To snack or not to snack? That is the question. Choosing the right snacks to help you reach your weight loss goal can be tricky. As a dietitian, I know that snacks can be a massive calorie trap, so here are some top tips on choosing the best snacks to stave off hunger and keep your goals in check!
Choosing the wrong snack can make or break a healthy diet and can be the difference between whether or not you reach your weight loss goals.
Also read: What Does 200 Calories Look Like?
Snacking keeps you going between meals and can give you energy, stop your stomach from rumbling and fuel your body after workouts
9 tips for choosing smart snacks
- Keep some healthy fresh food options like fruits and vegetables on hand so you don’t get caught reaching for the not-so-great snacks.
- Leave the house armed with healthy snacks in your bag. Nuts packed into portion-controlled containers are a great idea.
- Have fresh fruit on display (like a fruit bowl on the kitchen bench) so you are more likely to eat that instead of raiding the pantry for chocolate when you are craving something sweet.
- Be prepared. Plan your snacks based off food groups. Aim for a variety of snacks that are dairy, fruit, protein or vegetable based.
- Choose snacks high in protein that will help to keep you fuller for longer. Try a small tub of natural yoghurt topped with fresh berries or reduced fat cheese with some crackers.
- Air-popped popcorn is a great snack choice. A little goes a long way, 5 cups of air-popped popcorn (about 40g) is less than 150 calories.
- Leftover vegies can be perfect snack choices. Use up leftover celery and carrot by cutting into batons and dipping in natural yoghurt or hummus.
- Step away from the snack and confectionary aisle in the supermarket. Instead head for the fruit and vegetable section.
- Exercise your willpower and say no to the biscuits, bars, chocolates and chips that may be offered your way. They won’t do you any favours.
Try these tips if you find yourself reaching for not-so-healthy snacks. You could also try keeping a food diary and looking for some trends. Perhaps you are always hungry mid-morning? Are you eating to put off tasks like cleaning? Are you snacking a lot after dinner while bored and watching TV?