Trying to lose weight? Snacking is an effective way to manage your appetite and prevent overeating at mealtimes. Plus, healthy snacks go hand-in-hand with a sensible and healthy weight loss plan.
'Whether it be a rumbling stomach, feelings of lethargy, a foggy brain or shaking hands – your body is very clever at telling you when to eat, and it's important you don't ignore those signals,' advises dietitian Lisa Donaldson.
But won't snacking pile on extra calories? 'Mindless eating or eating out of habit can lead to unnecessary snacking and weight gain' adds Donaldson. However, purposeful snacking used to control appetite, maintain energy levels and boost nutrient intake can be an important weight loss tool.
Try our 10 dietitian-approved weight-loss friendly snacks to keep your energy up and your appetite in check:
1. Edamame beans
A good source of satiating protein, these little beans are a great snack to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. To prepare, boil for about five minutes, and serve with chilli flakes or ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice for some added zing. Bags of edamame beans can be found in the frozen section of the supermarket.
A chunky soup loaded with vegetables and beans or legumes will tick off both nourishment and satiety, and is a great way of getting one or two of your 5-a-day. Skip the side of bread when having soup as a snack.
3. Spicy chickpeas
Prepare some spicy roasted chickpeas and pop in a sandwich bag for a great on-the-go snack. Chickpeas are high in dietary fibre, which is important for weight loss as it is digested slowly by the body helping to keep you fuller for longer. To prepare, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy.
4. Apple crunch
Slice an apple into wedges and thinly spread some protein-rich nut butter on top (peanut or almond butter are both delicious). Sprinkle with sunflower or pumpkin seeds for added hunger-busting fibre.
5. Hard-boiled egg
Eggs are incredibly filling and one of the best snacks for taming a belly growl. They are a fantastic source of protein and an array of vitamins and minerals. Eggs can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge for when hunger strikes.
Smoothies provide a great option for when you're really hungry, as the volume fills up the stomach giving that sense of fullness. Adding a protein component such as ground flaxseed or unsweetened yoghurt will ensure that you remain satisfied until your next meal.
7. Handful of raw nuts
Rich in protein, fibre and fat, the combination of which provides your body with sustained energy, while keeping your appetite satisfied. A portion of nuts is around 30g (2 tablespoons). Choose the unsalted variety, and avoid having the whole bag open on the desk as this can easily lead to mindless eating!
8. Crudités and dip
Make a simple, protein-rich dip by combining Greek yoghurt with a sprinkling of cumin, chilli powder and a squeeze of lime. Have a tub of ready chopped carrots, cucumber and peppers in the fridge and you're good to go!
9. Italian popcorn
Popcorn is a slow energy-release wholegrain high in fibre and low in calories, making it a weight-loss friendly alternative to crisps that's simple to prepare at home. Put in a snap-lock sandwich bag and flavour with some dried Italian herbs and a little parmesan for a pizza-like flavour!
10. Banana and peanut butter
Cut a small banana in half lengthwise, spread with half a tablespoon of peanut butter, and top with the other half of banana. This will satisfy a sweet tooth, whilst delivering both fibre and protein, and makes a great post-exercise snack.
🍎 For more healthy eating inspiration, head over to our weight loss section.
Last updated: 26-02-2020
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