Bad snacking habits can really affect the success of your weight loss journey by adding too many calories and too few nutrients, and often snacks can be consumed without noticing, such as when we sit in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a tub of ice cream and slip into a ´food coma´ of mindless eating. But it doesn´t have to be this way; when you choose the right snacks, you keep your energy levels up and get more opportunities to add nutrition to your diet. Here, we run through some ways for you to make better snacking choices and cut back on unnecessary calories.
1. Swap your coke (139 calories) for a power berry smoothie (139 calories)
One small diet fix that can really help you on your weight loss journey is to stop drinking your calories. A can of regular coke contains 139 calories, but it does little to satisfy you and therefore you are unlikely to eat less to compensate for these extra calories. The same amount of orange juice contains 140 calories, and while it is healthier than coke, it doesn´t satisfy you like a smoothie does. To make this smoothie, mix 1 cup of frozen berries, a half-cup of water, a quarter-cup of low fait plain yogurt, a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of unsweetened soy protein powder. This gives you 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, filling you up and giving you lots of slow-released energy.
2. Swap potato chips (250 calories) for pistachios (139 calories)
If you have cravings for something savory, keep away from potato chips! Calories and fat can vary depending on the brand but chips are always calorific, fatty and high in salt. By comparison, 25 grams of pistachios (about 23 nuts) contains 5 grams of protein, 2.8 grams of fiber and 139 calories. Pistachios are one of the lowest-fat and lowest-calorie nuts and they also provide the most antioxidants. Opting for shelled pistachios also increases feelings of fullness and satisfaction, and studies by nutritionist Dr. James Painter showed that those who had to shell their pistachios consumed an average of 35% fewer calories.
3. Swap dried fruit (150 calories) for fresh berries (30 calories)
Dried fruit is not the best choice for a snack as it contains highly concentrated sugar. By comparison, 50 grams of dehydrated fruit contains more calories and sugar than 150 grams of fresh fruit. Dried dates, mango and raisins are all especially high in sugar. Instead, go for 50 grams of berries, such as blueberries, goji berries or raspberries to get more fiber and protein along with less sugar. If it’s difficult to find fresh berries, many supermarkets have frozen berries all year round, which are great to snack on, too.
4. Swap crackers and dip (300 calories) for raw vegetables and dip (150 calories)
They may be quick and easy but with their amount of salt and refined carbohydrates combined, they don’t make an ideal choice, especially not when combined with a fatty creamy dip. Swap your crackers for raw vegetables to increase your fiber uptake and cut the calories. Chop up a colorful variety of crunchy vegetables such as red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber and carrots to add interest to your plate, and add a few tablespoons of a low-fat dip like hummus or tzatiki for extra flavor and protein.
5. Swap ice cream (250 calories) for sugar-free jelly (8 calories)
When temperatures soar, a bowl of ice cream can seem very tempting, and although there are many lower-fat ice cream and frozen yogurt options now, they can be deceptively high in calories and are always high in sugar. Ice cream packs a whopping 250 calories, 15 grams of fat and 20 grams of sugar for 100ml, whereas sugar-free jelly has just 8 calories per 140ml, and still provides 2 grams of protein. Make your favorite flavor sugar-free jelly and keep it in the fridge for when you have a craving for something sweet. Jelly is also great frozen as popsicles or in an ice cube tray for some bite-size cooling snacks.
Here you can see how you can cut calories while adding protein, fiber and other nutrients to your diet by snacking well. We would love to hear what healthy snacks keep you going throughout your day. And remember, using a diet supplement like Phen Caps can really help curb your hunger and stop you craving all those bad snacks, helping you along your weight loss journey successfully!