There’s nothing worse than feeling deprived when you’re on a diet. If you’re used to snacking and munching on a regular basis, you may struggle to handle not eating between meals–and if you feel deprived, you’re more likely to overeat at your next meal, making you feel as though it’s even more difficult to reach your goals. Here’s the good news: you can snack the right way. Your snacks can help you stay full, curb your cravings, and make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals, instead of more difficult.
Start By Knowing What You Need to Eat
Any diet journey starts with knowing what you need to eat every day. Your resting metabolic rate has a huge impact on your dietary success. If you consume too many calories, you’ll struggle to lose weight no matter how much exercise you do. On the other hand, if you eat too few calories, your body may resist losing fat and focus its efforts on losing muscle.
Many online calorie calculators claim to be able to tell you how many calories you need to eat in day to lose weight, your “calorie needs” may vary vastly depending if you tried to get your calorie needs from various online calculators. Instead, start with a simple, in-home test that takes just an hour of your time. Schedule your RMR appointment with Elite Body Data today to get a better idea of your resting metabolic rate–and therefore how many calories you have to snack on each day.
Healthy Snacking: The Basics
All too often, dieters end up trapped in some tough snacking pitfalls. They may, for example, overeat, with snacks that are the same size (and calorie content) as their main meals. They may dive into snacks that are loaded with sugar or sodium. Other snackers may reach for snacks to curb boredom, rather than hunger. Do you want to snack healthier? Follow these guidelines:
- Pay attention to portion size. Don’t just grab “a handful” of your favorite snack food; instead, take the time to measure out portions, at least until you get a better idea of what portion size should really look like.
- Choose a snack with protein (for energy) and fiber (to keep you feeling full).
- Avoid sugary snacks. Save ice cream, cookies, and cake for special treats, rather than using them as everyday additions to your diet.
Pay attention to your hunger cues, too. You shouldn’t eat a snack just because it’s snack time; instead, choose to eat only when you’re really hungry or need an extra energy boost to help get you through an activity. When you know your body and listen to your hunger cues, you’ll be less likely to fill up on empty snacks that you don’t really need or want.
Great Healthy Snack Ideas
Are you struggling to come up with great healthy snack ideas? Try some of these favorites.
Potstickers are low in calories and filling, which means that you can enjoy several of them for a snack without breaking your diet. As an added bonus, they’re quick to fix at home, especially if you choose a pre-made option.
Do you ever miss sitting down with a plate of pasta? Consider a plate full of zucchini noodles instead. You can season them with salt and pepper or use a little tomato sauce to add your favorite familiar flavor without adding a lot of extra calories. If you need an extra protein punch, consider adding sausage or a little chicken. Make sure to measure your portions! Zucchini noodles can also be used as a base for many of your favorite pasta dishes in meals. Don’t have a spiralizer or time to make your own? Many grocery stores now sell pre-spiralized zucchini noodles.
Do you ever miss the great flavor and fizz of the sodas you gave up to try to reach your weight loss goals? Sparkling water can help you curb those cravings in a healthier way. Spindrift brand sparkling water is an excellent addition to your diet that can help you stay away from sugar-filled carbonated beverages.
If you’re looking for a healthy snack with the satisfying crunch you usually associate with potato chips, unsalted popcorn is a great substitute. Popcorn is relatively low in calories and high in fiber, which means it’s a snack that you can have a lot of without breaking your diet. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can dive in and eat a bucket of oil-covered movie theater popcorn. Instead, try air-popped popcorn.
With some cucumbers, onions, salt, pepper, and vinegar, you can quickly mix up cucumber salad. This light, refreshing treat is full of fiber, which will keep you full longer, but it won’t weigh you down even if you’re headed out the door for your favorite athletic pursuit.
Homemade Kale Chips
Munching on potato chips quickly packs on calories, salt, and grease. When you make your own kale chips, on the other hand, you’ll take in far fewer calories while still munching on your favorite flavors. With a little olive oil, some kale, and some salt, you can quickly toss together your kale chips. Kale chips are best eaten relatively fresh.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
If you’re looking for a great, portable snack that’s easy to take with you no matter where you’re going, consider the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Munch on celery sticks or carrot sticks, toss an apple in your bag or make a cup full of berries. These simple snacks are whole foods and filled with fiber, which means that you’ll stay full longer, and they’re generally low in calories, which means you can enjoy a snack guilt-free.
Chocolate Covered Almonds
Look for chocolate-covered almonds with 70% cocoa. You want a low sugar content for this snack, which is high in protein and will help provide you with the energy you need to get through your day. When you munch on almonds and other nuts, make sure you keep an eye on your serving size: nuts often pack a heavy calorie punch for their size, so it’s easy to overeat.
Are you looking for a creamy, protein-filled treat? Try Greek yogurt. Thicker than traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt also carries additional protein. Purchase unsweetened Greek yogurt, then add honey for flavoring. You can also add fruit or oatmeal to your Greek yogurt for a hint of texture or flavor. You can freeze Greek yogurt for an extra treat in the summertime. Always purchase plain yogurt rather than flavored, then add your own flavorings: flavored yogurts often come with extra, unneeded sugar and other sweeteners.
Most people think of soups as a meal substitute or starter, but the reality is, they also make a great snack. Smooth soups are excellent at promoting fullness and helping to prevent overeating at the next meal. Look for low-sodium soups that have a broth base, rather than cream-based soups, which may be higher in calories. You can buy soups ready-made or make your own soup at home, filled with your favorite vegetables and seasonings.
Eggs are high in protein and very filling–and they can help promote weight loss when consumed in moderation. You can easily scramble up some eggs or make a vegetable omelet, or, if you want a more portable option, try hard boiling eggs so that you can grab them out of the fridge and take them with you any time. Eating eggs can also help you eat less for as much as 36 hours afterwards, making them an excellent solution for snackers who are hoping to lose weight.
Isopure Citrus Lemon Powder
Looking for a cool drink of lemonade on a hot day? Instead of choosing the traditional, sugar-filled version, check out Isopure Citrus Lemon Powder. You’ll take care of that craving for lemonade without packing on unnecessary calories. The fresh citrus flavor is very satisfying, and you won’t be left feeling guilty about liquid calorie intake.
Isopure Vanilla Protein Powder
Sometimes, you get a craving for a milkshake or ice cream that’s hard to deny. Isopure Vanilla Protein Powder is a great way to create a mock milkshake. Add 5-10 strawberries to get a great strawberry milkshake with real strawberry flavor. You can mix your protein shake up with milk or water alone, or you can add ice cubes and toss it in the blender to make it thicker and more like a real milkshake. Using frozen strawberries (or your other favorite frozen fruit) can also help you get a thicker, more shake-like texture.
When you’re on a diet, controlling your snacking is one of the most important elements. Many diets fail, not because the person isn’t working hard, but because they lose track of calories consumed while snacking, overindulging in unhealthy options even while eating healthy the rest of the day. When you snack, are you remembering to snack healthy? By taking a hard look at this list, you can find healthier snack options that you can take on the go or enjoy at home, depending on your needs each day.