The words “weight loss” and “healthy snacks” conjure up images of Special K, fat-free strawberry yogurt, and granola bars. The problem with these media-friendly “healthy snacks” is that they mess with your blood sugar. And when blood sugar is out of whack, your body can’t help but hold onto fat. This makes it very tough to lose weight.
I’m here to give you some whole food, nutrient-dense snack options that will fill you up fast (without a lot of food) because your body can actually use the vitamins and minerals in the them! It all boils down to what your body can assimilate versus what it can’t and needs to eliminate. Nutrient-dense foods have more in them that the body needs.
Here are my 5 top snacks that will fill you up and help you manage your weight!
#1 – Nuts
Raw nuts are a great snack and you only need 10-15 to kill a craving fast! Nuts are considered healthy fats and do contain more calories per gram than other foods but they are not fattening if you eat them in moderation. The fatty acids from raw nuts are important for hormone, brain and immune system health too. Almonds can actually help boost your metabolism which is kinda awesome.
I’ve been testing out nuts in the afternoons when my energy drops and my cravings hit; a small handful of almonds, macadamia nuts and / or Brazil nuts and I feel so much more alert and steady.
#2 – Fresh Fruit
Fruits are amazing nutrition powerhouses because they contain abundant vitamins and minerals plus they’re high in fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients for overall health. Fruits do contain natural sugars but this doesn’t affect blood sugar like processed sugars do. Their nutritional value far outweighs their sugar content. Combine your fresh fruit with a few nuts for a super healthy 3pm snack!
#3 – Chia Seeds
Okay, so it’s tough to eat chia seeds on their own (at least for me). However, these versatile little seeds can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, soups, salads and so much more! Chia pudding is popular, where you add a couple of tablespoons to a half cup of almond milk, kefir or your favorite yogurt and let it sit overnight. Add fresh berries and chopped nuts for a super healthy, filling, and delicious breakfast or snack!
Chia is high in fiber, contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids, plus antioxidants, calcium and magnesium.
#4 – Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are probably one of my favorite go-to nutrient-dense snacks. I feel instantly satiated after just one egg and can go for a couple more hours before feeling hungry again. They also kill cravings on the spot due to their high-quality protein content. Most of an egg’s nutrition is in the yolk and the cholesterol in eggs do NOT raise your blood cholesterol so go ahead and enjoy a few eggs this week!
#5 – Fresh Veggies
This one is pretty obvious, right? Vegetables are whole foods with a ton of important vitamins and minerals. Vegetables contain fiber and water to help fill you up, plus they’re easily assimilated. Raw vegetables replenish your digestive enzymes, which will help your body break down the other foods you eat so much better.
It doesn’t take long to chop peppers, jicama, celery or broccoli and then package it up so it’s easy to grab on the way out the door. Or, if you prefer, take some baby carrots or cherry tomatoes, give them a quick rinse, and you’re good to go!
Hummus or natural almond butter are great dips or spreads for your fresh veggies too (they help your body use the nutrients from the vegetables).
Bonus: Vegan Protein Powder
Vegan protein powder is one of my favorite snacks because it’s quick and easy, plus I don’t think I get enough protein from my food. When I have the ‘munchies’, a protein drink fills me up and gets me going again.
Now that you have some super nutritious (not to mention super easy) truly health snacks to choose from, ditch the processed granola bars, cereal and yogurts and start filling your body with satisfying, filling whole foods!