Snacks are a fundamental part of every weight loss process. Some people usually avoid snacking, thinking this habit will actually contribute to weight gain, but that’s not true if you make the right choices. Healthy and nutritious snacks play an important role in our diets.
According to SFGate, having a few healthy snacks throughout the day will prevent overeating, regulate our blood sugar levels and provide extra nutrients our bodies need. Other than these benefits, Livestrong also mentions increased energy levels and better concentration as two great things healthy snacks can do for us.
We’ve heard many times that the best way to keep our metabolism going is to eat something every three hours, so that’s what we should try to do. But what should go into these snacks of ours?
Both websites we mentioned before state that snacks should combine a carbohydrate-rich food with a protein or healthy fats source. By following that rule, we’ll be able to put together more filling snacks that are nutritious and give us tons of energy.
The importance of planning ahead
Before actually sharing my favorite healthy snack ideas, I’d like to share a little bit of my own experience. Especially if you work all day away from your home, planning ahead is crucial for your success. You probably know that phrase “
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. It’s absolutely true.
Even though I work as a full time freelancer now, that wasn’t always the case. I spent 4 years working a 9 to 5 job (actually in my case it was a 9 to 6), with no flexibility at all. I could usually find healthy options for lunch, but the snacks were a problem. If I didn’t plan anything the day before, I’d have to rely on granola bars (which I hate) or end up eating something unhealthy as the day went by.
So I got used to preparing a “snack box” with two different snacks, one for mid-morning and one for mid-afternoon. I packed everything and included two ice packs, so that I could take things like yogurt and cheese as well. I also prefer to eat cold fruits, so the ice packs were very important for me.
If you are usually very hungry at work or school because you don’t have anything to eat, or if you end up eating something unhealthy because you don’t have healthy options, think about planning your snacks ahead. It can be difficult at first, but with time it will become a routine and you’ll get used to it.
My favorite healthy snack ideas
Apple and peanut butter
Gorgeous Peanut Butter
I know, that’s not original, but the combination is delicious and very easy to take anywhere. It’s also a balanced option: the apple offers carbs and energy, while the peanut butter has proteins and healthy fats. Just remember to choose a natural peanut butter, with no added sugar or mysterious ingredients we are not familiar with. I usually read the label and check the ingredients, looking for brands made exclusively of peanuts, and nothing else.
Just remember: even though peanut butter is healthy, it has a lot of calories, so don’t overdo it. I usually limit my intake to 20g per snack, which would be around 120 calories.
Yogurt, fruit/granola/oats and peanut butter/almonds/almond butter
I love 0% fat Greek yogurt. It can work as a base for many different snacks, provides tons of protein and tastes delicious. I like to combine it with fresh fruit (usually strawberries, kiwis or grapes), granola or oats. If I’m really hungry and looking for an even more filling snack, I’ll combine the yogurt with fruit and either almonds or peanut butter (about 20g). It tastes amazing.
Greek Yoghurt & Fruit
White cheese and cherry tomatoes
I absolutely love cherry tomatoes, and I think they go great with white cheese. I simply cut the cheese in small cubes, cut the tomatoes in half and mix them together, adding a bit of olive oil and oregano. Sometimes I also add a few olives. I used to prepare this in the morning and keep it in my snack box to eat during the day (with the ice packs).
Ok, but where are the carbs? I like to pair this with fresh orange or tangerine juice. If I’m not at home, I’ll take a juice box with me. Just like the peanut butter, the key is to look for a 100% natural brand, made exclusively out of oranges. They exist, you just have to find them.
Hummus and vegetables
Hummus is usually made of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. It’s a delicious dip that carries tons of nutrients and health benefits. I personally like to eat it with baby carrots or celery, but you can also combine it with whole wheat pita chips.
Banana with cottage cheese and cinnamon
Need additional information? : D-Bal Max review
To be honest, I hate bananas. I hate the smell, the taste, and I simply can’t eat them in any form or shape. It’s a shame really, because they are very practical, versatile and filled with vitamins and minerals.
For those of you who like them, I’ll share one of my mom’s favorite snacks. You are going to have to be at home for this one, but it can be a great option for the weekend. Simply peel the banana and cut it in half lengthwise. Add about one tablespoon of cottage cheese on top of it, and sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon. She also likes to add a bit of Stevia or honey, to make it sweeter.
Just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it’s ready. I wouldn’t be able to tell if it tastes good, but she swears by it. It’s a great and healthy option if you are craving something sweet.
Whole wheat toast/sandwich/cracker with a light filling
That’s as easy as it gets. I like to eat toasts with cottage cheese or make sandwiches with turkey breast and either cottage or white cheese. I also like to use tuna (another easy option to take anywhere), but when I’m at home I usually go with scrambled eggs. Eggs are an amazing source of protein and incredibly filling, so I’ll just cook them with a little bit of cottage cheese and cherry tomatoes and eat with a whole wheat toast.
Turkey breast and cottage/white cheese rolls
Sometimes I put either cottage or white cheese on a slice of turkey breast and make little rolls with it. I usually eat three at a time, and if I’m at home I like to heat them in the electric oven. It tastes great! I like to combine them with a natural juice, to get some carbs as well.
Make your own trail mix
A trail mix is an easy and delicious option that can be taken anywhere. You can combine seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and flax, nuts such as almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts and walnuts and dried fruit.
Unfortunately, I can’t stand dried fruit. Even though they are healthy and easy to take anywhere, I hate them, so it’s not an option for me. I usually just combine nuts and seeds with fresh fruit instead.