Chances are that if you have tried dieting, you have heard the belief that you cannot enjoy your food. The diets tend to cut calories to the point where you are constantly hungry. You are left unable to enjoy the sweets and snacks that you usually have. This constant feeling that you cannot enjoy your food leaves the diet unsustainable.
Snacking is a normal part of life. Our bodies need food every three or four hours. This is how long it takes for the digestive system to make room for more food. If you do not eat regularly, your body starts to fear when you will get sustenance again. While we do not have to panic about our next meal as much as we did in the past, our bodies have not gotten used to that feeling of knowing there is a meal coming in a few extra hours.
We end up suffering from sugar cravings. Our bodies tell us that we need the sugar to boost energy levels until the next meal. Of course, often we gorge on refined sugars that are not just bad for weight loss but also bad for our health.
The snacks you eat need to support your weight loss efforts. Sweet does not have to mean unhealthy, though. You can choose healthy and delicious sweet snacks that will support your weight loss. With the right food groups, you can boost your metabolism, help you feel fuller for longer, and make it easier to lose weight. Our list will give you one new snack to add to your day. Replace your current snacks and focus on a sustainable, enjoyable diet to lose weight.
Stock Up on Dark Chocolate
Let’s start by getting the chocolate out of the way. Just because you are on a diet does not mean that you cannot have any chocolate. You may be surprised to hear that chocolate is not actually as bad as “experts” will tell you. It is all in the additives that are included in most chocolate bars.
Chocolate is full of antioxidants that can help to support your weight loss efforts. More specifically, it is full of flavonoids, a plant nutrient that helps to prevent the storage of fat in the diet. Your metabolism burns off more of the fat, so you do not feel the energy slumps throughout the day. At the same time, your muscles are protected, since the metabolism does not need to pull calories from them.
The chocolate will also help to curb your hunger levels. It is filling and sweet, so helps to solve all your craving problems.
But you need to get the right type of chocolate for your snack. You cannot just pick up your favorite flavor of Hershey chocolate from the store. Remember that it is the additives that are put into the chocolate bars that cause the health problems. You want to look for dark chocolate to support your weight loss efforts.
Dark chocolate has a little sugar, but not as much as the added sugar in milk chocolate. There are also no animal products added to the chocolate, although if you are vegan make sure the product states that it is vegan-friendly! There is no gluten or other allergen ingredients added in unless of course, you get dark chocolate with peanuts or nuts.
There are calories that you need to consider though. While dark chocolate is a good snack, you only need a couple of squares a day to help boost weight loss. Alternatively, you can get some powdered cacao to use for snack recipes.
Try a little chocolate mixed in with your yogurt or oatmeal. Add some powdered cacao to your smoothies. You can also melt the dark chocolate to dip your fruit into it.
When you feel like you are having fun with your food, you will find it easier to lose more weight.
Use Yogurt with Your Fruity Snacks
Yogurt is one of the best ingredients you can add to your diet. There are some vegan-friendly options out there that use almond and soy milk, but most types of plain yogurts are good for you.
Make sure it is plain yogurt! Plain Greek yogurt or natural yogurt will have less sugar—just the natural sugars from the milk used to create it. Flavored yogurts will have added sugar thrown in and make them unhealthy for both weight loss and your overall health.
One of the best ways to use yogurt as a snack is to mix it with your fruit. Berries are excellent options, but you can also get the benefits from cherries, apples, bananas, and more. The fruits are naturally sweet, and those natural sugars will blend with the yogurt. You make up for the lack of added sugars since you are choosing plain yogurt!
What makes yogurt with fruit so good is the other nutrients. Yogurts are packed with probiotics, especially when it comes to Greek yogurt. Probiotics are the good bacteria that the gut needs for a healthy system. Good bacteria will overpower the bad, making it easier for your digestive system to work effectively.
Then there is the protein in yogurts. You will support the growth of lean muscle, which requires more calories to function and build. Your metabolism works faster to help you burn more calories throughout the day, and these calories will come from the fat stores.
On top of that, the fruit is full of fiber. This keeps your digestive system working and will help you feel fuller for longer and sooner. You do not feel the need to eat as much, so you find it easier to create a calorie deficit.
If you choose red berries, you also get the benefits from anthocyanin. This is an antioxidant that helps to prevent the storage of fat. Not only is the protein encouraging the metabolism to take the calories from the fat instead of muscles, but your body will find it harder to store fat.
Try Toasting Chickpeas with Honey and Cinnamon
What about something a little different when it comes to a snack? Have you ever thought about using chickpeas for your snacking? Chickpeas tend to be added to soups and stews or turned into hummus. There is certainly no problem with this, but they are not the best snacking foods. Well, hummus is, but you want something that you can pick up and eat like you would candy. You want a snack that curbs the sweet cravings and hummus does not quite do that.
Well, it is time to toast your chickpeas instead. After toasting, toss them in some honey and cinnamon for the sweet flavoring. Both ingredients are healthy for you, offering a range of benefits for your body.
Let’s start with the honey. It is naturally sweet and delicious. You will feel like you are eating something naughty, helping your body forget that you are on a diet. The sweet cravings instantly disappear, and you feel satisfied.
As for the cinnamon, it offers more weight loss benefits. The spice will help to lower your blood sugar, which can increase even with natural sugars. With lower blood sugar levels, it is much easier to curb those sweet cravings and stick to your diet plan. Plus, the spice helps to add a new taste. Your mouth will be watering with every morsel.
Of course, chickpeas are known for their weight loss benefits. They are packed with fiber and proteins, helping to build muscles and support the digestive system. You will feel much fuller sooner than with most other snacks. There is no need to consume as many calories, making it easier to create a calorie deficit to encourage your body to burn more fat.
Toast the chickpeas in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 400F. In a bowl, mix some honey and cinnamon together and coat the toasted chickpeas with the mixture afterward.
Create a Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are the currently “weight loss miracle.” They are not actually a miracle, but they do tend to be included in every diet. And there is a lot of hype about how they will help you lose weight.
It is all in the nutrients. Chia seeds are full of fiber. In fact, you get about 40% of your recommended daily allowance of fiber in just an ounce of chia seeds. The fiber will help you feel fuller for longer and sooner than foods that do not have enough fiber in them. Your digestive system is fully supported, helping you get rid of waste and avoid stomach and waste-removal problems. When your digestive system works effectively, so does your immune system. You will find it much easier to stick to a diet because your mental state will be more positive.
But you do not just want chia seeds on their own. They do taste deliciously mixed into a trail mix, but how about making a chia seed pudding? You will need some yogurt, coconut milk, and vanilla essence to get a delicious snack to eat after a long day at work.
Coconut milk is a powerful part of this sweet snack. It is packed with non-dairy calcium and protein. You will build your muscles and support your bones. At the same time, it has healthy, unsaturated fats. Yes, your body needs some fat to help support the weight loss efforts. The fat is not stored but turns into ketones to help give the body more energy.
Pop Your Own Popcorn
Popcorn is viewed as an unhealthy snack, but it is not actually the popcorns fault. Like chocolate, it is the additives that are thrown into the popcorn you buy from the store or movie theater. Think about the salt, sugar, caramel, and other ingredients you throw in.
Instead of buying the bags of ready-made popcorn, why not get popcorn kernels that you must make yourself? You can buy a popcorn machine at a low cost for this, but you can also pop on the stove or in the microwave. On its own there are virtually no calories, meaning you can enjoy a large bowl while you watch your favorite movies with the family.
Does not plain popcorn taste boring? It can be just like air, but you can add flavors to it without damaging your weight loss. When it comes to sweet, avoid adding refined sugars to your popcorn. Make a cinnamon and honey mix that you can drizzle over the bowl instead. You get all the same benefits as your honey and cinnamon coated chickpeas.
If you are not interested in honey, opt for just some cinnamon or some nutmeg to sprinkle over the top. Cinnamon is the best for the blood-sugar-regulating benefits, but nutmeg will give you the taste of Christmas in a bowl.
Use Almond Butter with Your Fruit Slices
If you are not interested in yogurt, you can add some almond butter to your fruit. Peanut butter also works, but almond butter tends to be a little sweeter. This snack is best with pears, apples, bananas, and other similar fruits.
It is the fruits that give you some of the extra sugars. The sweetness is all natural, while you also get all the nutrients from the fruit. Stock up on fiber to fill you up and vitamins and minerals to keep your health in check.
Almond butter helps your weight loss because of the unsaturated fats. Yes, almond butter is good for your health! The unsaturated fats will help to protect your blood vessels while making it easier for the body to convert nutrients into energy. Your metabolism is better supported, so you burn more calories.
But the healthy fats are a little harder to break down than the sugars and carbs from other snacks. You end up curbing your hunger cravings for longer while balancing out your blood sugar.
If you want a little extra benefit, you can sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top. You get more blood-sugar balancing benefits.
One of the major benefits of the snack is that you feel like you are eating something bad for you. Your brain is tricked into believing you are not on a diet because the food you enjoy is not banned.
Drink a Glass of Chocolate Milk
You may not have had this since you were a kid, but it is time to think about buying it. Chocolate milk is much healthier than it would initially seem. You can buy it from the store, too, rather than making your own!
There are two benefits from chocolate milk: The chocolate and the milk. With the chocolate, you get the benefits of the first snack on this list. The antioxidants will help to prevent storage of fats, making it easier to burn the fats and avoid adding more to storage.
When it comes to the milk, you are adding more protein to your body. It is easier to build muscle with the protein, making it harder for the metabolism to take calories from the muscles. Instead, the metabolism turns to the fat more and will help you shed more. Plus, you end up with more calcium to support the bone growth and improve the metabolic rate.
Sure, there are some natural and unnatural sugars in chocolate milk. However, the benefits outweigh the negative elements. The sugars will just make you feel like you are enjoying something naughty, helping you stick to your diet.
Meanwhile, you get a fluid into your diet. Dehydration is a major problem for weight loss. If you let yourself go thirsty, your body sends you the message that you are hungry. Yes, most of the time that you get hunger cravings your body is trying to tell you that it needs a drink. The problem is you listen to the hunger cravings and reach for calories. At least if you do that with chocolate milk, you are getting fluid and healthy nutrients at the same time.
Start Snacking in a Healthy Way
There is no need to forgo all your sweet treats. Sweet snacks are a necessary part of a sustainable diet. The last thing you want is to feel like all your favorites are banned. Chocolate is not actually that bad for you. Natural sugars can help to curb the cravings and make it easier to stick to your diet.
With the above list, you have seven snacks that you can adapt and modify to work for your needs. Some of them you can even mix together for a more fulfilling snack! Get a range of nutrients at the same time, curb your hunger, reduce your fat stores, and make it easier to lose weight.