The past few weeks of quarantine and self-isolation have had many people curled up on the couch moving through their Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon watchlists. Watching TV isn’t always a bad thing, but sometimes it can lead to mindless eating and snacking. It is too easy to give up on your weight loss goals when you turn into an emotional or bored eater. There are ways you can still pass the time in front of the tube without ruining your diet. The best TV snacks are the ones that are low in calories, have a lot of natural vitamins and minerals, and don’t leave a greasy mess on your fingers or the arms of your couch.
The Veggie Tray and Dip
You don’t have to save your vegetables for your dinner plate. Though side dishes are common uses for colorful veggies, you can use them to whip up a crunchy, munchy binge snack. Chopped veggies can get a little boring for some people, so try a flavorful dip to change up the snacking. Hummus makes a great dip, and you can add garlic, red pepper, and other spices to kick up the taste. You could also use low-fat salad dressing with flavors like ranch or blue cheese to add some zest to your tray. Chop up broccoli florets, celery stalks, carrot sticks, chunks of cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes for a colorful and diverse veggie tray. Following this snacking option will keep you on track with dieting plans, especially if you are following the HCG diet.
Movie Theater Popcorn Knockoffs
One of the best parts of the movie theater experience is indulging in the salty, buttery popcorn bucket and washing it down with an ice-cold soft drink. If you aren’t careful, recreating this sensation when you are camped out in front of the television can ruin your diet and your appetite for a healthy dinner. However, by making popcorn at home, you can turn it into a healthy snack. Popcorn is high and fiber and doesn’t have a lot of calories if you avoid drowning it in the butter and oil that is normally found on a theater-style bucket. To keep your munching healthy, invest in an air popper. You can use a little olive oil or butter to get your salt to stick to the kernels once it's popped. There are some low-fat microwave popcorn options, or you can make your own microwave popcorn by putting popcorn kernels coated in vegetable oil into a paper bag and cooking them for about three minutes or until the kernels stop popping.
Nuts, Seeds, and Trail Mix
A quick snack that is easy to grab by the handful is trail mix, though many people often just reserve this tasty treat for long hikes or bike rides in the park. Trail mix is often made of nuts and seeds since they are full of monosaturated fats. Though a tad bit addictive, they are delicious and able to satisfy you without gorging yourself on them. It is important that you watch your portion size if you are trying to watch your weight, as these can be high in calories. Dish out a small serving that you can pop into your mouth as you watch your favorite show. Whole-grain cereal pieces, granola, or dried fruits can add something extra to your trail mix. Raisins, dried apricots, craisins, or other dried fruits give your mix a sweet bite.
Healthy Chips and Crackers
People tend to crave salty, crunchy snack when watching television, and too often they reach for flavored chips, Doritos, or cheese curls. These foods tend to be addictive and will start to pack on the pounds before you know it. If you need something to crunch other than your vegetable tray, you can make healthy chips or cracker selections. There are baked chips that you can use rather than fried, as this removes a lot of the fattening oils. You can also choose healthier dipping selections that don’t fill you full of fattening dairy products. Fresh homemade salsa or guacamole is a great option. Choose whole-grain crackers and pair them with peanut butter, almond butter, or slices of cheese to step up the protein level.
If you are searching for a little something sweet while you power through the Joe Exotic series on Netflix, try slices of fresh fruit. Fruit is naturally sweet and full of other good things like fiber, minerals, and vitamins. You can grab a whole apple or pear or banana, but chopping them into slices can make it a little easier to eat. You can also make up a simple dessert option by drizzling caramel syrup over apple slices or mixing Greek yogurt with your berries.
You can still enjoy your favorite shows without compromising your diet and weight management plans. Switch out your bad habits for some healthy snacks and you won’t have to feel guilty about your binging.
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