The words “weight-loss” and “snacks” often appear in the same sentence.
But that might also bring thoughts of "tasteless," "cardboard," and "completely unsatisfying."
Let me give you my best weight-loss friendly snacks that aren't just nutritious but also delicious!
What’s my criteria?
They have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain protein and/or fibre.
1 - Nuts
It’s true - nuts contain calories and fat, but they are NOT fattening!
Well, I’m not talking about the “honey roasted” ones, of course. Those probably are fattening.
Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner.
By the way, nuts also contain protein and fiber, which means a small amount can go 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: Carry a handful of unsalted/unsweetened nuts with you in a small container when you leave the house so you’re never scrambling for a healthy snack.
2 - Fresh Fruit
As with nuts, studies show that people who tend to eat more fruit, tend to be healthier. (I’m sure you’re not too surprised!)
Yes, fresh fruit contains sugar, but whole fruits (I'm not talking juice or sweetened dried fruit) also contain a fair bit of water and fiber; not to mention their nutritional value with 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."
Look for fruit that is low on the glycemic index, like apples, pears, or grapefruit. My favourite fruits are berries—they’re sweet and tart and the same time and a serving is 1 cup (that’s a lot of berries!). To keep your blood sugar stable, pair your fruit with a handful of nuts.
Tip: Can't do fresh? Try frozen. Vitamins and minerals stay intact in frozen fruit. Plus, they're already chopped for you.
3 - Chia seeds
This is also one of my personal favourites…
Chia is not only high in fibre (I mean HIGH in fibre), but it also contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 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 gel with a pudding-like texture. It’s delicious and fills you up.
Tip: Put two tablespoons 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!
4 - Boiled or poached eggs
Eggs are often called the “perfect food.” They’re packed with nutrition, most of which is in the yolk.
They contain a lot of high-quality protein and a number 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!
Tip: Boil a half dozen eggs and keep them in your fridge for a super-quick (and nutritious) snack for you and your family!
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 you don't need me to tell you about their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, right?
You can easily open a package of baby cucumbers and/or cherry tomatoes and give them a quick rinse (they’re already bite-sized).
Tip: Have you put almond butter on celery? Use a dip that’s high in healthy fats (not one from a package that contains preservatives). How about trying my new hummus recipe below?
Go ahead and try one, or more, of these healthy snacks. Prepare them the night before if you need to. They will not be "tasteless," like "cardboard," or "completely unsatisfying." Trust me.
Recipe (Vegetable Dip): Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
⅓ cup tahini
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. pepper
Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to thin it out with a bit of water, so add it 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and blend. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Tip: Add spices like dill, paprika, basil or oregano to the hummus to make more of a traditional vegetable dip flavour.