Healthy Living: Healthy Snacks to Aid Weight Loss
by, 01-30-2016 at 10:59 AM (156 Views)
Snacking is often the downfall of many dieters. Meals can be planned but what about between meal peckishness? These ideas should help keep hands out of the cookie jar.
Maintaining a healthy low-fat, low-calorie diet is the best way to achieve weight loss and sustain a target weight. Choosing and eating the right foods along with exercise and proper water intake are all key aspects of shifting those stubborn extra pounds that have been languishing around since the holidays and dieting no doubt tops more than a few be New Years’ Resolution lists. There are so many tried and tested methods of dieting and while the majority concentrate on preparing nutritious, healthy meals, they often fall down when it comes to advice about that inevitable pitfall – snacking.
Snacking has the ability to make or break a diet. In fast-paced life with work, kids and other commitments making days busy and planning difficult, it is natural to want to grab something quick to nibble on in between meals to stave off hunger. The problem comes because most convenience foods are high in fat and sugar and can slow and even halt the weight loss process and the contraction of waistbands. That packet of crisps is high in Trans fats; that bar of chocolate contains a lot of sugar and even that seemingly innocent handful of nuts is laden with calories and fat. By cutting out these snacks from an otherwise health-conscious diet and substituting them with some of the following, weight loss goals can be reached quicker and those troublesome inches will be on their way to disappearing.
Of course this is to be eaten without the butter, sugar or salt that is characteristic of cinema popcorn and that is touted on the shelves of the supermarket in quick and easy microwave sachets. Popcorn is one of the best snacks to stock up on when trying to lose weight. It is light, full of fibre and one cup is a mere 31 calories and contains less than half a gram of fat! Air popping is the healthiest method to use when preparing popcorn but using oils with limited saturated fats means that it can also be prepared on the stove. Should microwaving be the method of choice, the best way to go is to choose low fat versions of this snack; stay away from cheese-flavoured, sweet, buttery of salty varieties.
Mostly made from rye and available in a wide variety of flavours and textures, crispbread is a handy and nutritious snack to have on hand when dieting. Although it can be somewhat unappetising at first, by adding toppings of cottage cheese, hummus, vegetables and the like, it is immediately transformed into a versatile food that makes a perfect in-between nibble. Each slice of regular rye crispbread contains only 32 calories, 0.2g of fat and is packed with wholegrains and fibre.
It is surprising how far a handful of grapes or a few strawberries can go to fighting off hunger pangs until it is time for a main meal. However, they are not the only fruits on offer and when it comes to achieving weight loss, the key is variety! Stock up on bananas, grapes, apples (that can be cut into handy slices), berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are the best) and even oranges, figs and mango. They may contain natural sugars but there is nothing more sinister in fruit than that and they can even be blended into delicious smoothies.
Low fat and non-fat yoghurt is a healthy, nutritious and filling snack that can deal with hunger in a single bowl! Not only that but yoghurt has a number of nutritional benefits including being a good source of calcium, protein and potassium and helping to combat digestive problems by promoting “good” bacteria. It can also be combined with berries or granola to make for a more filling bite. A single cup of non-fat yoghurt has 0g of fat and is just over 100 calories.
Olives are a tasty savoury snack rich in vitamins and antioxidants which makes them fantastic when it comes to fighting diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer and arthritis. Olives can be doused with lemon juice, seasoned with herbs and spices or simply eaten as they are. An ounce of green olives is a surprising 41 calories and has less than 5g of fat whereas an ounce of black olives contains 3.8g of fat and is 47 calories.
Veggies and Dips
Simple, quick and ideal for maintaining weight loss targets, slicing vegetables such as carrots, celery and cucumber and teaming them with dips such as hummus, avocado and artichoke are a great snack to include in a diet repertoire. There are hundreds of dip recipes available to try at home and with small amounts of fat and low calorie contents, this nibble will not throw you off course.
The above are just a few suggestions but there are so many more! Other ideas include:
- Corn and rice cakes
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower etc)
- Sugar-free jello
- Soy chips
- Cottage cheese
By limiting between-meal snacks to these, weight loss can remain on track!