One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. If shedding pounds is on your 2017 to-do list, be sure to incorporate snacks into your diet. That’s right – snacking is an important part of losing weight! You need snacks to maintain good metabolism and satiate your appetite between meals. Not eating for long stretches of time can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to burn calories. Blood sugar levels dip, you can lose energy and it can make you cranky. When you do finally sit down for a meal, you may be so hungry that you overeat – and if you’re like many people, the first foods you reach for are less-than-healthy choices filled with carbs, sugar and fat.
In a Health.com article, nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet said, “Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals.” But snacking needs to be done right. The American Heart Association says that snacking sensibly – and in moderation – is key. That means swapping that fatty, high calorie donut or bag of salty potato chips for healthier options. Choose snacks that are both satisfying and filled with the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
The following are some smart snack ideas that don’t sacrifice taste for nutrition. Consider adding these flavorful choices into your diet:
Keep your kitchen stocked with these nutrient-rich grab-and-go snacks that involve virtually no preparation at all:
Cut up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or celery
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Low-fat string cheese
Nuts and seeds
Healthy snack recipes
Want to take your snacks to the next level? Try these healthy snack recipes.
Parmesan Garlic Zucchini chips – A healthier alternative to potato chips. Uses just five ingredients, and can be made without cheese if you prefer a vegan snack.
Crispy Snack Edamame – Edamame is packed with low-fat soy protein and calcium. Bake a bunch with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese for a yummy and addictive snack.
Garlicky Parmesan and Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a tasty legume and filled with protein and fiber. Adults and kids alike will love this crunchy and flavorful snack made with garbanzo beans, garlic, parmesan and rosemary. For a sweeter version of this, try maple cinnamon roasted chickpeas.
￼Kale Chips- Kale has vitamins, K, A, C, B6, and B2, as well as iron, fiber, calcium, potassium and more. Kale chips pack all the nutritional benefits of this cruciferous vegetable in a tasty, crunchy snack.
Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites – Blueberries are a high-antioxidant food and a good source of vitamins C & K. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin B-12. Put them together and you have a nutritious and refreshing nosh that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Makes a great dessert too!
No-Bake Energy Bites – A two tablespoon serving of peanut butter is a nutritious snack on its own or spread on an apple or whole grain cracker. Peanut butter has protein fiber, healthy fat, and magnesium. For something a little different, try these No-Bake Energy Bites. Rolled oats and honey turn plain peanut butter into a wholesome treat that will be hard to resist.
Healthy Trail Mix – Some trail mixes can be too high in fat and calories. View this tutorial on how to build and customize a healthier trail mix.
Snacking can help you maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and curb your cravings between meals. Choose your snacks wisely and your body will thank you!