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 you ask?
They have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein, carbs, healthy fats 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 pretty 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 and throw it in your purse or bag. However, don’t go crazy with the amount of nuts, you only require a small amount.
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.”
Try a variety of fruit (apples, pears, berries, etc.) and pair that with a handful of nuts.
Tip: Can’t do fresh? Try frozen. Plus, they’re already chopped for you.
3 – Chia & Flax seeds
These are some of my personal favourites…
Chia and flax seeds are not only high in fibre (I mean HIGH in fibre), but it also contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids (yes THOSE omega-3s!). As well as antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium.
Can you see how awesome these tiny guys are?
Chia seeds 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 1 tablespoon of each 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 – Legumes
Legumes are the richest source of dietary fiber.
They contain a lot of high-quality protein, they are low in fat, and a good amount of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron, potassium, and folate.
And recent research shows that legumes are the most powerful form of prebiotics as they improve gut microflora.
Yup, you read that right!
Tip: Cook beans in bulk and store in the freezer for up to a month. Beans cooked from a packaged rather than a can contain less salt and additives. Bring them out of the freezer to use for dips, in salads, and in main dishes.
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 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 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 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.
Sign up for my newsletter and receive more plant-based recipes like this one above every week.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well