You want to lose weight but cannot resist your favorite snacks? And then you feel guilty? And become angry at yourself for that mistake? In fact, you can eat more often and lose weight. Arrange healthy snacks approximately every 2.5-3 hours. This stabilizes blood sugar level during the day. If you snack you can avoid a state of extreme hunger and, as a result, overeating.
2 biggest mistakes you make when you get a snack
Mistake number 1
High-calorie snacks. Despite the fact that they have a lot of calories for a relatively small amount of food, they do not provide prolonged satiety (e.g., chocolate or potato chips). We still feel hungry after eating a bag of chips or two bars of chocolate, don’t we? Did those 320 calories make sense?
Mistake number 2
Snacks high in carbohydrates (e.g., pretzels or bagels) that quickly pass through the gastrointestinal tract, i.e., hunger subsides for a very short time. If we balance fast carbohydrates with some protein and a little fat a snack will be more saturating.
If you want to snack and lose weight, choose the foods:
- Containing plenty of fiber and nutrients: whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables. Low-fat dairy products and lean meat contain important nutrients, so these snacks contribute to getting “empty” calories (calories without nutritional value).
- Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts), so that energy from these snacks doesn’t get into your blood too quickly, triggering an increase in blood sugar level.
- Balanced with a small amount of protein and some fats most beneficial for the heart, such as monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Plant foods such as nuts and seeds, soy products, avocados; olive and canola oils offer healthy fats; and nuts and soy proteins balance high carbohydrate foods.
These healthy low-calorie snacks usually give a longer feeling of satiety at a lower caloric content.
8 low-calorie snacks ideas
Option 1: Soluble Fiber
Foods rich in soluble fiber are often used for a quick snack because soluble fiber is digested slowly, making you feel full longer. Here are some foods that are high in soluble fiber:
- Peas and beans (can be cooked quickly in a microwave)
- Oats and oat bran (make a bowl of oatmeal with skim milk, add a pinch of cinnamon – when you need to snack quickly, but feel full for a long time)
- Some fruit (apples, peaches, citrus, mango, plum, kiwi, pears, berries)
- Some vegetables (artichokes, celery, sweet potatoes, parsnip, Brussels sprout, cabbage, green peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, beet)
Option 2: Long-lasting snacks
The following products make up healthy snacks, even in large quantities; if you eat them separately they will not raise the blood sugar level.
- Vegetable salads
Option 3: Nuts
Nuts are an ideal quick snack. 1 ounce of most nuts is equal to about 170 calories, 4 drams of carbohydrates, 3 drams of protein and 8 drams of fat. The more fat they contain the longer they will be digested.
- Hazelnuts and almonds contain less fat than other nuts;
- Macadamia nuts and hazelnuts are the highest in monounsaturated fat content;
- Pistachios and macadamia nuts contain more fibers than others (about 2 drams per 1 ounce);
- Walnuts are the highest in omega-3 fatty acids.
Option 4: Yogurt
Fruit yogurt (low-fat with artificial sweeteners) is an acceptable low-calorie snack at work or on the road. Remember the option number 2 on the benefits of slow digestion of foods? Add some fresh fruit, flaxseed or muesli to low-fat yogurt to make a snack healthier!
Option 5: Fruit
Different kinds of fruit offer a lot of carbohydrates with a good dose of fiber. You can make your quick snacks more balanced enjoying fruit with cottage cheese, yogurt or muesli and milk. The following fruit has a low glycemic index (5 or less per serving):
- Peaches (fresh or canned in its own juice)
Option 6: Whole grains
Recent studies show that people who eat whole grains have the lowest incidence of diabetes. So, use whole grains for a light snack instead of flour products!
Option 7: Vegetables
Slice fresh, raw vegetables and make a salad with a light sauce or olive oil. You can add low-fat cheese or cottage cheese. Besides basic lettuce and carrots, use zucchini, bell pepper rings or green beans.
Option 8: Dried fruit
Dried fruit can give you a feeling of fullness and provide you with calories. Add low-fat nuts to this snack.
Stay away from sesame sticks or dried banana chips. It is not natural dried fruit.
Snack with taste, without haste
Snacking should be slow as well as the main meal. Do not forget that your brain needs 20 minutes to get the message that you are full. Get maximum pleasure out of each piece, prolong it. Soft mineral water will help you with this.
Do not turn snacks into meals
Healthy snacks have only about 150-200 calories. You just need to get enough energy to survive until the next meal.