How I Fit “Snack” Foods Into My Sugar-Free Food Plan


How I Fit "Snack" Foods Into My Daily Food Plan | Little Miss Fearless

Why No Snacking Is Always My Goal

I used to have a problem with snacking, mostly on sugary “foods” like cookies, Kit Kats, anything that lives in the pantry.

If I started, I had a hard time stopping and sometimes I’d snack all day without meals.

Aaaanyway, you know the rest.

I eventually gave up sugar and flour with help from a 12-step program for food addiction.

That said, I do eat some sugar- and flour-free “snack” foods now that I’m maintaining my weight. Here’s what and where I buy them…

My Go-To “Snack” Foods

  1. Organic Dried Mangos (Costco — make sure the ingredients only say: mangos)
  2. Unsalted Mixed Nuts (Costco)
  3. Skinny Pop Popcorn (Costco and other grocery stores)
  4. Organic Corn Chips (Costco, or Tostitos from regular stores — make sure ingredients say corn, not flour)
  5. Dried Dates (most grocery stores)
  6. Clean Simple Eats Protein Powder (I use Brownie Batter the most for my all-time favorite Almond Joy Shake on page 7 of the CSE Summer Treats Book <<< get $15 off with this link!)

How I Fit the Snacks In

I’ve been following my sugar-free food plan for almost a year now, so I have a pretty good feel for exactly how much food is enough food to feel my best and keep my body in its right size. What a blessing!

If I choose to have something extra, like a snack or treat, I usually account for it in one of three ways:

  1. As an occasional extra “treat”
    • Protein Shakes
      • A couple times a month I make my favorite Clean Simple Eats protein shakes (all of their shake recipes taste like ice cream to me!). Almond Joy is still my favorite – page 7 of the CSE Summer Treats Book.
    • Dried Dates
      • When I have a sweet tooth after dinner, 1-2 dried dates hit the spot for me (my friend Kristine recommended dipping them in almond butter and I wholeheartedly support this! ?).
    • Unsalted Mixed Nuts
      • I only buy these from Costco because I love the variety and the price. When I need a little more energy before/after a workout or just feel hungry, nuts are my go-to. Sometimes I measure out the serving size, other times I don’t.
  2. As a replacement for something else in my food plan
    • Popcorn
      • Sometimes I want popcorn when Matt and I watch a movie, so I’ll usually plan ahead and cut my grain from lunch or dinner (or the following day) and count popcorn as my grain. I don’t measure it out.
    • Dried Mangos + Nuts
      • Without fail, 3pm is the time of day when I most often feel hungry or snacky. If I eat nuts or mangos during that time, I’ll sometimes cut back on protein at dinner (to account for the nuts) or skip my 6 oz fresh fruit (to account for the mangos).
    • Corn Tortilla Chips
      • When I eat chips it’s usually always as part of a meal and counts as my grain, but because I often eat too many (chips + guac are my jamb!), I’ll sometimes cut back on grains at subsequent meals
  3. As an occasional binge
    • Overcoming addiction is a process and my conscience wouldn’t rest if you thought I never stumble into old emotionally triggered habits. I do. I’m learning. I’m so grateful it doesn’t happen frequently anymore and so far it’s not with sugar or flour.

Most importantly, the reason I try not to swap snack foods for real foods very often is because they never sustain me as much as the real food does and then I start playing head games about whether I have the energy to go running or if my butt is looking bigger.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, I feel better when I eat more real foods.

How I Fit "Snack" Foods Into My Daily Food Plan | Little Miss Fearless

Practicing New Food Habits

This journey of recovery from sugar addiction has taught me a lot about habits.

My goal is always not to snack because I’ve noticed that when I do, it sets the foundation for that habit.

It’s not always an issue of not being able to stop snacking in a single moment, but that when I start the habit of snacking every day at 3pm, for example, it’s hard to go back to not snacking every day at 3pm.

And that’s where I’m doing the most work right now.

I’m ensuring that my daily habits are what I want them to be, because our lives are ultimately made up of the little moments—the habits—of how we spend our time.

I want to spend these moments doing the most possible good, the things that add the most value, the things God would have me do.

I’m so motivated by this perspective now because of where I used to be—spending so much time thinking about myself, my inadequacies, my struggles, my wants and needs.

This new boundary on my food, even though it may seem strict, has given me so much freedom from self-consumption.

I’m practicing every day how to get outside myself and be available to God’s needs and how He can use me to help and serve my family and others.

It’s about so much more than food.

Free to Choose

A favorite spiritual quote that’s been on my mind a lot lately is:

One’s individual will thus remains uniquely his. God will not override it nor overwhelm it. Hence we’d better want the consequences of what we want!

We’d better want the consequences of what we want.

Isn’t that so true?

We are all free to choose for ourselves. But when dealing with addiction, it’s like you lose the freedom to choose because you can’t say no to something that tastes and feels so good in the moment.

When I’m honest with myself about the addictive consequences that certain foods have for me, I’m empowered to make better choices.

Using my freedom to practice better choices has been such an important part of changing my habits, my perspective and my life. ?

As always, I’d love to know your perspective on all of this! What are your favorite healthy snacks?



  1. Toniann says:

    Hello my name is Toniann and thank you for this information. what about coffee and tea. what about using stevia? I have been on many diets and I refuse not to have my morning coffee, if you have some suggestions I would love to hear of what I can use.

    Posted September 23, 2020 | Reply
    • Hi Toniann! In the program I joined, coffee and other “addictive” foods/drinks were not allowed mostly because the program is intended to free us from addictive tendencies of any kind. But I believe the Greysheeters Anonymous program allows coffee, just without sugars/creams. I’ve never been a coffee drinker so I didn’t have to give it up, but knowing how hard sugar/flour were for me, I can imagine it would be pretty tough to give up coffee as well. Here’s another blog post I wrote with additional resources: Hope this provides some help! XO

      Posted October 19, 2020 | Reply
  2. Ivy says:

    Very interesting to read! Do you think that maybe the urge to snack at 3pm could also be coming from not eating enough earlier in the day? That perhaps if you have a bigger breakfast and/or lunch that the urge wouldn’t be there at 3? This is something I’m thinking about myself, since I also struggle with this 3-4pm thing…

    Posted February 8, 2022 | Reply
    • With the amount of whole foods I eat at meals, the snacking wasn’t coming in the form of hunger. It was definitely more emotional. I’ve learned the definition of emotional eating is eating for any reason other than hunger, which includes negative and positive emotions–definitely something our whole culture is based on; there’s always a reason to eat, right? My body has adapted so much now that snacking is hardly a thought most days, but whenever I do snack, I just practice awareness without judgment and it’s usually pretty harmless if I prioritize real foods.

      Posted December 7, 2022 | Reply
  3. Rachel says:

    Please do more post like this. From this perspective of why to overcome the control of addictive substances.

    Posted September 20, 2022 | Reply
  4. I don’t snack. If I feel a little hungry, I drink a nice full glass of cool water, and I remind myself “there’s another meal coming”.
    This has taught me patience. As an addict, I have zero patience!
    It has helped me learn discipline. I believe the Lord wants me to be disciplined so He can better use me. If I find reasons to excuse lax behavior, I will be back on the merry-go-round of slavery to carnal pleasure.

    Posted January 17, 2024 | Reply