Snack smart! Snacks that can actually help you lose weight
It seems contradictory to think that you can eat snacks while trying to lose weight. Most people on a diet try to eat as little as possible and think that’s the road to quick weightloss! However, we’re here to tell you that’s not true! While eating fewer junk foods can be beneficial, a weight loss diet plan without healthy snacks can be a worse idea. In fact, eating more good snacks throughout the day may be beneficial for your weight loss.
To stop yourself from “inhaling” your whole dinner and also to reduce hunger cravings for junk foods, you can rely on some healthy snacks with valuable nutrients that you may miss in your big meals. How can you choose the best healthy snacks to help stimulate weight loss? The following expert tips can help you make the right choice.
How should you choose snacks?
According to the U.S. registered dietarians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh of C&J-Nutrtiion.Com, it can be easier to achieve your weight loss goals by adding some healthy snacks to your diet. When choosing snacks to include to your daily diet plan to lose weight, think about these important factors:
No more than 300 calories per 2 snacks daily
Choose 2 healthy snack foods with the calorie count (each) of 150 or less. Eating more snacks with a higher calorie count can be a bad choice for your waistline.
Choose easy healthy snacks with high-fiber carbs
About 40-50% of the calories during snack time should be from healthy, high-fiber carbs – from 14 to 20 grams per snack. Eating foods with lots of healthy carbs like whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables (peas, sweet potato, corn, and pumpkin) can deliver plenty of necessary vitamins and nutrients without adding too many calories to your body.
Aim for protein-rich snacks
Good healthy snacks should contain at least 6-10 grams of protein (about 15-20% of all calories from each snack). Protein can make you feel full after eating it, while at the same time delivering the necessary amount of energy and calming the blood sugar levels, which are responsible for stronger food cravings.
If you choose fatty snacks, reduce the portion size
Nuts, seeds, and avocado can be high in calories and fats. If you choose them as your between-meal snacks, reduce the portion size to make sure you consume no more than 6-10 grams of fat per day.
Sugary snacks can be harmful
Aim for 10 grams of total sugar per snack with no more than 4 grams of added sugar. Consider eating snacks with healthier sugar alternatives – honey or maple syrup.
Eat your snacks according on a schedule
Most nutritionists recommend eating healthy snacks between major meals – one in the late morning after breakfast and one in the late afternoon after having launch. The “rule of thumb” in this case is to eat every couple hours – meals and snacks between them. Experiencing a little hunger doesn’t hurt. And if you feel hungry long before a meal, eating 1 healthy snack can calm this feeling and prevent you from overeating during a major meal. Eating late at night is also not harmful to your waistline if your schedule presumes you are working at night and sleeping at day. The essential thing for any healthy eating plan is to prevent overdoing your daily calorie intake.
Eating snacks and working out should be combined wisely
If you are working out to lose weight, eating snacks is essential to replenish your energy throughout the day. Consider eating a pre-workout snack with 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein (like a smoothie or some nut butter and banana) an hour before training. After a one-hour workout, you may treat yourself with any snack combining protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
Mistakes to avoid when choosing healthy snacks for kids and adults
- Skipping snacks – can be a bad idea because it may lead to overeating during a major meal. Healthy snacks help control hunger cravings. Even if you are busy, you can always grab a banana or drink a smoothie while working;
- Eating too many snacks and overdoing your daily calorie intake, especially for kids. A snack is not a meal, so try staying within the limit of 150 calories per snack.
8 healthy snack ideas
If you are looking for quick healthy meals and snacks that are tasty, nutritious and low in calories, check the options offered by the WebMD team:
- Dark chocolate can be a healthy breakfast snack before lunch for those who have a sweet tooth;
- Eating soup (100-150 calories per serving) based on any broth, chunky or pureed, can help reduce hunger. However, skip soups with butter and cream;
- Beans can be a good source of healthy protein and fibers. They are also slow to digest and may keep you saturated longer;
- Eating pureed vegetables like zucchini and cauliflower can be a healthier choice than mac and cheese;
- An apple a day is still a good recommendation for anyone who wants to lose weight in a healthy way. It may be preferable to eat raw green apples;
- Nuts like peanuts, pecans, or almonds are high in calories and protein;
- Drinking traditional or Greek yogurt can be also good for your waistline, according to a recent Harvard study;
- Grapefruit can help you lose some pounds, especially if you are at risk for prediabetes. However, grapefruit may negatively interfere with certain drugs. Consider checking your prescriptions before eating grapefruit as a snack.
3 healthy snack recipes: completely vegan and less than 150 calories!
For those who have trouble choosing nutritious healthy eating recipes instead of their favorite chips and sandwiches may try one of these vegan, 150-calorie snacks – delicious and healthy at the same time!
Greek yogurt with an apple and walnuts
For a healthy snack before lunch, you can mix a ¼ cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt, 4 teaspoons of chopped walnuts, a half teaspoon of raisins, a half an apple, and a dash of cinnamon. This snack contains only 149 calories, 6 grams of fat, 12.5 grams of sugars, and 17 grams of carbs per serving.
Instead of sandwiches with butter and jam, consider making a tasty avocado toast. You may smear a half slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of mashed avocado, and top the toast with a mixture of 1 mashed or sliced hard-boiled egg, two slices of tomato, and a 1/8 teaspoon of Chia seeds. This snack is 156 calories, with 8 grams of fat, 13.5 grams of carbs, and 2.7 grams of sugars.
High-protein peanut butter and banana
The mixture of a half tablespoon of peanut butter, a half an ounce of protein powder, a half an ounce of water can be smeared on a half a banana cut in half lengthwise. Then this banana “sandwich” can be topped with another half of banana. The nutritional value of this snack is 158 calories, 4 grams of fats, 17.5 grams of carbs, 7.8 grams of sugars, and 13.6 grams of protein.
Eating the same snacks every day can be boring and may even nudge you return to unhealthy, tastier junk foods. Consider eating different snacks every day – there are so many healthy meal ideas to try!