You may wonder if it’s possible to lose weight while not giving up snacks. As I’m working on exercising towards a tighter tummy, I’d like to share a few good reasons to make healthy snacks a part of your weight loss plan.
First of all, starving yourself to lose weight is dangerous. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that skipping food to lose weight generally backfires because you’re now driven to overcompensate. However, eating a healthy snack between meals helps resist the urge to overeat and indulging in junk foods. Below I’ve listed five healthy snacks that support weight loss and are simple to prepare.
For snacking purposes, let’s start with foods that are high in fiber or protein because they tend to be more filling. What should you avoid? If you’re looking to lose weight, try avoiding foods that contain large amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and simple carbohydrates. Unprocessed foods are good choices because many processed snacks contain high levels of sugar, salt, or both.
Below I have listed some of the best snacks to help with weight loss. These healthy options will not only prevent overeating, but provide y a great source of vitamins, fiber, and protein.
Apple with Peanut Butter
I love eating peanut butter. When I was a child I used to snack on PB&J sandwiches and even huge spoonfuls of raw peanut butter. So when I found that you could use peanut butter as a great source of protein and healthy fats – I had to include it on this list. Plus, the British Journal of Nutrition noted that eating peanut butter in the morning can help curb your appetite throughout the rest of the day. Score!
However, a word of caution. If you’re seeking a healthy snack option, please be careful to read the labels on peanut butter jars and check for added sugar and unhealthy oils. Not just any peanut butter will do. Seek natural peanut butter and consume in small doses – two tablespoons at the most.
Now that we know the correct way to enjoy peanut butter on a diet – try pairing it with an apple. Thanks to their high-fiber content, apples are one of the top fruits for weight loss. The carbs will give you a quick mood and energy spike, while the protein will keep the energy going for hours. Enjoy!
Hummus and Vegetables
Hummus is a traditional Mediterranean dish that people make from pureed chickpeas. I’ve been lucky to have a four-year old who loves hummus. Fortunately for my family hummus offers many potential benefits as it provides a great source of protein and fiber, both of which can help a person feel fuller faster.
So, what’s a healthy snack option to pair with hummus? Try raw veggies like celery and carrots – research suggests that they’re rich in nutrients that could help improve your insulin sensitivity as well as lower your waist circumference and body mass index.
If you wish to replace carrots, try using olives and cucumbers with your hummus spread. This snack is high in fiber, low in fat, and feels more like a meal.
Oatmeal with Blueberries
Why limit this hearty treat just for breakfast? Full of fiber, oatmeal helps regulate blood sugar levels to keep you from crashing. Plus, top it with blueberries to add a kick of sweetness (and Vitamin C) without any table sugar.
I like this because you can use a packet of plain, microwaveable oatmeal for a quick snack prep option. Plus, try topping your blueberries with just a sprinkle of cinnamon – studies suggest that it helps promote stable blood sugar.
Greek Yogurt with Raspberries and Honey
I could snack on this dish all day. Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium and low in fat and calories. I recommend the best Greek yogurt for weight loss is the plain variety. Flavoring will often contain extra sugar — so avoid it.
However, turn your plain Greek yogurt into something sweet, creamy, and filling with a cup of raspberries and a half-tablespoon of honey. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the Vitamin C in raspberries increases your body’s fat-burning ability.
The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that overweight and obese women who ate 1 ½ ounces of nuts as part of a low-calorie diet for three months lost more weight than women who didn’t eat nuts. There are many options and varieties of nuts to use as a snack. Want to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try pairing a ¼ cup of almonds with ½ cup of pomegranate seeds.
Craving something salty? Try protein (and fiber-rich) pistachios. The Journal of American College of Nutrition noted that people who snacked on 240 calories’ worth of the green nuts lowered their BMIs by one point in just four weeks.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of additional healthy snacks to promote weight loss – these are just few to help get you started. I’m eager to hear if these snack ideas worked for you – or, if you have your own healthy snack recommendation. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, avoid snacks that are high in sugar, fat, and salt. Eating healthy snacks that are high in fiber and protein can play an important role in losing and managing your weight.