. “I didn’t have time for anything else,” “I won’t eat anything else today,” “It’s cheap.” While any or all of these may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re putting filth into your body.

I’m not saying I’m perfect. I don’t even follow some of these rules I’ve just listed out for you. I have just recently started my health kick and I feel great about it, although I do have a fast food burger or chicken nuggets maybe once a week. I plan on stopping this. I have decreased my fatty food intake by about 70% and I will keep going. You have to set goals before you can reach them and nothing changes overnight. I know that if you want to–and I mean really want to, you can change your life completely.