There are a lot of classic, proven weight loss tactics that work around healthy snacking. Suggestions like “eat every two hours” and “never get too hungry” point directly to snacking, but doing it right. With the smaller meals and lighter fare that most diets require, it is only natural that you are going to get hungry between meals. And if your schedule forces you to not be able to eat between lunch at noon and dinner at seven (or later), you had better figure out a way to snack that won’t blow your diet and won’t leave you so hungry you won’t care less about weight loss.
Here are a list of healthy snacks for weight loss that will fill you up, taste good, and keep you energized so you can continue to perform through your day.
1) Raw zucchini (also called summer squash)
Slice it up like celery stalks or slice it width-wise so it seems like a healthy, crispy chip. This is one snack that may not appeal to everyone, but it has an awful lot going for it. The first thing is the calories: one cup of sliced raw zucchini is a mere 18 calories, plus one gram of protein, one gram of fiber and a third of your vitamin C for the day. Zucchinis are also nice because they are very inexpensive, so much so that you could probably even splurge on the organic ones and still not endanger your budget in the least. I like raw zucchini for the crispiness. It also fills you up really well, and it travels well. Cut up one or two medium sized zucchini and toss them in a plastic container and then into your day bag, and you are well protected against the munchies.
2) Non Fat Yogurt
There are all sorts of non fat yogurts available, but most of them have three excellent things going for them: creaminess, high protein, and affordability. I would add portability because they come in one serving containers, but the cold requirements of yogurt make this marginal. Still, if you want one for the snack between breakfast and lunch, it would keep fine without refrigeration. Aim for about 150 calories per serving or less. If you have to have sweetness, get your yogurt with some fruit in it. I like Greek yogurt because it is creamier.
I have written about apples elsewhere on this site. They are possibly the perfect snacking food – cheap, sweet, portable and available almost everywhere (even airports!). Like raw veggies, you can eat as many apples as you heart desires. If it takes two large apples to keep you away from the pizzeria on your way home from the gym, that’s fine. While apples do have about 100 calories each, they are so loaded with fiber that unless you are on a super-strict 800 calories a day diet, they won’t make you have to eat a smaller dinner.
4) Akmak Crackers
For the bread fix. If you just have to have something bready, these are a great solution. They are completely organic, pretty cheap, travel well, and you can have a whole stack of five of them (each one is about the size of a credit card) for a mere 100 calories. They are a dramatic improvement over those nasty old rice crackers.
A lot of time we think we are hungry when actually we’re just thirsty. Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Please go drink to that.
For when water is not enough. Emergen-C is a vitamin mix that comes in a little packet. You put one packet into 8 ounces of water. The powder fizzes, and the drink is sweet, so if you are coming off a soda addiction, you may just get re-addicted to Emergen-C. If you do get re-addicted, don’t sweat it. Emergen-C is loaded with great vitamins, including a power shot of B Vitamins, the ones that help with fatigue. If you get a 3pm energy crash every afteroon, try one or two drinks of Emergen-C before you reach for the coffee. This stuff does wonders for me. It also comes in more than a dozen flavors and is inexpensive enough to make a habit of without threatening even a tight food budget.
This is a good snack, but there are a lot of qualifications for it. First of all, obviously you are going to skip the butter, and not put more than two short shakes of salt over a whole large bowl. Second, do not buy the microwavable popcorn bags — they release chemicals that are not good for you at all. Besides, you don’t need popcorn in bags. Just buy a package of brown paper sandwich bags, put about a tablespoon or more of popcorn kernels in one, fold up the bag and put that in the microwave. I just saved you from having to buy microwave popcorn bags. Plain paper bags are much cheaper. If you fold the bag at the corners after folding it over width-wise twice the bag won’t open as much during the popping.
Or whatever your favorite low-calorie, sweet fruit is. Mangoes are pretty awesome, too, but they can be expensive. Kiwis are cool, and grapes are good too. In season, strawberries are very affordable. And each large strawberry (1 and 3/8 diameter, to be exact) comes in at mere 6 calories. That means you can have a bowl of ten really big strawberries for just 60 calories. If you are jonesing for sugar, a bowl that big of strawberries will more than take the edge off, and you will feel full afterwards. Buy the large boxes of strawberries to make them even more affordable. If you can, do get organic strawberries — they have thin skins, so the pesticides get into the fruit. Strawberries made the “dirty dozen” list of foods that are best eaten only organic.