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15 Quick and Healthy Snacks to Help You Stick to Your Diet

15 Quick and Healthy Snacks to Help You Stick to Your Diet

Are you trying to keep your weight in check? Join the club. I mean…who isn’t? It can be difficult to stick to your diet when you get hungry between meals. Staying on course is easy if you keep your snacks between meals to healthy low-calorie options. The added advantage of eating regular small quick and healthy snacks is that it keeps your energy up and will help you stay focused during the day.

Quick and healthy snacks are the way to go

So, here’s a list of  ideas for you to try when you get the munchies.

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(Please note I am not a dietitian, just a very experienced dieter.)

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  1. Vegetable Sticks. Yeah, I know you are going to tell me carrot and celery sticks are boring — but not if you put peanut butter or hummus on top. A small spoonful can give a great flavor to your vegetable sticks.
  2. Olives. Apparently 10 olives is less than 100 calories, so next time you are having a party rather than eat fatty unhealthy potato chips, reach for the olives. They can also be enjoyed with drinks other than Martinis.
  3. Fruit. A lot of low carbohydrate diets advise against fruit. For me if a diet doesn’t allow you fruit, then it’s a bad diet. The traditional diet fruits like grapefruit, melon, berries, and apricots are lowest in sugars and probably best to eat when dieting. But other fruits like apples, pears, and citrus fruits surely can’t do too much damage if you snack on them.
  4. Dried Fruit & Nuts. Dried fruit and nuts should be snacked on in very small quantities. Dried fruit is very high in sugars and nuts are high in fats, so as a snack you should limit your intake to a tablespoon full. The good thing about nuts is if you can discipline yourself to eat very few, they keep the hunger at bay.
  5. Strawberries & Low Fat natural yogurt. This is one of my favorites. When you are munching on a bowl of strawberries with yummy yoghurt you are definitely not suffering.
  6. Cherry tomatoes. This is a great tip I picked up somewhere. If you feel hungry while cooking, have a tray of cherry tomatoes beside you. This will keep you from dipping into the dinner and spoiling your appetite (and your diet) before dinner has started.
  7. Rice Cakes. Yet again I hear that exasperated sigh. The person who invented rice cakes surely had no taste buds. Dry chewy crackers….that somehow transform into something delicious when you spread some low-fat cheese or peanut butter onto them. Better still, add a layer of hummus and cucumber or cheese spread and tomato. For dessert, try chocolate rice cakes or rice cakes with low-fat yoghurt — and you’ll find that things are looking up.
  8. A Hard Boiled Egg. If you are really hungry, an egg can be a good option. Eggs are full of protein, so an egg should keep you going until your next scheduled meal.
  9. Cottage Cheese. Another dieting favorite. Cottage cheese is very tasty with vegetable sticks, with rice cakes, or with any type of whole grain cracker — take your pick. (With cucumber it’s a dream.)
  10. Vegetable Soup. Make a pot of vegetable soup at the beginning of the week and separate it into freezable portions. Add low-calorie vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions.
  11. Miso Soup. Another soup option is miso soup — which is very low in fat. It is also very quick and easy to make, especially if you buy the “ready made” variety.
  12. Salad and Feta Cheese. Make a small salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and green onions. Crumble some feta cheese on top for a delicious pre-dinner snack.
  13. Ryvita and Marmite. Okay…so you have to love Marmite for this one. Add a layer of low-fat cream cheese and some cucumber (yes, I put cucumber on everything) and you can relax and watch Judge Judy guilt-free.
  14. Fruit Ice Lollies. Press some summer fruits and put them into ice lolly moulds. Mix with a little water to make the most refreshing and delicious treat — and one that won’t spoil your diet either.
  15. Water with Citrus Squeeze. Often we think we are hungry when we are, in fact, just thirsty or a little dehydrated. Drink plenty of water during the day and add a large squeeze of your favorite citrus; it adds a nice bite and keeps you hydrated, alert, and full of energy.

 

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And remember

“Bigger snacks mean bigger slacks” ~ Author Unknown

(Photo credit: Fresh Vegetable Appetizer via Shutterstock)

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    More by this author

    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

    More Time Management Techniques

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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