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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast

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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

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    Veronica Castillo

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

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    Published on August 24, 2021

    What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

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    What Is a Whole Food Diet And Does It Really Work?

    I’ve been a dietitian now for a long time (more years than I care to mention), and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that fad diets are best avoided. This is why I’m so pleased that whole food diets are being talked about more and more.

    Rather than a “diet,” I prefer to think of a whole food diet as a way of life. Eating this way is balanced, and it is a great way to support your all-around body health and longevity. Plus, it’s delicious and—in my opinion—not limiting either, which is a massive bonus.

    A well-balanced diet follows some fairly basic principles and, in essence, consists of plenty of the following:

    • Fruit
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Lean protein
    • Nuts
    • Water

    This is essentially all a whole food diet is. Unfortunately, there isn’t an accepted definition of the whole food diet, which means that there are some highly restrictive versions around and some involve principles to frame your diet around rather than strict rules.

    Read on to learn more about the whole food diet as a framework for eating rather than a strict rule book of dos and don’ts that restricts your lifestyle.

    What Is a Whole Food Diet?

    By definition, a whole food diet consists of eating foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. It’s easy to get lost in a quagmire of organic, local, or pesticide-free, but a whole food diet is basically food in its most natural form. Obviously, spices can be ground and grains can be hulled, but you get the idea. You eat the whole food rather than what’s left after being refined or processed.

    In other words, it involves a lot of cooking because whole foods do not involve anything processed. That means no premade sauces, dips, or convenience foods like chocolate bars, sweets, or ready-meals. It also includes things like tinned vegetables and white bread.

    Why? Processed and convenience foods are often high in salt, saturated fat, and additives in comparison to anything homemade. Because of this, their toll on your overall health is higher.

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    Can Other Diets Also Be Whole Food Diets?

    Here’s where it gets confusing—yes, other diets can also be whole food diets. Eating a whole food diet is a lifestyle choice, but many other diets can exist within a whole foods construct. So, diets like the MIND Diet and Mediterranean Diet are also whole food diets.

    For example, here are the foods involved in the MIND Diet:[1]

    • Green, leafy vegetables five times a week
    • Five or more different colored fruits and vegetables every day.
    • Berries five times a week
    • Five or more servings of nuts a week
    • Olive oil five times a week
    • Whole grains five times a week
    • Oily fish twice a week or take an algae-based omega-3 supplement
    • Legumes and pulses five times a week
    • White meat/mix of plant-based proteins twice a week
    • Vitamin D supplement
    • Minimally processed foods
    • No more than one glass of wine a day
    • One or two coffee or tea a day max
    • Two liters of water a day

    That’s pretty much a whole food diet, right? As long as any meat or plant-based proteins are as unprocessed as possible, then it can be a whole food diet.

    Other diets, like a vegan diet, for instance, could be whole food diets or not. It really depends if processed foods are included. Some food substitutes are really heavily processed, so it’s important to read labels really carefully. But it’s only some, not all.

    And here’s where it gets woolly. If you don’t need to eliminate certain food groups for whatever reason—ethical, health, religion—then a whole food diet can be great. But if you do exclude certain foods, then it could be beneficial to include certain “processed” foods. This is to make sure that you don’t miss out on vital nutrients to keep you healthy.

    Processed Foods That Are Okay on a Whole Food Diet

    Many brands of cereals are fortified with B vitamins, which can be hard to come by on a plant-based diet.

    For example, vitamin B12 (needed for maintaining a healthy nervous system, energy, and mood-regulation), is largely found in animal sources. It is something that those on a plant-based diet need to keep an eye on, as studies show that around 20% of us are deficient. And we also know that 65% of vegans and vegetarians don’t take a B vitamin supplement.[2]

    So in that case, choosing a cereal fortified with B vitamins would be a good option, if done wisely. By that I mean use your discretion and check the labels, as many brands of cereals are packed with sugar and additives. But you can strategically choose minimally processed foods using a whole foods mentality.

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    As a rule of thumb, if there are any ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t understand, or sound artificial, they probably are best avoided.

    Benefits of a Whole Food Diet

    In a 2014 analysis by Yale University, they concluded that “a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”[3]

    A diet rich in fruit and vegetables or other high-fiber foods like whole grains and nuts is really important in maintaining good long-term health and preventing health problems like diabetes and cancers. These kinds of foods also help our bodies to cope and control the effects of inflammation.

    In fact, one review from 2019 stated that “diets high in plant foods could potentially prevent several million premature deaths each year if adopted globally.”[4] This is a big endorsement for a whole food diet.

    Whole Foods and the Gut

    Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional “roughage” reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.

    They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, it’s important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. It’s easier than you think!

    Whole Foods and the Brain

    The brain is a really hungry organ, and it uses 25% of the total energy you consume from your food. Everything it needs to function at its best is—you guessed it—a whole, unprocessed food.

    In fact, the best diet recommended for brain health is the MIND Diet. In one study, it was shown that people who follow the MIND diet closely had a 53% reduced rate of developing Alzheimer’s.[5]

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    Some of the best whole foods for the brain are:[6]

    • Oily fish
    • Nuts
    • Eggs
    • Berries
    • Broccoli
    • Whole grains

    Is It Easy to Follow a Whole Food Diet?

    Once you’ve got your head around having “ingredients” rather than “ready-to-eat” things in your kitchen cupboards, it’s actually very easy. The only issue is the lifestyle and habit changes that come along with it.

    It is very likely that for many people, following a totally, religiously whole food diet may be unattainable at least some of the time. For example, there are days where you don’t get time to make your lunch or if you want to enjoy social eating. Similarly, people who have young children or who are working more than one job are unlikely to be able to follow a whole food diet all of the time.

    Sometimes, we put ourselves under pressure to be as perfect as we can with diets like this, which can lead to an eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is a preoccupation with healthy eating.

    This means that following a whole food diet, in principle, can be healthy and accessible for some people but not for everyone. It also means that those with previous disordered eating, as always, need to avoid any form of dietary restriction or rules around their diet.

    Is a Whole Food Diet Boring?

    Absolutely not! The beauty of this way of eating is that there are barely any recipes that are off-limits. If you can make it yourself using natural ingredients, then it counts. So, dig out your recipe books and get familiar with your spice cupboard.

    Here’s my advice if you’re just starting: stock up on coconut milk and canned tomatoes. You’ll use them all the time in sauces.

    Best Hacks for Sticking With a Whole Food Diet

    Here are some tips to help you stick with a whole food diet and develop this lifestyle.

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    1. Practice Batch Cooking

    Especially in the beginning, if you’ve been used to eating more convenience-based or packaged foods, you’re likely to feel like you spend the majority of your life in the kitchen. So, I’d suggest getting your cookbooks out and planning around five things to make per week. If you make double, or even triple portions depending on your household, you’ll have enough quantity to last several meals.

    For example, his could be homemade granola. Make it once, and that’s breakfast sorted for a week. Whole food diet ingredients like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, and seeds are all delicious, and great nutritional resources to keep you feeling full until lunchtime.

    I also love to make big stews, sauces, and curries that can happily be reheated and added throughout the course of a few days.

    2. Make Your Own Convenience Foods

    Sticking to a new way of eating can be really difficult, especially for your willpower. So, it’s very important to make it as easy as possible for yourself.

    Pre-chop. Pre-chop. Pre-chop.

    If you’ve got a container of carrot sticks on hand or can happily munch on a few pieces of melon from the fridge, use those—it’s almost easier than grabbing something from a package. This can extend to your other vegetables, too. If you get your veg delivered or buy it from a market, choose a few things to slice after you wash them. That way, if you need a speedy lunch or a lazy dinner, it’ll be ready in minutes.

    Ready to Try a Whole Food Diet?

    If you’re looking to maximize your overall health, well-being, and vitality, I’d absolutely suggest a whole food diet. But, as with everything, it’s important to do what works for you and your own lifestyle.

    Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel – Restaurant Photographer via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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