Tempted by the vending machine every afternoon? Make sure you have some healthier snacks on hand so you don’t fall into the 3 o’clock fat trap. There are plenty of quick and healthy snacks to choose from- so when you’re trying to lose weight, try to make smarter snack choices to avoid loading on unnecessary calories. Here are some great snacks that fit in nicely with your diet plan.
- Popcorn. Air-popped popcorn, that is, not the buttery kind you get at the movies! Air-popped popcorn is light and healthy and gives you a good dose of fibre, all for very few calories. Plus, a bag of corn kernels is very cheap and will last you a long time.
- Sunflower seeds. For great crunchy texture, grab a handful of sunflower seeds. They’re high in protein, low in carbs, and are the best whole-food source of vitamin E. They’ve also got some unsaturated fats, fibre, minerals, and vitamins, so eat some as a crunchy snack on their own, or mix them into your salad or trail mix.
- Granola bars. Granola has lots of fibre and protein and gives you a chewy, sweet taste, so you feel satisfied. Look for brands made with whole grains and real nuts. The average granola bar will usually have 100 to 150 calories, making it a perfect healthy snack to munch on any time of the day.
- Frozen Peas And Corn. Frozen vegetables often taste better than when they’re cooked because it seals in their naturally sweet flavour. Plus, it will take longer to eat them, so you’ll feel like you’re eating more. Half a cup of corn has around 72 calories, and the same amount of peas has only 55 calories. Plus you’re getting a good dose of fibre, so they are filling and satisfying.
- Frozen berries or grapes. Similarly, frozen fruit retains the sweet, juicy flavor at the same time as giving you a different texture. Plus, it means you can eat fruits that aren’t in season, and often much cheaper. A 500g box of frozen berries usually costs around $5 to $7- not bad compared to fresh ones.
- Low-fat cottage cheese. The protein will keep you feeling full and energized, without loads of calories- you can get tubs of low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese with 100 calories or less. Cottage cheese is also a good source of calcium, which has also been shown to support weight loss. Plus, the rich flavor will make you feel satisfied. Mix in some fresh fruit for some extra nutrients and flavor.
- Sliced tomato. Add a small sprinkle of feta and olive oil, and suddenly sliced tomato isn’t so boring. Full of flavor and low in calories, this makes a great healthy snack in the afternoon or as a little appetizer before dinner.
- Carrots and hummus. Crunchy texture means you chew more, which means you take longer to eat, which means you feel like you’re eating more than you actually are. Adding a bit of hummus keeps the flavour interesting and gives you a bit of a protein hit.
- Greek yogurt. With its thick, fluffy texture, you’ll feel like you’re indulging- but you can get a tubs of delicious Greek yogurt that contain less than 80 calories. Avoid yogurts that come with fruit or syrup at the bottom, as these are often higher in sugar. Instead, add your own fresh fruit to give it an extra protein and fibre kick.
- Apples with dressing. Snacking on fruit is a great way to stay healthy and lose weight, and studies have shown that apples in particular are good for keeping the kilos off. In fact, it has been suggested that three apples a day can help you to lose weight. So for a healthy snack, slice up an apple and mix it with some chopped walnuts and a teaspoon of maple syrup, or spread some peanut butter over it. Then you’ve got a delicious, filling snack for under 200 calories.
- Soy chips. High in fibre, low in fat- soy chips are a great healthy alternative to traditional potato chips, giving you that crunchy satisfaction without all the extra calories. What’s more, they are a great source of soy protein, which studies have suggested helps to encourage weight loss and ensure that the weight you lose is fat, rather than muscle. A pack of soy chips usually has around 7 grams of protein in around 100 calories, so you even have room for some low-fat dip or salsa.
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