Who told you weight loss and snacking cannot go hand in hand? Is it because when you think of the word “snack”, you imagine fried, cheesy, sugar-laden, or salt-heavy foods? Not always. Healthy snacks for weight loss exist, and they can be the perfect companion in your weight loss journey.
When you satisfy your hunger with healthy snacks, you are less likely to binge on unhealthy foods and more likely to be able to maintain a healthy weight. Let’s find out how to choose healthy snacks that aid in weight loss!
Foods that are low in calories, and high in protein and fiber can promote weight loss and classify as healthy snacks. . These foods help in satiating your hunger in between meals, thereby preventing you from overeating. They also help in keeping you full for a longer period.
You should always be on a calorie deficit for losing weight and for that, you need to keep a check on your calorie intake. Therefore, while choosing foods for weight loss and especially snacks, choose the ones that are low in calories. Also, remember to keep an eye on your portion size. Having small portions is one way to keep your calorie intake in check.
Also, avoid processed foods as snacks, since they are high in saturated fat, salt, sugar, and simple carbohydrates.You can choose fruits, vegetables, or food items made from whole grains and low-fat dairy products as snacks for weight loss.
Hummus is a Mediterranean dish that is made from pureed chickpeas. It forms a delicious spread or a dip that is rich in flavour. Hummus is also a good source of protein and fiber. Having hummus with your favorite vegetables can make it more nutritious.
You can go for raw vegetables such as celery, cumber, or carrots. They are rich in natural plant compounds such as carotenoids and polyphenols that help in weight loss.
One serving of hummus and vegetables, which consists of 3 tablespoons of hummus and ¾ cups of raw vegetables, contains about 96 calories.
Yogurt is low in calories and fat. It is high in protein and fiber and it also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Adding berries to yogurt improves its nutritional value.
Berries such as strawberries or blueberries are high in antioxidants and fiber and also help improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. These factors make berries and yogurt an ideal snack for weight loss.
1 serving of yogurt and blueberries, which consists of 1 cup of non-fat plain yogurt, and ¼ cup of blueberries, has about 154 calories.
Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, and cashew nuts make great weight-loss snacks. Nuts are a rich source of protein and fiber. They form a healthy and filling snack that helps in losing weight.
For weight loss, you can choose dry or roasted, unsalted nuts. While consuming nuts, make sure to keep an eye on the portion size as nuts are high in calories. Limit yourself to a handful of nuts in a day.
1 serving, which is ¼ cup of mixed unsalted nuts, contains about 219 calories.
Cottage cheese is high in protein. Coupling cottage cheese with low-starch fruits such as berries, avocados, or peaches can improve its nutritional value by adding a source of fiber. It thus forms a delicious and filling weight-loss snack.
One cup of cottage cheese with fruits contains about 219 calories.
Oatmeal is a popular snack that is tasty and healthy at the same time. Oats are high in soluble fiber. It keeps you full for longer and helps curb your hunger pangs. It is also a healthy mix of complex carbs, proteins, and nutrients such as magnesium and zinc.
It helps lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and also improves your gut health. Therefore choosing oatmeal as your snack is a healthy way to reduce weight.
1 cup of cooked plain oatmeal contains about 158 calories.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber and proteins. They help in curbing your appetite and promote weight loss. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain about 10 grams of fiber, which is about 40 % of your daily recommended intake.
To make chia seed pudding, you can add unsweetened almond milk, and nuts such as chopped almonds or walnuts to chia seeds. You can also add dried fruits to your pudding to improve the taste and nutritional value.
1 cup of chia seed pudding contains about 232 calories.
The best way to add healthy snacks to your weight loss diet is to plan ahead and keep a stock of them in easy reach. This will save your time and effort in planning and preparing your snacks every day.
For instance, if you want to include hummus in your snacks, you can prepare one large batch at the beginning of the week and refrigerate it. Later, you can use it as needed while preparing your snack. Therefore, planning ahead helps you stick to your diet routine and follow it diligently.
Ideally, you should eat snacks after an intense workout session, and anytime you are going more than 4 hours between meals. This will help curb your hunger pangs and also in maintaining your energy levels.
If you have an early breakfast (say about 7.00 am), eat a morning snack at about 10.00 am. Later, you can opt for an afternoon snack at about 4 pm. If you have an early dinner (say around 7 pm ) and there are more than four hours between dinner and your bedtime, you can have something light as a bedtime snack at around 11 pm. Opt for a glass of milk or an apple before you hit the bed.
Weight loss ultimately depends on the number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn per day. Therefore, you can limit yourself to one snack per day to keep your calorie intake in check.
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