We all love to snack, but is snacking bad if you are trying to lose weight? Not necessarily! Snacking becomes counterproductive when losing weight if certain nutritional rules are not followed. When we snack sensibly, it can be satisfying, delicious and even help us lose weight.
It is all about the balancing and the total calories. Most snacks are tasty, yet they are full of empty calories and few nutrients, and as a result, we do not feel satisfied. So we reach for the next snack, the same can be said for kids too. Learning how to balance nutrition and calories, to give our body what it is craving is the key.
It’s A Balancing Act
Snacking done right will keep your energy levels up and your weight down. Protein and fiber are the perfect pairings to satisfy and get you through the day with more energy and fewer cravings. Fiber fills you up, aids in digestion and keeps your cravings down. Protein boosts metabolism and increases your body’s ability to burn fat. It is a win-win for everybody.
So it may sound complicated or something you do not have time for, but several of these great snacks can be either made ahead of time or grabbed on the go. A hand full of nuts come in at around 100 calories and has that perfect pairing of protein and fiber to keep you energized and satisfied. Also, this healthy snack will not drop your blood sugar levels and send you back to the candy machine for more.
The Perfect Pair
So what are some examples of a perfect pairing for that fat burning, weight shedding snack? The good rule of thumb is to keep it under 200 calories and around 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. ‘And drum roll,’ the award goes to… milk and apple because just one cup of skim milk and an apple provides protein and fiber that meets the criteria and, is easy to grab on the run.
Another easy grab and go for your lunch box is one-half avocado and 2 oz of cottage cheese, the 1% fat variety. Having something cool, smooth and creamy, and coming in at just under 200 calories, this snack has it all and none of the guilt.
Make It Ahead
Make ahead and have on hand, for buy them canned for convenience, lentils or black beans. You can throw the lentils in a salad or make into a spread to have on pita bread. Black beans are great to have cooked and ready to make a veggie tostada or throw in a salad.
Edamame is easy to steam the night before, or buy the frozen microwaveable, one serving packs, and have on hand as a quick snack for the fridge or at work. Edamame is so versatile you can make guacamole or dip with roasted garlic and low-fat sour cream.
The Line Up Of My 10 Best Fat Burning Snacks
1. Avocado with Cottage Cheese
one-half avocado and 2 ounces of 1% cottage cheese
9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber
2. Handful of Almonds
1 ounce or about a handful
6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber
3. Apple and Milk
One apple and 8 ounces of skim milk
10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber
4. Roasted Garlic, Sour Cream and Edamame Dip
216 Calories- (for four servings of 2 Tablespoons each at 54 calories)
8 Tablespoons of dip, all the veggies you can eat
9 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber (or more depending on the veggies)
5. Edamame Guacamole
One apple and 8 ounces of skim milk
12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber
6. Carrot-Ginger Soup
Make ahead to snack on all day- a perfect soup for a detox day!
3 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber
17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber
8. Sunflower Lentil Spread on Pita Bread
Four servings put on pita bread
10 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber
9. Tuna on Whole-Wheat Crackers
3 ounces tuna, six whole-wheat crackers
20 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber
10. Power Berry Smoothie
Frozen berries, honey, low-fat plain yogurt (This was our pick for a favorite smoothie after a relaxing and cleansing detox in one of these portable far infrared saunas). Frozen berries have 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber
So with a few ideas on how to combine foods, to get the perfect balance of protein and fiber, it doesn’t seem so daunting. Try these healthy snacks and see if your afternoon fatigue has improved. Our body is meant to run efficiently; it is our duty to feed it like the miracle machine that it is.
You wouldn’t think about putting cheap, dirty gasoline in your car and expect it to have top performance. So it is just as true applied to our bodies, if we continue to eat foods that cause our bodies to collect toxins and fat, eventually we will develop health problems.
Images – marucyan/bedolaga/photomaru © 123RF