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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast

Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast

The decision to become healthier by way of weight loss is a struggle for many people. We have been told most of our lives that healthy food choices mean giving up the food and snacks that make us happy or we will be unable to achieve weight loss success. However, weight loss snacks can actually help you lose weight.

If the right choices are made, you can enjoy snacking and still lose weight!

This article will guide you through identifying healthy and flavorful weight loss snacks that will contribute to your weight loss goal.

How Healthy Snacking Helps You Lose Weight

If you make smart choices and choose healthy snacks for weight loss, it can be the thing that aids you in your weight loss journey.

Keep in mind that balance is everything. Too much snacking or the wrong kinds of snacks can backfire. We will get into that soon.

Not only do you not have to give up snacks, but you can eat the snacks that you actually love.

12 Best Snacks for Weight Loss

No matter your dietary preferences, snacking with mindfulness and awareness is important. This should go without saying.

However, no matter your diet, fruits and vegetables should be the number one choice! Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy life and body. When a little variation is needed, incorporating exciting, tasty, and healthy snacks can still be good for your weight loss goals.

Whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan, there’s something on this list for everyone. Let’s get into a few snacks for your weight loss goals!

1. Rice Crackers and Cheese

Rice crackers are usually made with brown rice, which is a great source of carbohydrates and filling fiber. Fiber makes you feel full for longer. Cheese has so many essentials: calcium, protein, and vitamins A and B. Paired together, rice crackers and cheese can help you get there with the combination of protein, fiber, carbs, and vitamins.

Weight loss tip:

Remember that this is a snack. Always go with the serving recommendation on the label. It is much easier to track calories and fat.

2. Boiled Chicken Breast

Chicken has enough grams of protein to aid in muscle growth, and it’s one of the cleaner and leaner meats to eat. Chicken breast also aids in the reduction of cardiovascular disease.

Snacking on boiled chicken can aid you in your weight loss journey. Topping with lemon juice, pepper, and ginger is a very impactful flavor combination but also a wonderful anti-inflammatory combination[1].

Weight loss tip:

Emphasis is placed on chicken breast because white meat chicken has less fat than dark meat chicken. Fatty meats will hurt you in trying to achieve your goal.

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3. Soup

Having soup for a snack can contribute significantly to your weight loss goal. Soup is hearty, filling, and more appealing than water to many (however, it’s important to continue to drink water!).

You sip soup slower than water, and because of that, soup is known to help you feel fuller for longer. That means less eating!

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of sodium/salt/msg. High levels of sodium in a diet alters the metabolism, and a healthy metabolism is key for fat absorption. If you do find your soup is lacking salt, add a pinch of sea salt for a flavor boost.

4. Tuna Salad

Tuna is high in potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain blood pressure and blood flow; it also counteracts sodium. Additionally, it is high in vitamin B and low in calories and fat.

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of how you eat your tuna. Be cautious of the amount of mayonnaise used. The best way to snack on tuna is with a fork (so you can eat slowly and mindfully).

5. Steamed Shrimp

Shrimp has so many health benefits and can truly aid you in your weight loss goals. Shrimp is super low in calories and very protein-rich. Shrimp is really a combination of protein and water; you won’t find fatty pockets on shrimp.

As a snack, shrimp will provide many vitamins and minerals with the added benefit of feeling completely satisfied.

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of the serving size and of the seasoning that you use. Seasonings high in sodium will alter the amazing benefits. Consider using lemon juice, ginger, and garlic.

6. Smoked Salmon

This snack comes ready for you to eat! It’s tasty and healthy, packed with antioxidants (antioxidants remove damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism). Our bodies have to function properly to aid us in our weight loss and health goals. Smoked salmon is one of the best healthy snacks for weight loss!

Weight loss tip:

Smoked salmon requires nothing to be added. It is packed full of flavor from the get go. Adding things like sodium will contradict the amazing benefits. The best way to eat smoked salmon is with a fork.

7. Greek Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

Greek yogurt is packed with protein. Eating this alone is already very healthy due to the process of making it, which includes draining out the lactose! Lactose is the sugar found in milk. Adding fruit to it adds natural sweetness without separately added sugar, and of course the benefits that come with fruit!

Weight loss tip:

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Yogurt has sugar in it, and too much sugar is damaging to your weight loss goals. Be mindful of portions and toppings. The wrong toppings will contradict the benefits.

8. Steamed Veggies with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

Steaming your veggies takes away the need for butter and oil. Adding a little parmesan cheese and garlic gives these veggies a lot of flavor and the benefits found in dairy. Not only are you giving your body two important necessities, but you are also going to feel very satisfied for a longer period of time[2].

If you need a little flavor boost, mix in a little olive oil for an addition of good fats.

Weight loss tip:

For those that don’t eat dairy, try a drizzle of Italian dressing or topping it with guacamole. As always, be mindful of portions.

9. Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a great snack for weight loss, especially if boiled without the use of butters and oils. Eggs are packed with protein, low in calories, and have essential vitamins, such as B and D. They make for a great weight loss snack because, in addition to the nutrients, you will feel full and satisfied.

Weight loss tip:

Eggs are high in cholesterol. To reduce the amount of cholesterol intake, avoid eating the yolk. Most of the benefits are in the egg white.

10. Smoothie Bowl

Smoothies are amazing. You can get your six servings of fruits and vegetables in one smoothie! A variation to the norm is a smoothie bowl[3]. Many times, we crave things like ice cream, so why not make the healthiest version?

Recipe tip:

Create your favorite blend and top with fresh fruit chunks, granola, coconut flakes, or a nut and seed mix. You can even add a dollop of almond butter!

Weight loss tip:

There is plenty of natural sugar in the fruit and toppings. Be mindful of putting in added sugar.

11. Chia Pudding

Chia seeds

are an amazing little seed. They are rich in omega’s, carbohydrates, and protein. They’re also high in fiber. Consuming chia seeds for a snack can really help you achieve weight loss success. You will consume a superfood that will leave you feeling full for hours!

Recipe tip:

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To make chia pudding, simply use a 4 to 1 ratio:1 cup of plant-based milk to 1/4 cup chia seeds; add a little agave for sweetness.

Let it sit for a couple of hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Make it for the day or for the week! Want to add a little flare? Blend some fresh fruit and top!

Weight loss tip:

Be mindful of the amount of sweetener/sugar used.

12. Baked Peach and Cherry Delight

Fruits and vegetables are key for every diet. This is the way to true health and healthy weight.

Peaches contain niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper, so they are basically vitamins! Cherries are a wonderful antioxidant; combined you have delicious vitamin that will leave you happy and satisfied.

Recipe tip:

Simply cut up a few peaches, add half a can of cherry pie filling, and add 3 tablespoons of lemon fruit filling for sweetness. Mix and bake on 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes.

Weight loss tip:

Both peaches and cherries are naturally sweet. The lemon fruit filling is sweet as well. No additional sugars or sweeteners are necessary.

8 Tips for Healthy Snacking and Weight Loss

So how can you get started with healthy snacking while reaching your weight loss goals? Here are some tips for you:

1. Set Your Goal

Before getting started, you have to know what you want. What is the goal? How many pounds per week? How many pounds total?

If you aren’t sure how to set realistic goals, you may find helpful information in this article.

2. Set a Deadline

What date/season are you wanting to have the weight off? It’s important to set a target date so that you are focused.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Mindful eating is about eating mindfully. It is about being fully aware of what you are experiencing, your cravings, and physical cues. Eating for purpose and not boredom or pleasure is key for your goals.

The importance of mindful eating at snack time is massive. Rachel Zimmerman, an R.D. at Indiana University Hospital at IU Health states the following:

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“Just because snack foods like dark chocolate, nut butters, and avocado have earned nutritional kudos for being good sources of heart-healthy fats and other nutrients, that doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of them.”[4]

The most important step is mindfulness. The key to getting started is being mindful when making snack choices. For a guide to mindful eating, you can take a look at this helpful article: The Best Benefits of Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and How to Start Now.

Mindfulness isn’t something that is taught to us. It is something that you seek to learn and incorporate in your day-to-day living. Many of us don’t know the truth about food and the role that it plays in our lives and in our health. This creates unhealthy habits.

Food is usually used as a substance for pleasure instead of nourishment. We devour most things in front of us without being mindful and aware about what we are actually consuming[5].

A Mindful S.N.A.C.K. - Carla Naumburg, PhD

    4. Mind Your Plates

    Use smaller plates so that you’re not eating portion sizes that are too big. If you load a small plate, you are still controlling your portions but enjoying a plate full of food.

    5. Have Breakfast

    We have heard it since the beginning of time: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It is!

    A 2013 study showed that people trying to lose weight were more successful in reaching their goals when they incorporated breakfast in their daily routine[6]. This step alone can help you in your weight loss goals and make you want to snack less.

    6. Pack Your Snacks

    Packing your snacks and preparing for the day is key. You want to have healthy options when you start to crave food. Packing things like healthy granola bars, crackers, fruit, etc. will alleviate the bad choice of a candy bar or chips from the vending machine.

    7. Reward Yourself

    It is so important to reward yourself for a job well done. When you work hard throughout the week and see the benefits on the scale, reward yourself! Losing weight and changing eating habits is difficult. When a mission is accomplished, get out there are pat yourself on the back!

    8. Drink Enough Water

    Water is absolutely necessary for health but can also aid you in losing weight. Try drinking a cup of water before snacking. You may find that you weren’t hungry at all, just thirsty (many times, dehydration shows up as hunger).

    The Bottom Line

    Remember, fruits and vegetables should be your number one choice for snacking. Be mindful of your choices, and remember to try water first.

    Snacking for weight loss is healthy and can help you reach your weight loss goals fast. Snacking isn’t a negative; if done right, it is all positive!

    More Weight Loss Snacks

    Featured photo credit: Louise Burton via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Veronica Castillo

    Vee Castil; Resume & Career Writer ᛫ Traveler ᛫ Vegan ᛫ Weight Loss Success (-85lbs)

    10 Best Exercises to Lose Weight and Burn Fat at Home Stock up on These 9 Healthy Snack Foods to Boost Your Brainpower 17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now Do Essential Oils for Weight Loss Actually Work? Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast

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    Published on April 8, 2021

    6 Health Benefits of Beetroot Powder (And How To Choose A Good One)

    6 Health Benefits of Beetroot Powder (And How To Choose A Good One)

    Beetroots are vegetables rich in nitrates, antioxidants, and polyphenol compounds that have a role in improved cardiovascular function and exercise performance.[1] However, beetroot juice has limitations with storage and taste preference, and so other more convenient forms have been investigated. One of these forms is beetroot powder.

    What Is Beetroot Powder?

    Beetroot powder is made by dehydrating or drying out thin slices of beetroot (to remove all the moisture) and then grinding them into a powder. If you don’t like the earthy taste of beetroot, then beetroot powder might be an alternative since it is more concentrated than fresh beetroot but with a relatively neutral taste. One fresh beetroot is the equivalent of approximately one teaspoon of beetroot powder.

    Powdered beetroot can be added to sauces, smoothies, pasta, gnocchi, curries, cakes, muffins, or anything you choose to add nutrients and color to. Watch out that your urine may change color too! Due to the natural sugars in beetroot, it can also be used as a natural sweetener. Beetroot powder is even used in natural cosmetics.

    Beetroot Powder VS. Other Beetroot Products

    One study looked at the total antioxidant potential, phenol compounds, sugars, and organic acids in beetroot juice, cooked beetroot, powder, and chips. They found higher amounts of total antioxidant potential and organic acids in the chips and powder compared with the juice and cooked beetroot.[2] However, it’s important to consider that it is a lot easier to take larger quantities of beetroot when powdered or juiced than just eating it and this means ingesting much more sugar.

    6 Health Benefits of Beetroot

    While beetroot may have potential health benefits, it’s not clear if these are temporary or have long-term effects. More research is needed to answer this question and what the optimal dose is. Most studies have focused on beetroot juice, with only a handful of studies investigating beetroot powder. There hasn’t been evidence so far to support the benefit of beetroot powder on blood flow.[3]

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    Despite that, beetroot contains several different compounds with different properties. Here are the six health benefits of beetroot powder.

    1. Beetroot Powder Is Rich in Nitrates

    Firstly, beetroot powder is rich in nitrates. Nitrates have important roles related to increased blood flow, gas exchange, mitochondrial efficiency, and strengthening of muscle contraction.[4] By causing relaxation of the smooth muscles that encircle arteries and veins, nitrate leads to the dilation of these blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. Nitrate medications are used for people with high blood pressure, angina, and heart disease to relax blood vessels, widening them to allow greater blood flow.[5]

    A meta-analysis that combined 22 different trials and analyzed the results together found that additional beetroot juice significantly decreased blood pressure.[6] However, there isn’t evidence to support the long-term effects.[7]

    2. Beetroot Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    Secondly, beetroot contains antioxidant polyphenol compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are molecules that have the ability to neutralize free radicals and protect against cell damage that can lead to chronic diseases. Eating a diet high in antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of chronic disease.[8] Different polyphenol compounds are different colors, that’s why you will often hear about eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.

    3. Beetroot Has Anti-Cancer Effects

    Beetroot also contains betalains that have been found to have anti-cancer effects in cellular models in the laboratory.[9] Clinical trials are now needed to assess if there are potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects and the nature of these effects. While the anti-cancer effects of beetroot in humans aren’t known yet, including them in your diet may help and is unlikely to risk harm.

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    4. Beetroot Powder Is a Great Source of Vitamins C and Folate

    Beetroots are also a great source of vitamins C and B9 (folate). Vitamin C and folate have many important roles in our bodies. Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, which acts as a scaffold in the skin and ligaments. It is also has a role in wound healing and protein metabolism. Folic acid is vital for the production of healthy red blood cells, and cellular growth. Inadequate intake of vitamin C over a 3 month period can lead to scurvy, and smoking can further reduce the bioavailability.[10]

    5. Beetroot Contains Essential Minerals

    Beets also contain the minerals iron, manganese, and potassium. Iron has a vital role in the transportation of oxygen by healthy red blood cells. Over 40% of children worldwide have iron deficiency anemia and women of childbearing age are also at increased risk because of menstruation.[11] Potassium may actually prevent the harmful effects of eating excess salt (sodium chloride). Manganese has several roles including metabolism, bone formation, and the immune system. Beetroots are a great way of including all these micronutrients in your diet.

    6. Beetroot Powder Is a Great Source of Fiber

    Fiber is such an important component of our diet, with most of us needing to eat much more to reach the recommended daily amount of 30g. For every 10g of fiber you eat a day, you may decrease your long-term risk of bowel cancer.[12]

    Fibre also acts as a pre-biotic, providing food for the friendly micro-organisms in your gut called the microbiota. There are trillions of micro-organisms in your gut that are now known to play a key role in inflammation and both mental and physical health. Eating beetroots can help to increase your fiber intake and support a healthy gut community.

    It’s clear that for relatively few calories, beetroot contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, nitrates, and antioxidants. For these reasons, beetroot is labeled as a “nutraceutical” and supplementation has become increasingly popular.[13] While most studies have looked at the effects of beetroot on blood vessel dilation, there are still many unanswered questions about other potential benefits.

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    How to Choose a Beetroot Powder

    Like all other supplements, there is very little regulation. Therefore, it is very difficult to be sure exactly what is included in the supplement or assess the quality. My recommendations for choosing a supplement are to check for a product license and always buy from a reputable company.

    There are, however, no agreed benchmarks for quality or efficacy. How much and how often are also unknown at this time. Try to avoid powders that have added preservatives, sweeteners, or artificial flavorings. Consider whether an organic powder is worth the extra money to you. I would avoid powders that have added silica to avoid clumping. Some supplements now use 3rd party companies to verify the contents.

    There isn’t an agreed dose of nitrate or beetroot powder, so while some powders do contain nitrate content, it is difficult to know exactly what this means in practice. The higher the nitrate content, the more likely it is to have a beneficial effect on raised blood pressure. But if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s difficult to know if more nitrate is beneficial.

    In summary, look for:

    • organic beetroot powder
    • tested for quality by a 3rd party company
    • is free from preservatives, sweeteners, and artificial flavorings
    • avoid powders containing silica
    • buy from a reputable company
    • look at the nitrate content

    How to Make Your Own Beetroot Powder

    First, wash, peel, and grate your beetroots by hand or using a food processor. Then, place them on a tray, spread them out, and cover them with parchment or grease-proof paper to protect them from direct sunlight.

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    Leave to dry until there is no moisture left and shake intermittently so that it dries evenly. When it snaps instead of bending and feels dry, it is ready for the next stage.

    The drying stage can take up to four days depending on the air temperature. To speed up the drying process, you can do this on low heat in a saucepan for 15 to 25 minutes or in the oven at no higher than 180 degrees Celsius or in a dehydrator. If you use the oven or on the hob, just be careful not to burn the beetroot.

    The final step is to grind the dried beetroot using a grinder. It can then be stored in an airtight container, avoiding sun-light for up to one year.

    Should You Try Beetroot Powder?

    Beetroot is a great vegetable that contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, nitrates, and fiber. The nitrates present in beets may lower your blood pressure in the short-term, but the long-term effects are not yet known. More research is needed to know about other potential benefits such as the effect on cancer.

    So, while beetroot powder may have health benefits unless taken in excess, it is unlikely to have significant side effects. Large doses of beetroot, however, are associated with an increased risk of kidney stones.

    If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking beetroot supplements is best avoided as there isn’t sufficient safety information. Beetroots do also contain fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols or FODMAPS for short. These are types of carbohydrates that are hard to digest and can cause symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in some people. FODMAPS are thought to act as prebiotics, feeding the friendly micro-organisms that live in your gut (microbiota). So, for those people who can tolerate them, they are beneficial for a healthy gut.

    More Resources About Beetroot

    Featured photo credit: FOODISM360 via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] NCBI: Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate‐nitrite‐nitric oxide pathway
    [2] SpringerLink: Comparison of total antioxidant potential, and total phenolic, nitrate, sugar, and organic acid contents in beetroot juice, chips, powder, and cooked beetroot
    [3] Maastricht University: Effects of Beetroot Powder with or without L-Arginine on Postprandial Vascular Endothelial Function: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial with Abdominally Obese Men
    [4] PubMed.gov: Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review
    [5] PubMed.gov: Nutraceuticals with a clinically detectable blood pressure-lowering effect: a review of available randomized clinical trials and their meta-analyses
    [6] PubMed.gov: The Nitrate-Independent Blood Pressure-Lowering Effect of Beetroot Juice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
    [7] PubMed.gov: Medium-term effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis
    [8] NCCIH: Antioxidants: In-Depth
    [9] NCBI: Red Beetroot and Betalains as Cancer Chemopreventative Agents
    [10] Healthline: Beetroot 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
    [11] NCBI: The impact of maternal iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia on child’s health
    [12] Cancer Research UK: Does a high fibre diet reduce my risk of cancer?
    [13] PubMed.gov: The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease

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