It’s the tried-and-true mantra of weight loss: You have to burn more calories than you consume each day. We all know that’s the way to lose weight, and yet it can be so hard to do.
The truth is, we get hungry. When your body is burning more calories than it is taking in, you can feel like you’re starving! It’s uncomfortable, it makes you cranky, and it probably makes you more likely to cheat on your healthy eating plan. In between meals, you must learn to snack healthfully, so that your metabolism keeps burning and you don’t lose control and eat your weight in potato chips or birthday cake!
So what can you do to keep your blood sugar even between meals, stave off cravings, and keep your metabolism high? Try these healthy snacks.
Apples. Not only are apples fat-free and low in calories; they actually contain naturally occurring chemicals that curb your appetite. In particular, try Granny Smith apples when you feel a craving for junk food.
Almonds. Many studies suggest that a handful of almonds each day can keep your weight down. Bonus: they contain monounsaturated fats, which keep your heart healthy.
Fresh veggies. Vegetables like broccoli florets or carrots are loaded with fiber, so you can eat and eat and eat… and then feel pleasantly full. Just avoid fatty dipping sauces, because you can get carried away with the calories before you know it.
Low fat yogurt. Yogurt is high in protein, making it the perfect snack to curb your appetite in between meals. It’s also loaded with “good” bacteria, which are great for your digestive system. Just remember to watch out for added the sugars in some popular yogurt brands.
Cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is another high-protein, low-carb snack, and it’s rich in calcium and antioxidants.
Beef jerky. Surprisingly, these convenient snacks are good for dieters! Just remember to buy a brand that’s low in sodium and sugar, and you will have a good source of quick protein when you’re too busy to cook.
Avocado. Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the good kind of fat! They’re filling, full of vitamins, and rich in flavor. But since these fruits are also calorie-dense, eat just one in between meals.
Obviously, these aren’t the only healthy, low-calorie snacks out there. But you’re probably starting to get the picture; fruits and vegetables are low in calories and dense in nutrients, whereas some meats and cheeses contain the protein you need to stave off cravings. Remember to keep snacks small – less than 200 calories is ideal – and you will be less likely to binge on junk, or overindulge at your next meal.