When starting any weight loss program, the toughest part of any given day is curbing the urge to snack. The afternoon rolls around and you find yourself craving something sweet or salty and you think, what’s the harm? It just takes one slip to derail a healthy eating plan, so next time the dreaded snack attack cravings strike, opt for healthier options that won’t break your weight loss goals or leave you feeling guilty.
You’re Craving Snacks but Before You Indulge…
Drink 16 oz. of water. More often than not your pangs of hunger are actually pangs of dehydration. Consuming 16 oz. of water quenches your thirst and absolves snack cravings.
You can also try drinking herbal tea. Warm and comforting, naturally caffeine-free herbal teas soothe your mind and body. Choose mint or ginger tea for digestive ease, chamomile to promote a sense of calm, or hibiscus for its antioxidant effects.
Work It Out
Often times people feel hungry when really they just need to get up and move. Take a walk around the block or drop and do some push-ups. Raising your heart rate and taking part in some physical activity will take your mind off snacking.
Still Feeling Hungry? Indulge in Healthy Snack Options
Celery, bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, and cucumbers are all great snack choices since they are mostly made up of water. They are low-calorie, low in sugar, filling, and super hydrating – a quadruple whammy! They also contain wonderful nutrients and a solid dose of fiber, filling you up long before you even reach the 200-calorie mark. Enjoy them raw or steamed to retain their low-calorie benefits or try pairing them with a healthy dip like hummus, peanut butter, or guacamole!
While it’s important to watch your fruit intake when attempting to lose weight, berries make a good snack choice because they are high in fiber, antioxidants, and water while being low in sugar compared to other fruits. The best options are raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Per cup, raspberries contain only 65 calories, 5 grams of sugar, and a whopping 8 grams of fiber, in addition to beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Blackberries come in at 62 calories, 8 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of sugar per cup, while strawberries contain 47 calories, 7 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber in the same volume. Pair these sweet delights with a non-fat, plain Greek or non-dairy yogurt for a healthy dose of protein!
Egg whites pack a mean protein punch with only 17 calories per egg! Our favorite way to snack on them is to hard-boil 6 eggs, remove the yolks (yolks are nutritious, but best enjoyed in moderation), and fill the yolk cavity with a tablespoon each fresh salsa. You’ll get a super-filling snack with roughly 22 grams of protein in under 150 calories.
These marine morsels are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and iodine. They have a great texture, savory-umami flavor, and a low-calorie count. Packaged varieties are available in most grocery stores at this point; just make sure the brand you buy is as minimally processed as possible. Look for brands that use just a handful of straightforward ingredients – if the package lists anything other than seaweed, olive oil, salt, and recognizable flavorings like sesame seeds or wasabi, it might be best to surf on by. Also, keep sodium content in mind and skip anything containing more than 150 mg per package.
Nuts & Seeds
A handful of unsalted raw or roasted almonds, walnuts, cashews, or seeds like pumpkin or sunflower appease hunger and help to lower cholesterol. These healthy fats are also an excellent source of fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E.