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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 September 15, 2020

    4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

    4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

    Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

    Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

    Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

    We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

    Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

    1. Don’t Fight It

    I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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    Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

    Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

    If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

    If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

    2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

    Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

    One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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    The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

    Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

    If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

    Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

    3. Reframe Your Perspective

    Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

    Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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    Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

    4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

    Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

    As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

    Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

    Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

      Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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      One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

      To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

      Final Thoughts

      Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

      Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

      More Tips on Facing Life Changes

      Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

      Reference

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