I am contacted daily with questions about how to lose weight and many of you are going about it ineffectively because either you were told incorrect information early on in your fitness journey or you want unrealistic “quick” results which isn’t effective. Snacking is essential and has a lot of excellent benefits such as:
- Helps keep the metabolism revved up because it’s always working to burn the energy from the snack
- It helps stave off cravings
- It helps to curb your appetite so you aren’t ravenous and eating up extra empty calories on sight
- It provides your body with a steady stream of nutrients which is needed to stay strong and to properly repair
So snacking is good for you and can even help with weight loss if you do it correctly. What is throwing people off track is what they are snacking on. Food choices are important because all food isn’t made the same and all calories are not the same. Nutrient dense food is the food of choice for snacks because you get the most bang for your buck.
Here’s how to snack right for weight loss.
Avoid food with too much added sugar
Food with an excess of added sugar can be the downfall for some of us because many times we are choosing snacks with too much sugar in them. What’s too much? Snacks with 20+ grams of added sugar. That means we are possibly eating excess calories which won’t get burned off through activity but get stored as “fat” which can result in unwanted weight gain. In addition, sugar can be addictive which means once you eat too much of it, you crave it and want more. Don’t fall into that vicious cycle. Save yourself by not even going down that path.
Snack in between your main 3 meals
Grabbing a snack 2 to 3 hours after a main meal (e.g. breakfast, lunch, or dinner) is ideal because it keeps the body fueled and stokes the metabolism which is what you want so it is always burning calories, even in between workouts. What this means is, even when you aren’t actively exercising, your body is burning excess calories which will help you get closer to achieving your weight loss goals. Another great benefit of snacking between meals is it helps maintain steady blood sugar levels so you don’t feel starved constantly which may entice you to reach for unhealthy food options. So make sure you have those healthy snacks handy and stay consistent.
There is nothing worse than to mistake thirst for hunger and gorging on extra calories. Keep your body hydrated with water so you stay “full” feeling in between main meals and snacks as well as suppress your appetite so your stomach isn’t constantly growling signaling to your brain that it is time to eat. Also, staying hydrated helps flush out toxins which causes weight gain and water retention (bloating). Try and drink at least 74 oz of water a day for women and 3 liters of water for men, sipping throughout the day. Add an additional 8 oz of water a day for every 50 pounds overweight you are from your target weight.
Keep it light
Focus on consuming the majority of your calories during your three main meals of the day (e.g. breakfast, lunch and dinner) consuming less calories as the meals progress. Keep your snacks light between 100 and 200 calories. That is enough calories to help you make it to your next main meal as well as level out your blood sugar levels that may start dipping 2 to 3 hours after a major meal.
Make sure it is nutrient dense
Why waste calories on food like candy bars that contain low nutritional value and a bunch of empty calories from fat and sugar? They might taste good, but that will not help you achieve your weight loss goals. Choose food with a high nutrition to calorie ratio and you are on your way to success. Go for food with high protein content because it helps build muscle and the more muscles you have the more calories you burn at rest, and it keeps you satiated longer since it takes longer for the body to break down the protein. That means you won’t be hungry within an hour of eating a high-protein snack. SCORE!
Now I know what you are probably thinking, healthy food typically do not taste good. Well, let me tell you, once you train your taste buds to go for the healthier options, you will wonder why you weren’t eating better all this time.
Now that you know the basics behind how to snack for effective weight loss here is a list of some delicious snack options:
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Air popped popcorn (no salt or butter)
- Carrot sticks with hummus
- Almonds (no salt added)
- Fresh berries with plain Greek yogurt
- Quest Hero Protein Bars (new)
Let’s talk some more about these Quest Hero Protein Bars. Not only are they chock full of protein with 15 to 17 grams of protein per bar, they come in 3 drooling flavors:
- Chocolate Caramel Pecan
- Vanilla Caramel
- Blueberry Cobbler
If you just have to have some sort of bar in your life then you definitely want to reach for these Quest Hero Protein Bars because each bar has a chocolate coating, gooey filling with a protein core. So if you want something that tastes like a cheat, but isn’t, these are the bars for you.
The other great thing about them, each bar contains no more than 4 net carbs which means they are low in sugar. They contain allulose which is a rare sugar found in natural food like figs and raisins and is virtually calorie free.
Still not sure if you want to add these to your snack list? You can head to see what 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas thinks about these Quest Protein Hero Bars.
These Quest Hero Protein Bars have just taken protein bars to the next level. Now you can indulge on healthy snacks to help you stay on track with your weight loss and health goals. You know you want to try these so Quest Hero Protein Bars to learn more about the Quest Hero Protein Bars.
What’s your favorite healthy snack you have found helps you with your weight-loss goals?