Snacking Secrets to Curb the Cravings!
The words “weight-loss” and “snacks” often appear in the same sentence.
But that might also bring thoughts of "tasteless," "cardboard," and "completely unsatisfying."
Let me give you my best weight-loss friendly snacks that aren't just nutritious but also delicious and filling! And even more important, they will help to balance your blood sugar which is ESSENTIAL if you want to stop the dreaded carb cravings from rearing their ugly head later on!
What’s my criteria you ask?
They have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain protein, essential fats and/or fibre.
1 - Nuts
It’s true - nuts contain calories and fat, but they are NOT fattening!
Well, I’m not talking about the “honey roasted” ones, of course. Those probably are fattening.
Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner. What kind of nuts am I talking about? Walnuts, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts to be exact. They are all loaded with omega 3 essential fatty acids and help to keep blood-sugar levels in check.
By the way, nuts also contain protein and fiber, which means a small amount can go pretty far in terms of filling you up. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals you can get from nuts.
Almonds specifically have received a lot of good press when it comes to helping with weight loss. At least 10% of the fat in them is not absorbed by the body, and almonds can also help to boost your metabolism!
Tip: Put a handful of unsalted/unsweetened nuts into a small container and throw it in your purse or bag for when you need a nutritious, gap-filler.
2 - Fresh Fruit
As with nuts, studies show that people who tend to eat more fruit, tend to be healthier. (I’m sure you’re not too surprised!)
Yes, fresh fruit contains sugar, but whole fruits (I'm not talking juice or sweetened dried fruit) also contain a fair bit of water and fiber; not to mention their nutritional value with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And fresh fruit is low in calories. Fiber is something that not only helps to fill you up (known as the "satiety factor") but also helps to slow the release of the fruit sugar into your bloodstream and reduce the notorious "blood sugar spike.". Less blood-sugar spikes = less blood-sugar crashes which means less CRAVINGS!
There are two things however you MUST consider when eating fruit as a snack;
1. Eat your fruit with a small amount of lean protein and/or essential fat (ie; full fat greek yoghurt, 1/2 an avocado, walnuts, etc.). Even though fruit with a skin does contain fibre, it may not be enough to keep your blood sugar stable on it's own. The protein or fat in the accompanying food takes longer to digest so it will slow down the breakdown of the fruit into glucose as well. When fruit is eaten on its own it will spike blood sugar levels which is something you want to avoid when trying to lose weight. (Do I hear that "c" word again?)
2. Choose fruits from the low end of the glycemic index. Foods with a glycemic index value of lower than 50 are your best choices. The higher the glycemic index value, the quicker they will convert into glucose which again will promote fast blood sugar spikes.
Tip: Can't do fresh? Try frozen. Plus, they're already chopped for you.
3 - Chia seeds
This is one of my personal favourites…
Chia is not only high in fibre (I mean HIGH in fibre), but it also contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids (yes THOSE omega-3s!). As well as antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium.
Can you see how awesome these tiny guys are?
They also absorb a lot of liquid, so by soaking them for a few minutes, they make a thick pudding (that is delicious and fills you up).
Tip: Put two tablespoons in a bowl with ½ cup of nut milk and wait a few minutes. Add in some berries, chopped fruit or nuts, and/or cinnamon and enjoy!
4 - Boiled or poached eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrition and most of it is in the yolk.
They contain a lot of high-quality protein and a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
And recent research shows that the cholesterol in the yolks is NOT associated with high elevated cholesterol or heart disease risk.
Yup, you read that right!
Tip: Boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in your fridge for a super-quick (and nutritious) snack!
5 - Vegetables
I don’t need to tell you how great these are for you, but just maybe I need to sell you on the delicious “snackability” of these nutrition powerhouses.
Veggies contain fibre and water to help fill you up, and you don't need me to tell you about their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, right?
You can easily open a bag of baby carrots and/or cherry tomatoes and give them a quick rinse (they’re already bite-sized).
Similar however to fruits, vegetables are considered to be complex carbohydrates so they are better eaten in combination with a protein or fat to ensure they don't break down too quickly and spike your blood sugar levels. Try almond butter spread on your celery sticks. or dip your cucumber or peppers into a homemade hummus.
Go ahead and try one, or more, of these healthy snacks. Prepare them the night before if you need to. They will not be "tasteless," like "cardboard," or "completely unsatisfying." Trust me.
Hopefully these snacks give you some useful ideas to help you get through each day without hindering your weight loss efforts. However, you may also need to consider HOW and WHAT you eat in your main meals to really get a handle on those sugar cravings all day every day.
Want to find out more about how to beat those carb cravings? It's not too late to register for the next Free 5 Day Challenge to End Carb Cravings! that is taking place from Monday 22nd June to Friday 26th June 2020.
Click the image below to get your name on the participant list so you get your personal invite into the Challenge Group when it opens on Sunday 21st June in preparation for the live challenge!
This is what you will learn and implement in this challenge:
Day 1: Learn exactly what to eat for breakfast to set you up for success all day (including recipes!)
Day 2: The ONE thing you MUST avoid to get a handle on those cravings!
Day 3: How to cook once and eat at least twice, plus get my dinner recipes that stabilise blood sugar and keep you from binge eating while watching Netflix!
Day 4: What to choose for balanced snacks, including one of all-time favourite recipes
Day 5: Why managing stress is so integral to your success and two of the simplest techniques to do so.
Once you correct the hormonal imbalance using the essential strategies you will learn in this challenge you will finally be able to subdue the cravings, make it through the day with sustained energy and promote the body's natural fat burning ability rather than storing fat!
I hope to see you in the next challenge!