Do the words “weight-loss” and “snacks” seem like terms that don’t go together? Should they even be in the same sentence?
When it comes to losing weight, we often feel like we have to deprive ourselves of food, sticking to a strict regime of only eating three meals a day and the rest of the time existing in a state that is nearing starvation. This is totally not the case.
What if I told you that there are some fantastic benefits of snacking, that there are snacks out there that are good for you and they can actually help you lose weight? Uh-huh, yep! I bet you’re all ears! But, you have to be smart about it ;-).
So, what are these benefits…..let’s break it down….
Benefits of “smart snacking”
- It may help prevent you from overeating at meal times. There can be a decent stretch of time between breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you find that you’re absolutely starving when it comes time to eat your main meal then it may be hard to resist over compensating at the next meal.
- It can help you reduce your overall calorie intake for the day. Yep, you heard me right…..reduce!. Well planned, healthy snacks can be help you eat less at meal time, there-by cutting your daily calories over all (not that we’re counting 😉 ).
- You can incorporate more healthy foods into your day. Think of healthy snacking as an opportunity to crowd in those good foods. If your snacks involve foods that are nourishing and good for you, then there’s less room for other crap you may want to consume.
- Snacks can help you maintain energy, both physical and mental. Smart snacking will balance out your blood sugar throughout the day and help prevent that sap in energy you get when it dips too low.
Let’s be clear. When I’m talking snacks, I’m talking those of the healthy kind. No processed junk to be seen. So, how do we do this?
weight-loss friendly snacks that are nutritious and delicious!
What’s my criteria you ask?
They have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way. i.e foods that contain protein and/or fibre. If they contain healthy fats it’s a bonus ;-).
1 – Nuts
It’s true – nuts contain calories and fat, but they are NOT fattening!
Well, I’m not talking about the “honey roasted” ones, of course. Those probably are fattening (and yes, oh so delicious – definitely on the some time food list).
Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner.
Nuts also contain protein and fibre, which means a small amount can go pretty far in terms of filling you up. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals you can get from nuts.
Did you know that almonds have been shown to helpwith weight loss? At least 10% of the fat in them is not absorbed by the body, and almonds can also help to boost your metabolism!
Tip: Put a handful of unsalted/unsweetened nuts into a small container and throw it in your handbag so you’re ready and armed.
2 – Fresh Fruit
As with nuts, studies show that people who tend to eat more fruit, tend to be healthier. (I’m sure you’re not too surprised!)
Yes, fresh fruit contains sugar, but whole fruits (I’m not talking juice or sweetened dried fruit) also contain a fair bit of water and fibre; not to mention their nutritional value with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And fresh fruit is low in calories. Fruit is the complete packaged snack provided by nature.
Fibere is something that not only helps to fill you up (known as the “satiety factor”) but also helps to slow the release of the fruit sugar into your bloodstream and reduce the notorious “blood sugar spike.”
Try a variety of fruit (apples, pears, berries, etc.) and pair that with a handful of nuts.
Tip: Can’t do fresh? Try frozen. Plus, they’re already chopped for you.
3 – Chia seeds
Chia is not only high in fibre (I mean HIGH in fibre), but it also contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids (yes THOSE omega-3s!). As well as antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium.
Can you see how awesome these tiny guys are?
They also absorb a lot of liquid, so by soaking them for a few minutes, they make a thick pudding (that is delicious and fills you up). It’s important to either soak them or grind them before eating, otherwise they’ll do their swelling up on your insides.
Tip: Put two tablespoons in a bowl with ½ cup of nut milk and wait a few minutes. Add in some berries, chopped fruit or nuts, and/or cinnamon and enjoy!
4 – Boiled or poached eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrition and most of it is in the yolk.
They contain a lot of high-quality protein and a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
And recent research shows that the cholesterol in the yolks is NOT associated with high elevated cholesterol or heart disease risk.
Yup, you read that right!
Tip: Boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in your fridge for a super-quick (and nutritious) snack!
5 – Vegetables
I don’t need to tell you how great these are for you, but just maybe I need to sell you on the delicious “snackability” of these nutrition powerhouses.
Veggies contain fibre and water to help fill you up, and you don’t need me to tell you about their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, right?
You can easily open a bag of baby carrots and/or cherry tomatoes and give them a quick rinse (they’re already bite-sized).
Tip: Use a bit of dip. Have you put almond butter or peanut butter on celery (one of my fave snacks at the moment)? How about trying my new hummus recipe below?
Go ahead and try one, or more, of these healthy snacks. Prepare them the night before if you need to. They definitely won’t be “tasteless,” like “cardboard,” or “completely unsatisfying.” Trust me.
Would you like some more tips and tricks to help you with your weight loss? Head on over and grab my free eBook which will guide you through how to master your mindset and really ramp up your weight loss efforts.
Recipe (Vegetable Dip): Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
⅓ cup tahini
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper
1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to thin it out with a bit of water, so add it 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and blend.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Don’t like sesame? Use an avocado in place of the tahini, and olive oil in place of the sesame oil.