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9 Healthy Snack Ideas to Keep Your Diet on Course

9 Healthy Snack Ideas to Keep Your Diet on Course

Sticking to a diet can be difficult. A reduction in calories, changes to eating habits, and missing out on treats can all make it tough to maintain. Cravings for something to eat between meals can often be a tripping point, especially when the only snacks available to buy are unhealthy and full of sugar and bad fats.

Certain times of the day can be particularly difficult. Mid-afternoon is a common time to feel hungry, as blood sugar and energy levels start to drop as the work day winds to a close. This is when there is a tendency to desire a pick-me-up, a craving for something full of carbohydrates and sugars, to boost the blood sugar levels. Cakes, candies and cookies are common culprits when breaking a diet, as they contain high levels of what the body is craving. The trick to avoid failing with the diet is to have a prepared list of great tasting, healthy snacks that will satisfy the cravings but that are also easy and convenient alternatives to the sugar laden treats.

Here are 9 healthy snack ideas that will satisfy your hunger between meals while keeping your diet on course.

1. Bananas

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bananas

    Naturally healthy and low in fat, bananas are filling snacks. Wrapped up in their ‘carry case’ they are a perfectly designed take-with-you snack. Bananas are rich in potassium which is essential for good heart function and they are also full of fiber for a healthy digestive system.

    2. Nuts

    nuts

      Nuts have a variety of nutritional benefits, so a handful of mixed nuts will provide you with many different vitamins and minerals and they are also packed with essential oils, fiber and protein. Just a handful of nuts can stave off hunger, releasing energy slowly and leaving you satisfied for longer. Nuts are an ideal snack to keep in your bag or on your desk, to tuck into whenever you get hungry between meals. Avoid the salted or flavored varieties and instead choose nuts in their natural form to gain the benefits without the additives.

      3. Korean sesame seed and seaweed snack

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      SONY DSC

        These are very low in calories and fat and full of nutrients so are a tasty alternative to potato chips. Research has shown that seaweed slows down gut transit, releasing its energy slowly which makes you feel fuller for longer. Sesame seeds contain oleic acid which helps lower bad cholesterol, as well as being full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

        4. Popcorn

        popcorn

          Popcorn can be a healthy, filling snack as long as you avoid pre-prepared options coated in salt or sugary coatings and prepared in lots of oil. Either look for organic, low fat alternatives or better still, make your own in a pan or in the microwave. Just remember not to add any high calorie ingredients. Enjoy freshly popped and warm; they taste great just as they are!

          5. Low fat yogurt lollipops

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          yogurt-fen-elder lolli

            A great treat for hot summer days! Buy plastic lollipop molds, fill with yogurt, and pop in the freezer. You’ve now got a tasty treat to enjoy, that you can grab from the freezer whenever you fancy.

            6. Oatmeal

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              Oatmeal, or porridge, is a popular breakfast staple but can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is easy to prepare in a couple of minutes in a microwave, and you can either make it with low fat milk or water. You could add some fresh fruit or honey. This a snack that can be enjoyed at home or work and is an ideal choice in the cold months of the year when cravings for warm stodgy foods are stronger. It is a great food for the immune system and lowering cholesterol and it’s also full of antioxidants and helps stabilize blood sugar which reduces the cravings for snacking on sugary foods

              7. Veggie batons and low fat cream cheese

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              shutterstock_106255229

                For a tasty treat that gives you all the benefits of fresh vegetables; cut carrots, cucumbers, sticks of celery, red bell peppers and spring onions into batons and dip into low fat cheese. The bright colors of the vegetables are an indicator of high levels of phyto-chemicals which are believed to help prevent cancers and cardiovascular disease. For a healthy vegan alternative, replace the cheese with low fat humus. For a heart friendly choice, choose a salsa dip. Tomatoes are full of an antioxidant called lycopene, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Make your own salsa to avoid the higher levels of salt and sugar found in many manufactured brands.

                8. Smoothies

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                  Make your own smoothies easily at home with just a large glass or jug, a cheap handheld blender and your chosen ingredients. Just add pieces of frozen fruit to a glass of fruit juice, add a banana to thicken and blend together. The result is a refreshing, tasty snack that will satisfy a hungry appetite, and is full of healthy fruit. These are easy and quick to make, and there is a never ending variety of different fruit flavors and combinations to try. For a creamier alternative, you could add low fat yogurt.

                  9. Homemade vegetable soup

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                    To make homemade vegetable soup, mix stock to water, add an onion and your favorite vegetables (peeled and chopped) to a saucepan or slow cooker and cook. When done, blend the contents, and you can now enjoy your homemade soup. You can cook larger amounts and freeze into portions, so you can have them available quickly and easily and avoid reaching for an unhealthy option. Soup is an ideal snack for work as you can take straight from the freezer and microwave when required, or heat up and pour into a thermos flask to take with you.

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                    Jennifer Smith

                    Life Coach & Personal Growth Blogger

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                    Last Updated on January 25, 2021

                    What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

                    What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

                    It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

                    If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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                    What should I do today? No ideas?

                    Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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                    Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

                    1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
                    2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
                    3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
                    4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
                    5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
                    6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
                    7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
                    8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
                    9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
                    10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
                    11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
                    12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
                    13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
                    14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
                    15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
                    16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
                    17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
                    18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
                    19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
                    20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
                    21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
                    22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
                    23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
                    24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
                    25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
                    26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
                    27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
                    28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
                    29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
                    30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

                    Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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