Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Chelsea..... (like Dear Abby but much more fun!)

So my good friend Lindsey, (who also has a blog- check it out HERE) recently moved to a new city for grad school.  She wrote to me asking for help figuring out how to eat right with a crazy schedule. Here's her story: "I'm basically in class until 10pm 3 nights a week, two of those nights from 5-10.  So evn if I eat before class I'm hungry again by the time I get home... help! What are some good (at least ok) snacks to eat that late? Can I put you on the case?"
I'm so on the case I feel like a food detective!!  My overall advice in the situation would be to figure out the amount of calories you want to eat in the entire day and then work from there. Although late night eating isn't ideal, you can still maintain or lose weight simply by counting calories- no matter what time of night you are eating them.  But- to prevent the binge factor (or the I feel sorry for myself for being in class so late factor) you should never let the starving feeling set in.  So- plan to eat "dinner" before class.  Have a decent meal and try to include protein, it will stick with you longer. About 300-400 calories.  This should last you until about 8pm. Definitely pack a healthy snack to bring with you- you should never try and go all 5 hours without eating.
 My recommendations on the snack would something substantial around 200-250 calories:
-Nuts.  Buy them in pre-packaged amounts so you won't overeat.  If you like to eat more- my personal favorite is pistachios- you can eat 50 nuts for only 160 calories.  Or little packs of raw almonds from Trader Joes really can help tide you over.
-Bars.  Bring a protein bar to eat halfway through.  Good rule of thumb for choosing a bar is to be around 200 calories with at least 3 grams of fiber. Great brands are: Lara Bar, PURE, KIND, and Think Organic.
-Cheese & Crackers.  Laughing cow light cheese (35 cal) with a high fiber cracker (like a triscut) will fill you up and keep you satisfied.
-Apple.  Not always that satisfying, but easy to toss into your bag when heading out the door.
-Zen Fiber Muffin from Trader Joes.  I usually eat these in the morning, but they would be a great way to tide over your hunger since they have a TON of fiber. They're good with coffee too, if you need that to stay awake!
Ok now here's the hard part- coming home at 10pm, probably with more work to do (you crazy student!) and being hungry.  If you are planning on staying up- stick to a 100 cal snack and try to avoid carbs.  If you are not- GO TO BED.  It actually won't kill you to go to bed a little hungry. Recommendations for a get home light snack:
-String Cheese. 60 cals.
-Hard Boiled Egg. 80 cals.
-Greek Yogurt. ~100 cals
-Tea/hot chocolate
Hope that helps!! If any one else has snack favorites- that are good on the go, post & share!
PS- Anyone else have a food question? Let me know!
PPS- Tonight is day 1 of my 45 days of Bar Method class.... last time I was sore for a week! Wish me luck...

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