We’ve talked about diets in the past, and it’s no secret that you can’t out-train a bad diet. Watching what you put into your body is crucial to effective weight loss, but it isn’t the only factor, you must create a lifestyle of health and fitness. And we all know that snacking is the enemy of a healthy lifestyle. You think “a few cookies won’t hurt” but you’d be wrong. Let us explain.
When you get into the mentality of “If I eat this food then I will work extra hard at boot camp today” you’re already losing the battle. You need to make sure that you are eating the right foods all the time, and that includes snacks in between your meals. Making good decisions all day creates a habit, and soon you won’t have to think twice about it.
If dieting for you means starvation and deprivation, think again. Snacking can be an acceptable part of a healthy, low-calorie diet that leads to weight loss. With the right snacks, you can ensure you’re getting enough nutrients and avoid overeating when mealtime finally arrives.
Don’t believe the dieting myth that snacks are off limits if your goal is to slim down. Yes, snacks contain calories. Some more than others. If you’re not careful, snacks can be the downfall of your diet. But as long as you’re picky about the type of snack, the size of your snack, and you include your snack calories in your total daily calorie count, you’ll be fine. And remember, in order to get the most out of your snack as far as energy and fullness go, try to include a source of fiber and a source of protein.
With the right snack choices, you no longer need to feel guilty about eating between meals. Keep your diet on track with these low-calorie snack options.
Nuts + Fruit
Healthy snacking means planning ahead. No more last minute trips to the vending machine on your snack break. Keep simple snacking ingredients on hand like nuts and fruit. A handful of almonds, pistachios, or walnuts plus a few cherries, grapes, or strawberries is the perfect snack combination for lasting energy. The fruit provides natural sweetness and fiber and the nuts give you protein and healthy fats. Just be careful! Because they’re high in calories, limit the amount of nuts you eat each day.
Greek Yogurt + Fruit
Skip the full-fat, sugar-filled yogurt options and choose low-fat Greek yogurt instead. At 13 grams of protein in a single serving, Greek yogurt packs a powerful protein punch. Add a few raspberries, blueberries, or banana slices and a little honey for added sweetness and you have yourself a yummy snack without the guilt.
Hummus + Veggies
Made from mashed chickpeas, hummus is high in both fiber and protein. This savory, creamy dip is a perfect addition to raw veggies. Full of nutritious goodness and high in fiber, carrot sticks, pepper slices, or celery sticks dipped in hummus is a delicious way to get your daily recommended number of servings of vegetables.
Enjoy three and a half cups of fat-free microwave or air-popped popcorn for just 100 calories. Because it’s low in calories, you can eat a lot and fill up without feeling guilty. What you have to watch out for is popcorn made with large amounts of oils, butter, or stuff that looks and tastes like butter. Full of fat and trans fat, this kind of popcorn is not what you’d consider diet-friendly.
When prepared the right way, however, popcorn provides a descent amount of protein and fiber and is super high in polyphenol antioxidants.
Peanut Butter + Fruit or Veggies
Spread a little peanut or other nut butter on apple slices, a banana, or celery sticks for a yummy and fulfilling snack. The protein in peanut butter plus the fiber in the produce help keep your blood sugar level, your mood stable, and your tummy filled.
Egg + Toast
Eggs are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods. All that’s needed for life is found in the small oval-shaped package. Keep hard-boiled eggs on hand for a quick on-the-go snack. Pair an egg with a piece of whole-grain toast for an energy-boosting fiber-protein combination.
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