Monday, March 14, 2011

Top Ten Snacks!

I know a lot of people are trying to shed some pounds for the Pan Ams tournaments and have to get creative with cutting calories. So, I thought I would open up a discussion on healthy eating. I am not a nutritionist, nor do I claim to be an expert on healthy eating. I am going to list the things I do. I don't claim to stick to these rules all the time. Far from it, unfortunately! But when push comes to shove, this is what I do.

Some of the basic things I do when I am trying to drop a few pounds are pretty simple:

1. Drink lots of water

2. Up my cardio. For me, part of this means that I try to make every the most out of every grapple. It DOESN'T mean I go crazy and try to get as many submissions as possible. It means that I move as much as I possible can. A lot of times, I don't hold positions where I normally would, because I want to keep my heart pumping and don't want to allow my body to rest. I also like to add in walk, jogging and sprinting intervals at home.

3. Cut as much salt as possible from my diet. Unfortunately, I am a salt-o-holic. I prefer salty things over sweet, but salt is horrible when you are trying to lose weight.

4. I try to eat mostly fruits/veggies and protein. Lots of chicken. Lots of fish. I try to limit --but not cut out--carbs. For me, it is all about portion size.

5. As a general rule, I try to keep every meal under 400 calories. But inbetween meals, I eat a snack that is around 200 calories or under. I don't stick to this strictly. I just try to keep my portion sizes small and eat healthy things when I'm hungry. I try not to deprive myself too much. If I am craving something salty, I try to find an option that is as healthy as possible. The same with sweets. Otherwise, I am tempted to binge when the cravings become too much! lol When I am trying to lose weight over time, I aim for around 1600 calories a day. If I am actually cutting -- losing weight that I don't intend to keep off -- it drops down to around 1200 calories, and then even less the week before the tournament. But I am not good at being disciplined about cutting, so if I know I need to lose for a tournament, I try to start as far out as possible and lose the weight slowly.

6. Even though I am no expert, I know there is more to food than just how many calories are in it. I try to pick foods that do double duty -- low calorie but also rich in vitamins, protein, fiber, etc.

My Top Ten Favorite Snacks (from lowest calories to highest).

1. Popcorn – One bag popped 50 calories

2. ½ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce – 52 calories

3. One Borden Part-Skim Mozzarella String Cheese – 70 calories

4. One Cup Strawberry Applesauce – 80 calories

5. Small Veggie Plate and Ranch – 90 calories
- Celery Stalk cut into fourths – 5 calories
- Five baby carrots – Around 35 calories
- Five grape tomatoes – 10 calories
- Marketside Low fat Buttermilk Ranch dressing (2 tsp) – 40 calories

6. Rice Cake Pizza – 159 calories
- White Cheddar Rice Cake – 45 calories
- Teaspoon of pesto – 58 calories
- Sprinkle of Mozzarella cheese – 30 calories
- 2 Tomato slices – 10 calories
- 3 onion slices – 16 calories

7. Lowfat Yogurt and Granola – 180 calories
- One cup “Great Value” Banana Cream Pie Yogurt – 80 calories
- A teaspoon of Craisins – Around 30 calories
- 1/8 of a cup Bear Naked granola – 70 calories

8. Hummus and Pita Chips -- 200 calories
- 10 Stacy’s Pita Chips – 130 calories
- 2 tbsp Sabra Spinich and artichoke hummus – 70 calories

9. Sweet Trail Mix (I usually eat less than one serving. Just kind of pick at it.) – 293 calories
- ¼ cup mixed berries – 130 calories
- 1/8 cup yogurt covered raisins – 93 calories
- 1/8 cup Bear Naked granola – 70

10. Salty Trail Mix – (About a ½ cup. Same as the sweet mix. I don't usually eat a whole serving.) – 300 calories
- ¼ cup mixed nuts – 170 calories
- ¼ cup Mixed dried berries – 130 calories

What are your go-to snacks? What secret, easy recipes do you rely on? How do you change your exercise habits when you are trying to shed pounds for tournaments? Good luck to everyone in their last week of training for the PanAms! Wish I could be there with you guys!!


Emily Lemos said...

I like to make a big batch of soup - filling and light on calories, and easy to heat up a bowl when I'm hungry. My favorite is a pumpkin and black bean soup ( I usually throw in a can of chiles or some jalapenos, and skip the butter and ham so that it is a very low calorie dish. The pumpkin and black beans make it high in fiber (tastes great, more filling!) and full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, all that good stuff. It is pretty high in salt, though, so it's not good for right before a tournament.

I always keep some sort of nutrition bar with me (usually Zone Perfect)so that I won't get too hungry if I get stuck somewhere. If I get too hungry, I will overeat when I get the chance.

Can't wait to hear more ideas!
Emily Lemos

Liam H Wandi said...

That's an excellent article Allie. Thanks for the great info!

Jiujitsunista said...

Soup sounds like an excellent idea... however, I have decided to just become blobular.

Georgette said...

Soup is a great idea. When I'm training hard for a tournament I don't have time to make it at home, so I eat Progreso's light soups (they are about 140 calories for the whole can and I like the vegetable, chicken-veggie and beef stew varieties the best.)

When I need to snack on stuff that has minimal caloric value, I like:

Sliced cucumbers and celery, plain (virtually no calories no matter how much you eat. Unlike bell peppers and carrots, which are super healthy but also contain natural sugars.)

No-sugar-added pickles! "Bread and butter" kind when I want salty-crunchy, "sweet gherkins" when I want sweet. Almost zero calories. Amazing.

Kale & spinach shredded up for salads, with shredded cabbage, minced red onion, and a vinaigrette with splenda... again virtually zero calories (a huge bowlful will have maybe 50 calories, but it will take you an hour to eat it, fills you up for hours, and is great for snacking while reading/watching TV..)

I'm struggling to do the Paleo diet but my mind tells me if I were a hunter-gatherer, I would hunt cacao beans and sugar cane and gather a goat for milk... it also tells me that if it doesn't run away from me I can gather it easily and eat it. Sadly this means chocolate cake is on MY paleo plan, and that doesn't seem quite right....

A.D. McClish said...

@ Emily -- Mmmm that sounds really good. I hadn't even really thought about soups. Thanks so much!!

And @Georgette-- I am with you on the gtime crunch. Speedy, low-calorie deliciousness is always good in my book.

@Steph -- HAHAHAHA. You are not blobular. And, by the way, your comment the other night about being "blobba the hut" has made me laugh out loud randomly like a crazy person when something reminds me of it. People look at me weird. Thanks a lot. ;)