But what usually comes along with this combination are additional words like “tasteless,” “cardboard,” and “completely unsatisfying.”
Well it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have weight-loss friendly snacks that aren’t just nutritious but also delicious.
My rule of thumb for snacks is they have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods containing protein and/or fibre and some healthy fats (which just happens to be the perfect combination to keep you full, satisfied and balanced in the blood sugar department).
Here are my top 5 weight-loss friendly snacks:
1 – Nuts
It’s true – nuts contain calories and fat, but they are generally NOT fattening if eaten in small portions.
And of course I’m not talking about the “honey roasted” ones. Those are fattening mostly because of all the sugar they contain.
Studies show people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner.
By the way, nuts also contain protein and fibre, which means a small amount can go pretty far in terms of filling you up. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals you can get from nuts.
Did you know that almonds have been shown to help with weight loss? At least 10% of the fat in them is not absorbed by the body and almonds can also help to boost your metabolism!
Tip: Put a handful of various unsalted/unsweetened nuts into a small container and throw it in your purse or bag to snack on between meals.
2 – Fresh Fruit
As with nuts, studies show people who eat more fruit, tend to be healthier. (I’m sure you’re not too surprised!)
Yes, fresh fruit contains sugar, but if you eat the whole fruit (I’m not talking juice or sweetened dried fruit) you’ll also get a fair bit of water and fibre; and they have high nutrient values with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And fresh fruit is low in calories.
Fiber is something that not only helps to fill you up (known as the “satiety factor”) but also helps to slow the release of the fruit sugar into your bloodstream and reduce the notorious “blood sugar spike.”
Try a variety of seasonal fruit and pair them with a handful of nuts, some nut butter or sliced avocado (for that dose of healthy fat).
Tip: While fresh is best, keep your freezer stocked with different frozen fruits for smoothies, adding to baked goods, toppings and healthy ice cream recipes.
3 – Chia Seeds
Chia is not only high in fibre (I mean HIGH in fibre), but it also contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids (yes those healthy omega-3s). As well as antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium.
Can you see how awesome these tiny guys are?
They also absorb a lot of liquid, so by soaking them for a few minutes, they make a thick pudding (that is delicious and fills you up).
Tip: Put two tablespoons of chia seeds in a bowl with ½ cup of nut milk and wait a few minutes. Add in some berries, chopped fruit or nuts and/or cinnamon and enjoy! Make a chocolate version with a teaspoon of cacao powder.
4 – Boiled Eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrition and most of it is in the yolk.
They contain a lot of high-quality protein and a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
And recent research shows that the cholesterol in the yolks is NOT associated with high elevated cholesterol or heart disease risk.
Yup, you read that right! So go ahead and enjoy the whole egg.
Tip: Boil half-a-dozen eggs and keep them in your fridge for a super-quick (and nutritious) snack!
5 – Vegetables
I don’t need to tell you how great these are for you, but just maybe I need to sell you on the delicious “snackability” of these nutrition powerhouses.
Veggies contain fibre and water to help fill you up and I’m sure you know that are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, right?
Yes they take a bit of time to chop and slice, but many supermarkets have veggies pre-chopped and bags of organic baby carrots or cherry tomatoes ready to go in bit-sized pieces.
Tip: Jazz up your veggies with a bit of dip. Have you tried almond butter on celery? How about dipping your veggies in guacamole? The healthy fats from the avocado will help keep you satisfied and full. Keep a batch on hand for easy quick, nutrient-dense snacks. See my recipe below.
Go ahead and try one, or more, of these healthy snacks. Prepare them the night before and have them ready to go for your busy day. They will not be “tasteless,” like “cardboard,” or “completely unsatisfying.” I promise, your tastebuds and waistline will love them.
Over to you. In the comments tell me what your favourite, healthy, waistline-friendly snacks are!
Makes about 2 cups
2 ripe avocados
1 clove garlic
juice from 1/2 lime (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Peel and core the avocados and place in small bowl. Mash with fork or veggie masher. Add in remaining ingredients and stir/mash until well combined. Store in fridge with avocado pit in centre to avoid turing brown. Serve with sliced/chopped fresh veggies.