Written by: Rebecca Robinson
If you’re one of the thousands starting your new year’s diet, attempting to cut down on some of the junk you’re eating or just reading this by chance, you probably know that when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to snack. Most of those snacks tend to be high in fat, sugar, calories or salt and can be one of the main reasons we fail to lose weight while on a diet. Despite the negative connotations that spring to mind at the word ‘snack’, there are many healthy snacks and variations out that not only keep your diet on track, but are really quite good for you!
What is a healthy snack?
If you snack correctly, you actually keep your energy levels up and your metabolism going strong. By choosing the right foods you can help your body burn fat. However, choose a sugary treat or high fat chocolate bar and you’ll only feel satisfied for a small amount of time and in the long run, become hungrier, quicker. No snacks will literally ‘burn away fat’ but snacking healthily will actually help your body run more efficiently. Nuts, seeds and fruit are great options and as a general rule, snacks under 200 calories with 10g of protein and 5g of fibre are the ones to opt for.
Mix it up
By mixing certain snacks together, you can ensure your energy levels are kept high and cravings for sugary or salty snacks are kept at bay. Instead of just having an apple, pair it with a glass of skimmed milk to add protein and make it more satisfying. Protein sustains energy and hunger levels much longer than carbohydrates which are used up relatively quickly.
If you’re craving something a little richer and creamier, try avocado and cottage cheese together. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and fill with cottage cheese – quick and easy with no dishes to wash either!
A staggering 20% of us aren’t getting enough iron in our diets, which can leave us weak, lethargic and prone to anaemia. A great iron packed snack is sunflower lentil spread on pita bread. It helps boost your metabolism and all for less than 180 calories.
Snacks as meals?
In general, you should be eating small regular meals during the day but in reality, our busy schedules often mean we end up skipping meals. If you can at least ensure you’re grabbing healthy snacks, it’s the difference between healthy nourishment and nothing at all! Try toasting half a whole-wheat muffin and topping with a thin slice of ham, slice of tomato and low fat cheese for a healthy mini meal to snack on and reduce the chances of binging on unhealthy calorie laden foods later on.
Keep the fridge stocked
If your home or work fridge is stocked with healthy foods to snack on, you’re far more likely to head for those rather than be tempted by the unhealthy (and sometimes expensive!) junk food in the vending machine or ‘goodie cupboard’.
Get them delivered!
There are also companies that deliver healthy snacks to your home or place of work so you have a healthy treat to look forward to. These companies offer a wide variety of snacks, nibbles, puddings and treats to ensure you don’t get bored eating the same old things while keeping your snacks healthy and nutritious! Graze is one of the better known snacks-to-your-door sites, try it now and get your first box free!