Are you trying to keep your weight in check? This is a worthy goal, but 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 quick and healthy snacks is that it keeps your energy up and will help you stay focused during the day.
Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring either. Quick and healthy snacks can be flavorful and delicious without causing you to pack on the pounds. Here are 15 quick and healthy snacks for when you get the munchies, which is often inevitable as you’re dieting.
As you change the amount of calories you’re putting into your body, hunger is natural. Often, a small snack is all it takes to curb this side effect of dieting.
1. Vegetable Sticks
I know you are going to tell me carrot and celery sticks are boring, but if you add peanut butter or hummus, it becomes a well-rounded snack with a dose of vitamins, protein and fiber. This is also a great option for when you’re on the go as you can cut up some vegetables and stow them in a small container for a few hours without them going bad.
If you know you generally get hunger pangs at a certain point in your work day, having this quick and healthy snack nearby will help you tackle hunger and stop you reaching for those donuts your coworker brought in for everyone today.
10 olives only contain about 60 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.
Olives are high in Vitamin E, a type of antioxidant that can protect cells from free radicals, keeping you healthier longer, as well as healthy fats. They are also good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer.
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 best to eat when dieting. However, other fruits like apples, pears, and citrus fruits contain helpful vitamins that will keep you healthy, but it’s best to consume small servings of these to avoid sugar spikes during your day. This can lead to craving other types of sugars, which can derail a diet if it continues.
4. Dried Fruit and Nuts
Dried fruit and nuts should be snacked on in very small quantities. Dried fruit is very high in sugar, and nuts are high in fats, so as a snack you should limit your intake to about a tablespoon. The good thing about nuts is if you can discipline yourself to eat very few, they keep the hunger at bay and offer a protein boost to help suppress your appetite.
5. Strawberries and Low-Fat, Natural Yogurt
Low-fat yogurt is a great option for protein and calcium. If it’s natural, it will be low in sugars, so you’ll avoid throwing your insulin out of whack in the middle of the day. Low-fat yogurt obviously doesn’t have much flavor on its own, but adding a few strawberries can add a little sweetness and flavor, as well as a good dose of vitamins.
6. Cherry Tomatoes
This is a quick and healthy snack to have nearby if you’re one of those people who likes to munch while cooking. If you feel hungry while preparing your next meal, 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 even started.
Research has also shown that tomatoes anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as a good dose of Vitamin C to boost your immune system. Furthermore, 100 grams of these little beauties only contain 20-30 calories!
7. Rice Cakes
Yet again, I hear that exasperated sigh. The person who invented rice cakes surely had no taste buds. They are just dry, chewy crackers, BUT they somehow transform into something delicious when you spread some low-fat cheese or almond 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 yogurt, and you’ll find that things are looking up.
8. A Hard Boiled Egg
If you are really hungry, an egg can be a great option. Eggs are full of protein, which can help lower your hunger levels until your next meal. One hard-boiled egg only contains about 80 calories, but it packs in 6 grams of protein!
Eggs also contain choline, which is important for cellular maintenance and growth, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help support eye health.
9. Cottage Cheese
This is another traditional favorite among dieters. Cottage cheese is very tasty with vegetable sticks, on rice cakes, or with any type of whole grain cracker, so take your pick. You can even mix a small amount of fruit into a small bowl of cottage cheese if you’re craving something sweet.
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, and you have a quick and healthy snack that will last you days.
This is a delicious snack option for the winter, especially, as it’ll help warm you up from the inside out.
11. Miso Soup
Another soup option is miso soup, which is very low in fat as it is essentially a stock and simple vegetables. It is also very quick and easy to make and can be stored for several days.
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. Just be careful to not douse it in a fattening salad dressing or one with added sugar—sorry, but that means no Ranch!
13. Ryvita and Marmite
You really have to love Marmite for this one. It definitely isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great source of B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin, as well as a healthy dose of iron. Put it on some whole wheat toast, add a layer of low-fat cream cheese and some cucumber, and you can relax and binge watch Netflix guilt-free.
14. Fruit Ice Popsicles
Press some summer fruits and put them into popsicle 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
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.
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s essential to plan quick and healthy snack ideas into your day. Choose any of the above, and mix and match to keep your diet interesting each day. Diets don’t have to be boring or bland; you just need a bit of creativity to help you reach your goals.
More Healthy Snack Ideas
- Tasty and Healthy Weight Loss Snacks to Reach Your Goals Fast
- 25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity
- 21 High-Protein Snacks To Help You Lose Weight Easily
Featured photo credit: Ola Mishchenko via unsplash.com
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