Clean eating snacks for weight loss
One fundamental guideline to keep an active metabolism is to eat around five times a day. Three meals and two snacks. Setting yourself up for your next meal (by not starving yourself) can promote weight loss.
Healthy snacks are essential to keep blood sugar levels normal, prevent binges, increase protein intake, and keep you full. By preparing ahead of time, binge eating can be prevented during the day and at night.
See Related: Ray Cronise Diet
Now, it's easier to reach for convenience food like packaged foods for snacking, but clean-eating snacks should be, well, better than that.
There is plenty of low-calorie or foods promoted to have only 100 calories, while others promote low fat, low sodium, fat-free, low carbs, high fiber, or boast the grams of protein and grams of fiber! Bread companies have come out with whole-grain options, even being whole grain crackers as an option!
This can be overwhelming at best! What should you pick? What is the best option to aid in your weight loss journey? What are the best snacks for weight loss? What is HEALTHY?
Clean-eating snacks should be made from healthy whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
See Related: Use The Track Eats App
The nutritional value is much more significant than empty carbohydrates like a bag of chips that are high in fat and sodium content, don’t fill you up, and are designed to reel you in to keep eating more rather than satisfy you.
Unfortunately, most processed foods are created to do as such. They aren't made to be "healthy" or aid in your weight loss journey. They’re made to keep bringing you back, to make you crave more and eat past the recommended serving size (which is why gaining weight is easier than losing it). All that added fat, carbs, sodium, and calories combined can be detrimental to your health and weight loss goals.
See Related: Protein For Weight Loss
Whole plant-based foods are designed to provide you with high nutritional value while satiating you without adding sodium, fat, and salt. Every meal is important when aiming towards a weight loss goal.
Aimlessly getting up to go snack and not focusing on what you're consuming can be poor for your health. Eating foods that are high in protein will give you that extra boost during a weight loss phase.
Not only will the added protein satiate your appetite, but it will also help you maintain muscle while in a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than your body needs to help you lose fat).
Let's take a look at some tips.
MAKE IT YOURSELF
While you can find clean packaged snack foods, you'll want to read the ingredient list to make sure it's short and simple and that there's not a lot of added sugar lurking. Taking a peek at ingredient lists can be scary. More than often, highly processed foods will have lists longer than most children’s Christmas lists, and the food can be as simple as fried fruit.
That is scary and disgusting. Aim for foods that contain natural and organic foods (NOT “natural flavoring” because really, WHAT IS THAT?!?!). Food is food. It shouldn’t be filled with chemicals in a laboratory somewhere in Area 51.
Eating out can be loaded with fat, olive oil, salt, butter---making it not a very healthy option, especially when trying to lose weight and improve health. That’s why making foods at home can be a much more beneficial move for your health than eating out and eating processed foods will ever be.
Making your own snacks allows you to control the ingredients, so you know exactly what you're getting.
This can keep you full and set you up for success with your next meal by providing your body with the proper nutrients without all the butter, salt, and loads of refined sugar in every meal and recipe.
When you're eating clean, try making super-simple homemade versions of your favorite packaged snacks.
Make your own trail mix with nuts and dried fruit and skip store-bought versions with more sugar than fruit. Hit the daily recommended intake of vegetables and fruits by eating plant-based foods high in fiber and nutritional value. They are easy to place in any recipe or meal and provide bountiful health benefits per serving.
Throw out the chips drenched in salt and fat with small serving sizes. Replace them with healthy snack options like kale chips (great fiber intake), turkey jerky (high protein), or dried fruit (sweet and yummy).
CALM YOUR CRAVINGS FOR SWEETS THE NATURAL WAY
Eating a few servings of cereals, salad dressings, sauces, or bread may already max out your "sugar quota" for the day. And you haven't even gotten to the dessert yet!
Eating clean means will seriously cut down on your added sugar intake. Reach for naturally sweet fruits to satisfy your craving instead. Go for foods that don’t have any added sugar. Fruits are sweet by themselves without added sugar. Honey, agave, and maple syrup are other natural sweeteners (buy the ones without the added sugar!) that, though high in calories, can be measured out to properly coincide with your daily caloric deficit for weight loss.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Cleaning up your snacks is a good time to reach for more whole foods and keep things simple. Think sliced veggies like peppers or carrots and a hummus dip, fresh fruit, a handful of nuts. Overthinking can up stress levels which can lead to binges or simply giving up.
Don’t be afraid to try new foods but also don’t be afraid to “simplify” meals and snacks you already enjoy. Instead of pretzels or chips with hummus, buy the 100 calorie bags of pretzels and slice up some cucumbers, bell peppers, or carrots to enjoy with your hummus.
Rather than multiple scoops of peanut butter in your smoothie, measure it out (serving size 1-2 tbsp) to coincide with your daily caloric intake for your goals or replace it with PB powder---a calorically friendly option! Instead of a chocolate bar, buy a chocolate peanut butter protein bar!
It helps increase your daily protein intake to further your progress and maintain muscle while in a caloric deficit.
Eating clean and towards your goals doesn't have to be complicated for it to be absolutely delicious.
MIX FRUITS WITH PROTEIN
Not only these make for delicious combinations, but also healthier, as you get a more balanced bite each time. Think of dates with prosciutto-wrapped dates, pear, brie, apple sticks with cheddar, berries with yogurt. Yum!
Other options are fruit smoothies with protein powder. An easy combination is a ½-1 cup of frozen fruit, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 handful of dark leafy greens (think kale or spinach), and 1-2 cups of water. This is a simple and interchangeable recipe that can experiment with. Change the fruit or the flavor of protein powder to enjoy different combinations!
Another quick and easy option is greek yogurt (low in fat and high in protein) with berries or any fruit of your choice!
Here are some healthy snack ideas to eat throughout the day to get started with. Some are low fat, while others are high fiber. Don’t be afraid to venture out and try new things. There are healthy, low-calorie snacks and 100 calories options of common favorites, including nut butter (like peanut butter) and cheese. Fat-free and low-fat snack options aren't uncommon either.
If you have a sweet tooth, buy or make your own dried fruit or measure out some peanut butter (crunchy or smooth or any other nut butter) and dark chocolate to the recommended per serving size as a yummy snack option. If you're craving some protein, buy some turkey jerky, a protein bar, a hard-boiled egg, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.
If you're craving carbs, buy some Skinnygirl popcorn or any other 100 calories option.
Experimenting and learning through trial and error can set you up for success by learning what works for you!
Think trail mix! Nuts are high in healthy fats and nutritional value.
HUMMUS AND VEGGIES
Bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers are my personal favorites to have with hummus. There are also many different flavors of hummus that you can buy at your local grocery store. If you have a food processor at home, hummus is a super easy and simple dip made at home. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!
NO-BAKE OATMEAL BALLS WITH PROTEIN POWDER
With many varieties and versions, this is a yummy and quick high-protein option. Look up a recipe to make yours today!
Low in fat and high in protein, Greek yogurt can aid in providing your daily potassium intake. It is also a great source of vitamin B12 and calcium. This easy and healthy snack option goes great with berries and other fruits!
High in protein, this is an easy grab-and-go food when busy!
Easily made in bulk, hard-boiled eggs are already separated into their own serving sizes to help you lose weight with portion control. This is a great high-protein snack option!
Known for aiding in cure cardiovascular diseases by lowering cholesterol percentage, kale is highly nutritious as well as low in calories. Kale chips can be made in the oven or your air fryer and are a great replacement for processed foods like chips.
DARK CHOCOLATE AND ALMONDS
Destroy those midnight cravings and satisfy your sweet tooth with a portion of dark chocolate and almonds.
Containing vitamins such as Vitamin A and C, as well as calcium and folic acid, cucumber slices are low in calories. Instead of grabbing for chips, slice up some cucumbers and eat on their own or with hummus or a dip of your choice.
High in nutrients like Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, baby carrots are high in fiber, nutritious, and low in calories. Combine with hummus or dip of your choice!
WHEY PROTEIN SHAKES
High in protein, you can combine in a shaker botter with water or milk of your choice.
CANNED SALMON OR TUNA
High in protein and quick to make as a salad or placed on a leafy greens salad!
High in protein and quick to make as a salad or placed on a leafy greens salad!
Containing almost all of the essential dietary nutrients, like B vitamins, copper, and calcium, Mandarin oranges are nutritious, sweet, and easy to pack on the go.
Beans are a plant-based protein and are an ideal food for managing insulin resistance, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. They are an excellent source of copper, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium.
Smoothies are a super-easy way to assist in consuming the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake. Add protein powder, leafy greens, and fruit of choice (like banana) to get a highly nutritious smoothie!
Low in calories and high in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K1, Vitamin C, and manganese. Blueberries go great on Greek yogurt, in a protein smoothie, or on their own!
Low in calories and with a high concentration of ellagic acid (a phenolic compound that assists in lowering the risk of cancer), raspberries go great on Greek yogurt, in a protein smoothie, or on their own