- Why snacking helps you LOSE weight
- 3 easy weight-loss snacks
- Scared to snack? Try this!
When I Googled “snacking” this was the first thing I saw:
“Is snacking good or bad for you?”
Then I clicked “images.”
And up popped people eating Cheetos, while watching TV.
…Somehow snacking has become associated with idly eating empty calories!
In fact “snacking” has become a dirty word.
Maybe it’s because the SNACK BARS found in cinemas, skating rinks and tiny hotel fridges…
…are stacked with cookies, candy, chocolate, ice cream and chips.
Sure, these “snacks” are fine to eat once in a while.
But can we call them what they are?
These processed “foods” are treats. Nothing wrong with treats! Eating treats occasionally curbs cravings, which prevents you from bingeing.
So “treats” aren’t everyday snacks
But neither are low-fat, diet alternatives.
…For 10 years I thought I should eat low-calorie “food” like rice cakes or diet coke, if I was hungry between meals. But these are also processed foods. And after eating them I’d still feel hungry. So a small snack would often turn into a BIG snack. Then I’d skip the next meal to make up for it.
The whole time I was (surprise!) overweight.
Healthy snacks are different
You can eat them regularly!
Eating healthy snacks when you’re hungry actually helps you lose weight.
I want to make snacking GREAT again!
You CAN snack & lose weight
For the last 20 years I’ve been a healthy weight. And for the last 20 years, I’ve been eating:
ROUGHLY balanced snacks made MOSTLY of whole foods
when I’m hungry between meals.
If you DON’T eat when you’re hungry your body goes into survival mode. Then it’s easy to gain weight and hard to lose it.
It’s important to eat when you’re hungry.
Eating when you’re hungry helps you lose weight.
Work with your body!
Usually I get hungry between lunch and dinner
And that’s when I grab a ROUGHLY balanced snack made MOSTLY of whole foods.
The food groups and proportions that make a balanced meal or snack:
What’s a good weight-loss snack?
Below are 3 easy-to-assemble snacks that help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
You can call them weight-loss snacks.
Or healthy snacks.
Or “You know what I feel like eating?” snacks…
Because when you get in the habit of eating natural food, you crave natural food.
Natural food helps you lose weight naturally
Natural food takes longer to digest because it’s fresh and unrefined. It’s also known as “whole food” because nothing’s been changed. So it’s packed with natural fiber, energy & nutrients.
This means the energy, vitamins and minerals:
1. take time to break down, so they’re slowly released into your body and you stay full longer.
2. are recognized by your body, so it knows when you’ve got everything you need. Then it sends a signal to your brain to let you know you’re full.
Processed foods are refined in a factory, so your body doesn’t have to do much work to release the energy. In fact, the energy becomes available so quickly that your body can’t use it all at once. So it stores the extra energy… and you become hungry again. Also, when food is processed, so many good things are removed from the food and so many artificial ingredients are added—including flavours, colours, preservatives and synthetic fiber and nutrients, that are made in a laboratory setting. All these fake and ultra-refined ingredients send signals that confuse your body and keep you feeling hungry!
In short, processed foods make it easy to eat MUCH more energy (calories) than you actually need.
So let’s check out these weight-loss snacks!
Weight-loss snack #1
Cheese on crackers with an apple & latte
I didn’t have any crackers so I sliced up a whole-grain baguette—either will do.
Weight-loss snack #2
Banana, almonds & a latte
I like cold bananas. To me they taste creamier (and less sugary). So this one’s come straight outta the fridge.
Weight-loss snack #3
Blueberries and granola in full-fat natural Greek yogurt
I’m obsessed with pottery. I have tons of bowls that say “Ben” or “Sarah” …or another name on the bottom. Whenever I drop off a donation at the Salvation Army I come home with an irregularly-shaped masterpiece made by someone else’s kid.
None of these snacks are “perfect” snacks
And none of them need to be.
Healthy eating isn’t so exact!
Remember, you’re aiming for ROUGHLY balanced snacks made MOSTLY of whole foods.
And keep in mind… one healthy snack won’t make you. And one unhealthy snack won’t break you.
Have that Dairy Queen Blizzard on Saturday night when you’re out with your friends. Enjoy a treat! Then carry on with your life, eating mostly natural foods.
It’s the healthy choices you make, added up over time that lead to a healthy body and mind.
Healthy eating is all about moderation. NOT blacklisting foods.
It took me ages to eat these weight-loss snacks
I had no idea what healthy eating and exercise looked like or how to turn my bad choices into healthy habits.
I needed a road map to help me lose weight.
So if eating these weight-loss snacks feels overwhelming, introduce snacks into your life, by eating a banana.
Weight-loss snack starting point
Bananas are sooo good for you and they even come in their own environmentally-friendly packaging.
And if you pop a banana into the side pocket of your backpack or into a Tupperware container, it’s a pretty safe bet your banana will arrive alive and ready to eat—rather than destined to be made into banana bread.
If eating a banana is still daunting, don’t worry
I understand where you’re coming from. For years I was afraid to eat a banana.
So I’d only eat half at a time.
When I met Alex he said:
I probably just laughed and made a joke.
But the real reason was:
- I thought bananas were high in calories! (Now I know to STOP counting calories!)
- their creamy texture made me think a banana was too extravagant to eat; I was a low-fat, low-cal kinda gal and I wasn’t used to feeling good about eating food that tasted rich
- other people I trusted who were also trying to lose weight, only ate half a banana
I was more comfortable eating an apple.
However, I hope after reading this post you’ll learn from my mistakes, save yourself precious time and be open to eating a roughly balanced snack made mostly of whole foods.
Or that you’re willing to try eating a full banana next time you’re hungry between meals.
And build up to a more balanced snack made mostly of whole foods.
It will be easier now that you understand:
Eating a healthy snack when you’re hungry WILL help you lose weight!
I hope you’ll try those 3 weight-loss snacks
…faster than I did!
Even if you feel a little frightened.
Feeling full between meals helps you get tons of IMPORTANT stuff done.
It’s hard to work or study
or really listen to a friend,
if you’re preoccupied by hunger pains.
Weight-loss snacks: Troubleshooting
- Take life one day at a time rather than making “snack rules” you have to stick to forever
Try eating a healthy snack next time you’re hungry between meals and see how you feel. Then build on that.
- Feel uncomfortable eating a banana or another snack?
Ask someone you TRUST to sit with you (and eat a snack with you too!) Plan something fun to do afterwards so you can get busy with life rather than stuck, worrying about what you ate.
- Put your full snack on a plate before you start eating
Grazing makes it hard to keep track of what you ate.
- Prepare your weight-loss snack ahead of time
Then you can eat it when you’re hungry and avoid feeling RAVENOUS (which leads to overeating). It’s also easier to make a healthy snack at home, than in front of a vending machine.
- Still hungry after your snack?
Get busy for a few minutes. It can take a little time before the nutrients get into your blood stream and send a message to your brain to say “I feel satisfied.” Read a few pages of a book or clean out your junk drawer. Then see how you feel.
- Still hungry?
Eat more. And if this happens regularly, start serving yourself slightly larger meals and/or snacks.
Make Today Count
If you’re hungry between meals TODAY, try eating a roughly balanced snack made mostly of whole foods.
Or eat a banana.
Take a chance!
Change always feels weird.
But nothing will be different until you try something different.
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
Whether you’re eating a little or a lot between meals, try making one change to your snacks. And when the change feels “normal” make another small change.
Like if you generally reach for a diet pop and low-fat yogurt… keep drinking your diet pop, but try eating regular-fat yogurt. Regular-fat dairy products are less processed so you fill up naturally and lose weight naturally. Like there’s a vitamin found naturally in whole milk that lets your body know you’re full. This vitamin is removed from skim milk which is why you can drink skim milk ALL. DAY. LONG. and still not feel satisfied.
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Who do you see at the movies?
They’re also in skating rinks and your hotel mini-bar.
You can eat them once in a while but try to eat healthy snacks when you’re hungry between meals.
What’s your favourite weight-loss snack?
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
Great article, Kelly! For me, fruits and nuts are the best weight loss snacks.
Thanks Stacey! I was so afraid to eat nuts when I was struggling with my weight. But now that I understand healthy weight loss, I agree—nuts are an awesome snack. I LOVE almonds, chestnuts, etc. And I’ve always loved fruit. Especially clementines at this time of year 🙂