At Last – 8 Healthy Snacks For TV Couch Time

Winter is upon us, which means that everyone is bundled up in sweatshirts and pajamas sitting in front of the television waiting for the snow outside to melt in 3 months. Getting into that bikini swim suit (and looking good in it) is probably not on the top of your priority list right now. That is OK. You have a little time to get in shape.

The problem with this way of thinking though, is that most people add fuel to the fire by eating junk food. Living a sedentary life, even if it is only for a few months, is bad enough. If you want to relax this winter, go for it! But at least eat properly. Here are 10 tasty and healthy snacks that are great for television downtime.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #1: Popcorn

You are better off skipping it at the movie theater, but at home you can prepare it in a healthy way. A bucket of oil-popped movie theater popcorn can contain as much fat as three to five double cheeseburgers. But air-popped popcorn is a relatively healthy treat. Three cups of popcorn have just 93 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #2: Pistachios

Pistachios are a great heart-healthy snack full of antioxidants, fiber, and good fats. A 1/2-cup serving only has 170 calories, with 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. However, that serving also has 14 grams of fat, so do not stuff yourself on them. They key here are the shells. Since they are difficult to open, more work is involved which will make you eat slower.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #3: Red Grapes

OK, you had to have known that fruits and vegetables would be on this list. As much as people want to avoid them these days, there will never be a processed snack food that will even come close to matching the nutrition and health benefits of fruits and vegetables. At the top of the pile is red grapes. Full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, red grapes are natures answer to sweet candy.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #4: Mini-pizzas

Forget the frozen food section on this one. Anyone with a toaster can make their own healthy version of frozen pizza. All you need is a whole wheat English muffin, tomato sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese. The more vegetables and herbs you add to it, the healthier and tastier it will be.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #5: Pita chips With Hummus

This is another snack you must make on your own if you want it healthy. All you need is a large whole wheat pita. Cut the edge of the pita into chip-size pieces. and then cook them in the oven until crispy before serving with your favorite hummus or dip recipe. In general, when you rely on pre-packaged foods to do the work for you, the price you pay for it is your health.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #6: Relish Tray

Pickled vegetables are extremely low in calories and a great alternative to snacking on high fat, high sugar processed foods. Marinating your vegetables in vinegar or heart-healthy olive oil will control the amount of salt you eat. The reason fruits and vegetables accelerate weight loss is because they are water rich, which means you get a full, satisfied feeling without the calories.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #7: Green Tea

You may not think this is technically a snack, but the health benefits of drinking just one cup of green tea a day can allow you to splurge a little more than usual and still keep your figure in tact. The reason this works is because this beverage has been known to actually stimulate and accelerate a persons metabolism. At the same time it fills you up, so you have a more satisfied, healthy feeling.

Healthy Snacks for TV Couch Time #8: Protein Bars

This is the closest thing you will get to eating a chocolate candy bar that is relatively healthy. The best reason these are great for snacking is because they are not trigger foods like crackers and potato chips, so you will not want want to eat a lot at once. Protein helps build lean muscle mass, which is essential if you plan on being sedentary until the spring.

Not that this needs to be said, but you can enjoy even more snack food if you can work some exercise into your TV watching. Sit-ups and push-ups, or even getting up and moving around during commercials, will at least keep you more active. You can even burn calories just stretching out your body. Anything is better than sitting for hours without moving. You do enough of that at night when you are asleep.

Just because you want to stay in and relax does not mean you have to eat poorly. Replace your junk food cabinet with the foods listed above and when it comes time for the snow to melt, you will find that you will not have to work so hard at looking your best in that swimsuit. The key here is making an attempt to lead a healthy lifestyle all year around.

Bill Winch is a Personal Wellness Coach whose mission is teaching and co

Healthy Snack Recipes And Eating Right

A collection of healthy snack recipes will be sure to curb cravings any time of the day. Instead of a heavy meal, a few smart decisions can boost energy for long days at work. Get away from a middle of the day low energy slump. There are many ways to avoid the sluggishness of heavy meals. Boost energy without high sugar drinks and caffeinated beverages. These energy boosts do not last. Soon a crash will become tiredness. Simple substitutes such as honey for sugar will provide sweetness without empty calories.

Healthy snacks are perfect for kids after school. Great treats can be made with no fuss and no mush. Homemade trail mix is a great idea for quick snack food ideas. Fruit and vegetable juice is high in good natural daily nutrition and needs little else. Some dilution of juices will cut down on the sugar but not the flavor or the benefits of the fruits or vegetables. Vegetables juices have been known to cure a hangover.

Cutting down can make a heavy meal into a light snack. Egg whites for example are a small percentage of the heavy food stuff in eggs. An egg white omelet for a snack is good eating. Add it to the growing list of healthy snack recipes. The most successful healthy snack recipes make good use of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Ingredients that are not included in healthy snack recipes are items high in fat, sugar, and salt, including cholesterol. Healthy meals are high in fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and low in saturated fat and trans fats and sodium.

Boost a diet’s metabolism by eating right. The healthy digestive system is motivated by a high metabolism. Healthy snack ideas do not include additives like butter and margarine, which hinder a healthy metabolism. A healthy metabolism is gained by light foods such as healthy snack foods. Look for fat free substitutes and bake instead of fry always. Healthy snacks are low in calories and fat. Read nutrition labels. Chemicals and preservatives are filler and should be avoided. Take a quick peek at the nutrition labels and watch the number of calories per serving. If the whole box or bag is going to be eaten, make sure the calories and fat are relatively small per serving amount. Serving sizes are important. Compare name brand items.

Simple, easy to put together snacks benefit parents, children and families. Easy habits can make a lifetime of good eating for young ones. Grazing is a healthy eating pattern. Make sure no refined sugars are a part of the snack. Foods high in protein and low in fats are the goal here. Nuts have many health benefits. Children should be encouraged to eat healthy. Healthy after school snacks will be greatly appreciated by kids. They can be picky, but showing them a diet early on that includes good decisions will nourish them for a lifetime. Eating light does not need to cost more or take more time to prepare. Even the devout couch potato will relish a quick and healthy snack.