Healthy snacks can be one of the best ways to keep your hunger satisfied while still supporting your efforts to lose weight. It may seem counterintuitive to think that eating can make it easier for your body to shed the excess pounds of fat, but it’s the truth. Just as making sure you eat a balanced diet will keep your other systems and organs running smoothly, the same can be said about your metabolism and hunger sensations.
The Art of Healthy Snacks
Snacking is an art form. This is not a habit that should be eliminated. Many people blame snacking for weight gain they experience or for the pounds they’re not able to lose. That said, it’s not the fault of these mid-meal foods. Instead, it could just mean that you’re not choosing the right healthy snacks, or you’re not consuming them in portion sizes that are appropriate for your weight loss efforts.
After all, there is a big difference between plowing through an entire family-sized bag of potato chips (with dip!) and the impact of a bowl of raw veggie sticks. It’s all in what you eat and how. This is what makes it such an artform. Therefore, it’s time for you to become an artist in your own nutrition!
Snacking Can Be Good For You
It’s a way to reduce that hunger that can form between meals or in the evening, but there is much more to it than that. People are often quite particular about the snacks that they eat and are seeking a certain flavorful experience, as well. This can explain why many people will often opt for potato chips instead of raw celery sticks when it comes to grabbing a little bite in front of the TV.
However, it is still possible to make yourself some nutritious, weight friendly and healthy snacks without sacrificing the tasty experience. The following ideas each have 150 calories or less and are packed with flavor and nutrients, without having to resort to the standard apples with peanut butter or low fat yogurt for yet another afternoon.
Healthy Snacks to Try When Hunger Strikes
- Chickpea salad with lemon – combine 1tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp of chopped fresh chives, and ½ teaspoon of lemon zest, and whisk them together before tossing on ½ cup of drained and rinsed canned chickpeas.
- Avocado hummus dip – combine 2 tbsp store bought (or homemade) hummus with ¼ pureed avocado and ½ tsp lemon juice in a food processor. Add 1 tsp chopped fresh chives. Serve with bell pepper slices, preferably red or yellow.
- Cinnamon tortilla wedges – cut a corn tortilla into wedges. Brush them with 1 tsp of melted low fat butter or margarine and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Eat as they are or dip them in nonfat vanilla yogurt.
- Basil berry toss – toss together 1 tsp of chopped fresh basil with 1 cup of fresh sliced strawberries. For added flavor, drizzle ½ teaspoon agave nectar over the bowl.
- Trail mix – shake things up from the standard with 2 tsp of almond slivers, 1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips and 2 tbsp of tart dried cherries.
- Plum ricotta bruschetta – Over whole wheat toast slices, spread 2 tbsp of nonfat ricotta cheese with a pinch of ground nutmeg and top with a slice of fresh plum drizzled in ½ tsp of honey.
These healthy snacks can all be made very quickly, they taste great, they satisfy hunger, and they won’t cause you to exceed your calorie budget for the day. At the same time, you’ll be giving your body the gift of great nutrients!
How to Get the Most from Your Snacking
The key to making sure you’re going to get the most from these healthy snacks is in a bit of advance planning. This isn’t as unpleasant or complicated as it may sound. The idea is that when you’re ready to snack on something, you want convenience. If that’s the candy bar in the vending machine, that’s what you’ll grab. However, if you have a bowl of sliced strawberries with basil and a bit of agave nectar all ready and prepared for you in the fridge, it’s just as easy to have that.
Get to know your style, what appeals to you, and where your strengths and weaknesses are with healthy snacks. If you don’t like carrots, then a baggie of carrot sticks is never going to work for you. Instead, choose options that you can prepare in advance (unless you’re in a food prep kind of mood) and that you actually like. Try lots of different combinations.
If you’re not sure which healthy snacks are the most friendly to your weight loss strategy, use a nutrition tracker. These apps and web-based tools are readily available for free and can help you to get a great understanding of your food and what it contains.