Just because you’re trying to lose weight – or keeping it off once it’s gone – there is no reason to stop snacking. In fact, many studies suggest that it is better for many dieters to enjoy healthy snacks than to starve themselves between meals. However, it’s important to remember that not all snacks are created equal.
This is particularly good to know during the holiday season when the odds are that you’re having far more sweets as well as salty and fatty foods than you would throughout the rest of the year. The next time you’re feeling a bit puckish between meals, consider what you’d usually choose and then opt for something even better for you.
Healthy snacks don’t have to be too complicated if you follow these guidelines.
• Whole grain chips alternative – you may think you’re doing yourself a favor by selecting whole grain chips, but the truth is that those snacks aren’t as healthy as they claim to be. Moreover, most of us are far too likely to overeat when it comes to snacking on chips. Instead, try a mix of nuts like walnuts or almonds that have a sprinkling of a flavor you enjoy such as sweet chili powder or even cinnamon. Alternately, you can choose pistachios that are still in the shell. The amount of time it takes to crack and open each shell will slow down your eating so you’ll snack on fewer.
• Fat free yogurt alternative – the fat free craze is dying off and there’s good reason for that. It doesn’t work. Research has shown, time and time again, that cutting fat from our diets doesn’t help with long term weight loss. Moreover, when it comes to dairy, fat-free can be even more problematic. Whole milk has been found to be far better for weight loss in both adults and children and even improves vitamin D absorption. A growing number of studies are suggesting that vitamin D plays a vital role in weight loss. Instead of fat free yogurt, go for full-fat Greek yogurt. It gives you a creamy texture along with calcium, protein and with a sprinkling of berries you can satisfy your sweet tooth and need for many vitamins and antioxidants, too.
• Red jerky meat alternative – you may be getting a great dose of protein from jerky, but many of these products contain nitrites, MSG and a huge amount of sodium. Instead, go for chicken or turkey jerky from a brand that uses a natural drying process for your healthy snacks. These leaner meats can lend themselves to a healthier final product. Choose a brand that doesn’t use MSG and that doesn’t list nitrites on the package and you’re sailing.