The words “weight-loss” and “snacks” often appear in the same sentence. However, that might also bring thoughts of "tasteless," "cardboard," and "completely unsatisfying."
Am I right?
Let me give you my best weight-loss friendly snacks that aren't just nutritious but also delicious! For me, they have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain protein and/or fiber.
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. Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner.
Nuts also contain protein and fiber, 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 help with 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: A healthy portion equates to about 12 almonds (raw is best), 20 pistachios, or 8 whole cashews. Nuts are perfect when coupled with a small piece of fruit such as an apple. Put them in a small container or bag and throw them in your purse.
2 - Fresh Fruit
As with nuts, studies show that people who tend to eat more fruit, tend to be healthier.
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 fiber; not to mention their nutritional value with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And fresh fruit is low in calories.
Fiber 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 as I indicated above.
3 - Chia seeds
These have become one of my personal favorites…
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.
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). I will admit it took me a little time to get used to the texture of these as a pudding, but they can be delicious!
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.
Yes, 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.
Vegetables 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 on celery? 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 will not be "tasteless," like "cardboard," or "completely unsatisfying." Trust me.
Check out this great recipe for Hummus (Vegetable Dip)