Stress-Snacking Substitutes

Get better foods options for these 6 common snacks

I have another big deadline I’m trying to meet — and I am stressed. I think it’s even to blame for a pimple that popped up on my nose (which I thought I was old enough to not have to worry about anymore). Sometimes when I’m stressed, I actually eat really well and even lose weight. Other times, all I want to do is snack on junk food. This is one of those times, but I’ve been trying to resist and find alternatives.

Healthier Alternatives to 6 Savory Snacks

Chocolate. Instead of buying a huge bag of mini Twix or Kit Kat bars or whatever other giant bag caught my eye, I bought a few pieces of dark chocolate. It met my craving, and once they were gone, they were gone. I was on a tight schedule so I didn't have time to make another run to the store, and by default I didn't go overboard. 

Ice Cream. Ben & Jerry’s, Häagen-Dazs, basically any brand you can name calls my name on a daily basis. On a stress-filled one, they scream it. So I stock up on Halo Top (one serving from many of the flavor options is 2 SmartPoints® value). I also buy chocolate-covered bananas (there are a couple of brands, but the last one I bought had a box of five, with each one at 4 SmartPoints value). I try not to eat more than one serving, but even when I do, I haven’t messed up my SmartPoints Target for the day. It’s not quite the same as my pint of Chubby Hubby, but it hits the spot when I need something sweet.

Soda. Root beer and orange soda always feel like a treat to me. I can barely tell the difference between the regular and the diet kind, so when I’m freaking out over a deadline I buy a lot of Diet Sunkist as a nighttime “snack.” It has caffeine that helps me stay up to keep working (I’m not a coffee drinker) and helps me satiate my sweet tooth.

Chips. While I tend to be a sweets person, there are definitely times I want something salty. If I really need chips, I’ll buy one of the mini bags, but I find I get more bang for my buck with popcorn. I can get 2 cups for 2 SmartPoints value, and it’s something that I can pick at while I type away at my computer. 

Never-ending bowl of calories (where it’s about quantity rather than anything else). Sometimes I just want to eat to eat. An endless bowl of something. Usually it’s candy or chips or tons of pasta, but since I’m trying to stay within my SmartPoints Target, I’ve been looking for something healthier. While all fruit would technically fit the bill, I find clementines work best for me. They come in a large bag, I don’t have to wash them, peeling them is just as easy as unwrapping a Cadbury Creme egg (and not much messier), and after having a bunch, I’m ready to put the bag away and get to work! The best part, I didn’t waste any SmartPoints values.

Warm & Cozy Food. Sometimes I just want something that feels almost homey (like a huge stack of pancakes with syrup and whipped cream). And I found Eggo Blueberry Nutri-Grain Waffles work well. They take next-to-no time to prepare, the blueberries add enough sweetness that I don’t need syrup, and I can have two for 6 SmartPoints values. I can even throw on some whipped cream and berries for an extra SmartPoints value and make it an extra-nice treat. 

So these have been helping me! What about you? What are your substitutions? Let me know — find me on Connect @shani!

Read more Shani Weighs In