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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 July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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