You need to eat to lose weight. For a successful diet, you need to have some snacks throughout the day. There are some snacks that will not just help you lose weight because they’re low in calories, but because they help you feel fuller for longer. You’ll end up eating less throughout the day and feel far more satisfied.
Unfortunately, there are also snacks that do the opposite. They give you a momentary feeling of being full, but you end up hungry very soon afterwards and have to deal with a sugar crash.
When you do have a snack, you need to make sure it is the best option for your weight loss efforts. That means you need to run through this list of best and worst snacks for losing weight.
The Best Options for Snack On Throughout the Day
Let’s start with the great snacks to choose from. This will give you a starting block to stock up your cupboards and take to work.
Make a Trail Mix
Fruits, nuts, and seeds all make great options for snacks separately. When you add them all together, you get a more fulfilling option. After all, fruits, nuts, and seeds on their own tend to be a little boring, right?
Opt for a mixture of chopped up nuts, seeds, and dried fruits and place them in a resealable bag. You can take this bag anywhere and just have a handful of your trail mix as and when you need it. You can also put portions of it in tubs if you find keeping control of portion sizes isn’t something you’re able to do.
Nuts do tend to be high in fats, but they are monounsaturated fats. They’re also full of fibre. So, not only are they good for your overall health, but they leave you feeling full so are good for your weight loss. Just watch the amount that you do put in because you can have too much of a good thing.
Seeds are full of fibre and some proteins. Depending on the seeds, they can also have vitamins and minerals that your body needs. If you’re allergic to nuts, add more seeds to your trail mix instead.
Watch out for dried fruit. The good news is that they still have all the fibre, but they do lose their water content. This can lead to more sugar going into your system, so you don’t want to consume too many of them when you’re snacking.
Have Bags of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
There’s no secret that fresh fruit is the best thing for you. It’s much better than dried fruit because of the water content. The water helps to dilute some of the sugars, so your body doesn’t absorb as many in a short space of time.
That being said, fresh fruit does have more natural sugars than fresh vegetables. It’s best to combine both of these for your snacks, and some vegetables can taste sweet and make you think you’re eating fruit.
You can enjoy vegetables with a bit of tomato salsa or some hummus. Homemade options are better because you will know the exact ingredients, including the amount of sugar and salt, are in them.
Look Into the Low Fat Dairy Products
There are debates over whether you should go low fat or not when it comes to the dairy products. When it comes to weight loss, there’s no denying the studies that show low-fat dairy products are better. This applies to butter, milk, and even yoghurts.
Low-fat dairy products make excellent snacks for weight loss. They’re full of protein, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. You’re also supplying your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals, including calcium to keep the bones strong while you’re losing weight. Unfortunately, there have been studies that show rapid weight loss can lead to poor bone strength.
That doesn’t mean full-fat dairy products are extremely bad for you. In the grand scheme of things, they are much better for you than the likes of chocolate and cookies. If you only have the choice of full fat or refined sugar, opt for the full-fat dairy.
There are a few ways that you can snack on this. The most common option is a serving of yoghurt. Do look into your options for yoghurts, as they can have a lot of added sugar to them. This is especially the case for the fruit yoghurts. Opt for Greek or natural yoghurt wherever possible.
You can pour yoghurt over fruit and sprinkle some nuts on, so you get the best of all the above snack options for your weight loss.
Cheese is another excellent snack option, and often recommended for children for their lunch treat. Cheese often gets a bad reputation, but it is full of dairy and calcium. It’s filling, and you get that feeling of being naughty when you’re really not. This can often take away that need to eat sweet products.
Switch to Whole Grains
Bread gets a bad reputation, but have you considered switching to whole grain bread instead? There are studies that show that whole grains are excellent for weight loss, helping people lose 0.37lbs on average.
This isn’t just about bread, either. However, bread is an easy snack and makes it possible to add some of the other options above. You can spread some nut butter (yes, this can be good for weight loss) or mash a banana and place it on some toast.
Whole grains can also be eaten in cereal form. Makeup cereal bars with oatmeal and bran flakes. They may not sound too appetising right now, but when mixed with some fruits and honey you have a great go-to bar when you need a 3:00 PM pick-me-up.
The Snacks You Want to Avoid
Not all snacks are good for your weight loss. While you don’t need to ban these completely, it’s worth cutting down on them as much as possible.
Remove the Chocolate Bars
We’ve all done it. Our energy levels get that low that all we crave is a chocolate bar. We’ll take anything, whether it has nuts, fruit, or even just plain chocolate. And usually the more, the better.
Well, it’s time to cut down on the chocolate that you eat. Avoid it becoming a go-to snack as much as possible, because it’s not doing your waistline any good. There are a few reasons for this.
First of all, we have the issue of the calories in chocolate bars. There are far more than in the good snacks that Ive already mentioned above. And not only are you eating more calories in a day, but you also don’t feel full for long. That just leads to you eating far more calories than you would have done had you had some trail mix or a piece of fruit.
There’s also a lot of sugar in chocolate. You’ll get a sugar high for a while, but that just leads to a sugar crash soon after. Within 30 minutes of enjoying your chocolate, you need more of it. You’re tired and fed up because you don’t have anymore and you start wondering if that snack was really worth it.
This applies to anything with refined sugar in. Stop snacking on the cookies, cakes, and candies.
Stop Snacking on Potato Chips
Potato chips/crisps aren’t good for you either. They calories in the are just leading to you gaining weight instead of losing them.
No, there aren’t the sugars in potato chips, but there is a high amount of sodium. The sodium leads to losing more water, which can actually make you feel hungry. So you’re more likely to consume more calories because of that.
Let’s not focus on the fact that potato chips aren’t exactly filling. Even after one packet, we usually end up reaching for a second packet, right?
Skip the Processed Meats
You may think that a ham slice or two isn’t going to do your diet any bad. In fact, there are theories that processed meats, including bacon, ham, and deli meats, are great for weight loss. What’s not to love? They’re full of protein, right?
Well, unfortunately, the protein levels aren’t as good as the saturated fats and cholesterol levels. Processed meats also tend to have a lot of other chemicals in them. Those who eat them aren’t just putting their health at risk—they’re at a higher risk of heart disease—but they also put their waistlines at risk.
Just one slice of processed turkey contains 95 calories. Think about how much of the turkey slices you’d actually have. It’s best to stick with just the cheese.
Oh, and the unprocessed red meats aren’t a better substitute. They have so much fat to them and have been linked to obesity, heart disease, and colon problems. Really, when it comes to a snack, you want to avoid the meat. You can get the protein from better sources.
Watch Out for the Pretzels
We tend to eat pretzels because they seem better than opting for chocolate. This isn’t necessarily the case.
Like with the potato chips, pretzels are full of salt. The sodium levels cause dehydration, and we’re back to the thirst being masked as hunger again. And the downside is that there aren’t the healthy fats and proteins in the pretzels as there are in some other salted options that can make good snacks.
If you want something savoury to snack on, reach for salted nuts like pistachios. They may have more fats than pistachios, but they also have far more protein and fibre.
Ditch the Pop, Including the Diet
Studies have shown that diet pop can help with weight loss, but there are also other studies that show certain sweeteners can lead to weight gain. There are also studies that show pop isn’t good for the body anyway, whether it’s full fat or diet. Of course, diet does have fewer sugars, so if you’re going to have a fizzy drink, you’ll want to opt for a diet option over a full fat one to help your weight loss efforts.
Does that mean you have to feel like you’re dying of thirst for the entire day? Not at all! There are other better options to quench your thirst, and you don’t just have to reach for the plain old tap water to do it!
Fruit juice is okay, but it’s not great for the weight loss efforts. The lack of fibre in it leads to more sugar in your system. You have that sugar crash problem that leaves you reaching for more sweet stuff.
One of the best things you can do is have water and put natural fruits in it. Strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, and even lemons are great options. You can even get water bottles that have a separate section that screws into the bottle where you put your fruit. This way, you don’t get a mouthful of fruit while you’re trying to drink your water!
If you want something fizzy, opt for sparkling water in place of your normal tap water. You can still opt for fresh fruit. This is better than flavoured water, which tends to have a lot of added sugar for no reason.
What Will Become Your Go-To Snack?
Now it’s completely up to you. Only you can control the snacks that you have throughout the day. Don’t stop yourself from having them completely. Eating the snacks is good for your mood, which will help your weight loss.
You just need to choose the best type of snack for your weight loss efforts. There are always great alternatives. Make small changes, one at a time. This way you won’t feel like you’re missing out because of these changes.
Start with the snack that you’re least bothered about and work your way up to your favourite bad snack. Once you get into a habit of having the healthier options in your cupboard, you’ll never remember the problem you had.