We've all gone through those hangry moments where we just need something and those celery sticks in the fridge look as appetizing as the rocks outside. For me, this is where I tend to fall off the wagon unless I have some sort of plan.
Here are 21 snack options that shouldn't totally throw you off your healthy diet. Before indulging in a snack, make sure your macros will allow for it.
Cheese - If your diet allows you to have cheese, it might be worth it to get some cheese sticks. Let yourself have one a day.
Nuts - Hit up Costco or your local grocery and get some nuts. Plain or lightly salted is best, but hey - I get it. Those cocoa almonds or honey roasted cashews are super good. You can also get 1oz or 100 calorie packaged nuts.
Melon - Melon has a high water percentage and it has flavor. If you need something sweet, you might want to opt for a slice of melon.
Sunflower Seeds - Get the in-shell type. These come in a variety of flavors and you have to work a little to get that kernel. I tend to keep a few flavors on hand.
Apple - Cut up an apple into slices and eat it plain or with a little almond butter. This is filling and it can really hit that sweet and salty craving. If you want something hot, try chopping up an apple and pan-frying it with a little coconut oil and cinnamon. The natural pectin found in apples will help make you feel full.
Nut Butter - You can get a jar of various nut butters or you can get individual packets. Either way, this is a good option if you just want a spoonful.
Vegetable Tray - An easy go-to snack that can be prepped when you have a moment is a veggie tray. It can have celery, carrots, jicama, bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, green beans, or other veggies that you like to eat raw. Tailor it to what you like to eat and what you can have - for instance, I avoid root vegetables because my body does not like the high starch. Find some kind of dip that you can have with your veggies to make it really seem like a snack. If you're worried about the dip throwing you off, you can limit the amount you eat. You might wan to try low calorie dressing, hummus, guacamole, baba ganoush, or salsa.
Kale Chips - Kale chips are super easy to make and relatively cheap, especially when you start looking at the price of pre-made kale chips. Search for recipes on pinterest.
Hard Boiled Egg - You can enjoy a hard boiled egg either dry, with a little mustard, or with some other sauce.
Sugar-Free Jello - Whether you make a bowl of it or jello jigglers or your own individual jello cups...jello can be a fun treat. It doesn't have to be jello brand. Be adventurous and try making a blackberry/sage gelatin or strawberry mint. Search for gelatin recipes on pinterest. It's low carb, low calorie, and you can make it how you want it.
Dark Chocolate - The goal is to find something 55% - 90%. The percentage is important because it lets us know that there isn't all the filler junk in the chocolate. Brands like Lindt, Cadbury, Trader Joe, and Ritter Sport all have the percentages displayed. You can get a large bar and break it up into pieces or squares. Allow yourself to have a square of chocolate after dinner with a hot cup of tea.
Gourmet Tea - Sometimes we eat because we are bored or stressed out. If this is something that you do, try gourmet loose leaf tea. There are a lot of places to order from. I really like ordering from Adagio Tea. I'm a big fan of the chestnut black tea, sleeping dragon green tea, jasmine balls, and grapefruit oolong. I always have a big selection of tea on hand. All you need for loose leaf tea is a French press and a kettle to heat your water. I add tea to my daily water count.
Popsicles - You can make your own or you can buy them at the grocery store. You can make them with sugar-free jello (jello pops), your own smoothie concoction (like a frozen smoothie), a juice blend, or something along those lines. Pinterest is full of variations to try. Finding a popsicle mold on Amazon is pretty easy. If you pick up popsicles from the grocery store, I suggest outshine fruit and veggie blend popsicles, alden's blackberry fruit bars, and coconut bliss bars.
Meat Sticks - If you can fit it into your macros, try having a meat stick. I get picky with my meat sticks because it is a processed food item. You can always opt for jerky or slices of pepperoni or salami too.
Dill Pickles - Dill pickles are a pretty inexpensive snack that has bonus probiotics. I love a good pickle and find that it generally just takes one to snuff out any cravings. Avoid sweet pickles as they have added sugars. If you want to try other pickled items, I highly recommend pickled okra.
Olives - I love olives and tend to over eat them, but olives can be a great little snack. You can stuff them with a little cream cheese or get them stuffed with almonds. If you are able to find it, try the individual packages of olives - made for snacking.
Homemade Macaroons - 2-1/2 cups shredded coconut, 4 egg whites, and 1 TBSP honey/maple syrup/agave. Mix it all up and spoon onto a cookie sheet. 350F for 20-25 minutes. There are variations, but this is pretty basic. Once they come out and cool, you can eat them plain or dip them half way in dark chocolate. If you feel like you need a cookie, this is what I recommend.
Homemade Trail Mix - Make your own trail mix with stuff you like. I recommend adding two types of nuts, dark chocolate bits, dehydrated cheese or moon cheese (if you can have cheese), coconut chips, and something extra. If you can afford the sugars in raisins, craisins, dried apricots, or other dried fruit - perhaps that is your extra. You might want to try wasabi peas or sesame sticks or crystallized ginger or pepitas or candy-coated sunflower seeds. This can be more cost effective than buying a big bag of mix.
Apple Chips - One of my favorite alternative to chips is apple chips. Usually you can find them made in a variety of apples and also cinnamon or caramel flavored. Apple chips are usually baked to a chip-like state, not dehydrated. You can make them yourself or buy them by the bag. Seneca makes a good pre-made apple chip.
Pork Rinds - Another chip alternative is pork rinds. I prefer the plain pork rinds. I also cannot open a bag of pork rinds without my two dogs fiercely begging. I don't blame them, pork rinds are good.
5.5oz can V8 Juice - If you want something quick and drinkable, reach for the plain V8 in the small can. Avoid the fruity "extra" V8s unless you want the added sugars and carbs.
When it comes to stuff you should avoid, look at how your diet is organized. If you're avoiding grains, legumes, sugar, starch, and processed foods, it is best to avoid anything bread or cake like. "Paleo Bread" and "Paleo Cupcakes" and "Paleo Brownies" and "Keto Donuts" all sound great, but these things will totally throw you off your macro game. I see these items as a "once in a great while" sort of thing, not as snack items. You are supposed to avoid these items, so why bother going to great lengths to make a "healthier" version of it?
I also suggest avoiding anything processed or that increases your sugar intake.
What's in my fridge for snacking?
Dill pickles, pepperoni slices, a crushed up dark chocolate bar, nuts, and gourmet tea. I guess I could consider my almond butter as a snack, but I don't often reach for it. I'd rather just grab a handful of almonds. I'm thinking about ordering some apple chips from Amazon.
I totally have a box of Simple Mills vanilla cake mix (paleo friendly) in my cabinet, but I tend to wait until I have a good reason to use it to make cake donuts. It's been in there for a few months now. One of these days I'll find a good reason to make some cake donuts - probably when I hit a certain weight or something.
What do you like to snack on? Did I cover it? Did I miss it? Let me know.