What a 200 Calorie Meal Should Look Like…

It can sometimes be a challenge to forgo the tasty treats at the local coffee shop or overcome the urge to pull up to the drive-thru for a quick bite to eat. When blood sugars run low, our cravings skyrocket to a point where controlling them can seem like a losing battle.

But do you really know what you are eating when you get that icing-covered snack or juicy double-double? While it may seem like you can’t get much for 200 calories these days, this just isn’t the case. The fact is you can have a nutritious and filling low-calorie meal that will give your body the fuel it needs to propel you through your day.

“Cake Pops” are a new coffee shop favorite that appeal to those looking for a sweet sugar high to accompany their coffee refreshments. While advertised at less than 200 calories, what are they really offering? Not surprisingly, only about 2% of this snack consists of protein, while 47% is fat and 51% is carbohydrates. These sorts of percentages will not give you the long-lasting energy you need to battle the mid-day blood sugar low.

What could you choose instead? You could have grilled chicken and roasted vegetables, roasted herb salmon, or even egg-whites whipped with salsa and a dab of hummus to finish it off. All packed with flavorful protein, and all 200 calories or under. Looking for more meal ideas at 200 calories or less? Email me at autumn@selfmadefitness.org for even more suggestions.

Next time your stomach is talking your head into buying a “low-cal” snack filled with empty-calories, ask yourself this question: how long will it take for me to burn these calories? For me, I can kick it into high gear on the Stairmaster (level 13-20) and burn about 200 calories in 15-20 minutes. However to accomplish the same feat, an average person will need to engage in a moderately paced workout for about 30-35 minutes.

If you need some help in making smarter choices when picking up snacks on the go, it may be helpful to purchase a book I use regularly entitled The CalorieKing Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter by Allan Borushek. This highly-rated guide to healthier eating contains unique food data not available elsewhere. You can compare choices easily to make better informed and more nutritious decisions.

It’s no secret that most people choose convenience over substance, but it’s an important battle that must be waged in the war against obesity. Many fast food restaurants have recognized the need to serve a more selective audience by adding healthier options to their menus. My goal is to help you become more aware of these choices so you can overcome your own struggles. It’s not Rocket-Science; rather your results are a direct reflection of what you put in to maintaining your daily heath. Look at it this way; if you are trying to lose weight, everything unhealthy that goes in is going to need to be worked out.

Have you already gotten a grip on the low calorie snack routine? I’d love to hear more about the snacks you prepare or purchase to sustain energy and maintain your well-being. Please post a comment and share your thoughts!

Topic inspired by: Tiffany Flores & Amy Barrit

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