Staying on target with your weight loss goals does not mean that you have to give up snacking; the key is to add a variety of foods in moderation. Here are some of the best diet snacks to stay on track.
How to Snack
Manage hunger and the urge to binge by eating smaller snacks throughout the day. Choose natural, whole grain ingredients and those that are low in calories, but high in fiber and protein to help you feel fuller for longer.
Try switching out your cookies for graham crackers or shortbread, both will provide you with the same sweet sensation, but have much less calories and fat than your standard packaged sweets.
If cookies aren’t what you are craving, but ice cream is, try reaching for a fudge pop or low fat pudding. Fudge pops have a mere 50 calories per bar, while low fat pudding will provide you with all the good calcium that ice cream has without the added calories.
If you are looking for a snack that is more salty than sweet, reach for some nuts or seeds, but be careful. Nuts are high in both calories and fat. Although it’s the good fat that is found in nuts, always eat them in moderation. Try a handful of roasted peanuts (about 20) or 10 almonds. Other alternatives include two cups of low fat popcorn or pretzel sticks. Try 2 tsp. of peanut butter on your rice cakes to incorporate some protein into your snacking as well.
Low Fat Dairy
Dairy snacks will provide you with calcium and protein, plus added vitamins and minerals. But, regular dairy products are very high in fat, so choose low fat alternatives. If you prefer savory snacks, try a cheese stick or three whole grain crackers with cheese slices. If it’s sweet you are after, try a half of a cup of low fat cottage cheese with blueberries or six ounces of fat free yogurt with raspberries.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet. They are a great source of vitamins and fiber and are low in calories and fat. Try to incorporate fruits and veggies in about half of the snacks you eat to make them as nutritious as possible. Plus, because they are so low in calories and fat, you can eat larger portions of fruits and veggies than other snacks. Try 2 cups of raspberries or blueberries, 15 strawberries or 28 grapes for a mid-morning snack. Later in the afternoon, have a half of an apple with 2 tsp. of peanut butter, a half of a bell pepper with 3 tbsp. of hummus, or even a small salad with light dressing.
No matter what type of snack you are craving, it’s important to eat everything in moderation. Make sure you are eating nutritious foods that keep you healthy and fit. Try writing down what you eat in Fitday's online food journal to help you keep track of your meals and snacks so that you don't overeat.