The words “weight-loss” and “snacks” often appear in the same sentence.
But that might also bring thoughts of "tasteless," "cardboard," and "completely unsatisfying."
It can be all too easy to just grab what you can when you’re out and about and hungry. With a bit of planning your healthy eating needn’t go off track.
Let me give you my best weight-loss friendly snacks that aren't just nutritious but also delicious and easy to make!
These foods are nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain protein and/or fibre.
If your thoughts are already looking to what changes you want to make in the New Year, why not try my FREE 5 day plant-based series? Designed for beginners to give you all you need to know to kick-start your healthy plant-based lifestyle. Sign up here.
1 - Nuts
It’s true - nuts contain calories and fat, but they are NOT fattening!
Well, I’m not talking about the caramel covered or salted ones!
Studies show that 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 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 unsalted/unsweetened nuts into a small container to keep in your bag, drawer or car.
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 fibre; not to mention their nutritional value with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And fresh fruit is low in calories.
Fibre 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 fruit, but especially berries, and pair with a handful of nuts.
Tip: Can't do fresh? Try frozen. Plus, they're already chopped for you and you can always have some to hand.
3 - Chia seeds
This is 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 great 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 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 - Chickpeas
Well all pulses really.
You might not think of pulses when you think of snacks, but there are lots of things you can make with them.
They are great for weight loss because they have both fibre and protein. They can help you manage cravings by regulating your blood sugar levels as well as keeping you full.
How do you make a snack with these? One of the most popular options is houmous – recipe below. But you can make a dip, pâté or sandwich spread with lentils, beans or peas. Or what about crackers? Another great option is to roast some chickpeas with spices.
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 of course are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
You can easily open a bag of baby carrots and/or cherry tomatoes and give them a quick rinse (they’re already bite-sized).
Tip: Use a bit of dip. Have you put almond butter on celery? How about trying my new houmous 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."
Recipe (Vegetable Dip): Houmous
Makes about 2 cups
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
⅓ cup tahini
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper
1. 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.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Don’t like sesame? Use an avocado in place of the tahini, and olive oil in place of the sesame oil.
Don’t forget - If you want to start the New Year the right way sign up to my FREE 5 day plant-based series. Designed for beginners to give you all you need to know to kick-start your healthy plant-based lifestyle. Sign up here.