Do you sometimes find yourself feeling ravenous between meals and craving something extra to eat? Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen staring into the fridge or the food cupboard wondering what snack you can have; scanning the shelves hoping something will jump out at you?
I’ve been there and ended up grabbing something, anything – and before I knew it scoffed down more than I’d intended.
Let’s be honest; there are times when being hungry has nothing to do with healthy snacking. You get a whiff of toasting bread or offered a cookie with your coffee and can’t resist.
We all love to snack and choosing a healthy snack mid morning can help control your cravings and aid your weight loss goals. See the post on The Glycaemic Index and Weight Management.
If you’ve set yourself a supercharged smart weight loss goal, you may already have asked yourself, “What do I need to start doing to move closer to my goal?” And possibly one of the things you need to start doing is to take control of the ‘snack attacks’ by implementing a little prepping and planning.
Plan and Prepare
Make sure you have plenty of tasty snacks in the house, prepped or easy to throw together. Dig out your small air-tight containers and pre-pack and portion-control your snacks.
I’ve listed some ideas below, but examples could be to pre-cut vegetables and store them in air-tight transparent containers. Transparent containers mean they’ll be easy to spot next time you’re on the hunt for a bite and find yourself peering in the fridge.
Pre-pack snacks in individual serving sizes so you can grab them when you’re heading out. Small bags of nuts and dried fruit; a pre-made scone or a healthier muffin can be thrown in your bag as you leave the house in a hurry.
Prepping should help stop you mindlessly grabbing and eating unhealthy foods and regretting it straight afterwards. ‘Mindlessly’ being the operative word here. When I ask clients to keep a food diary, most are surprised by how much they snack and eat over the course of a day.
When you find you’re hungry, craving a snack or just wanting a quick bite, then acknowledge it and question it; this way you’ve engaged your brain and started a logical conversation with yourself. “I’m hungry, and I fancy a packet of crisps. What’s a healthier option?”
Plan your healthy snacks in advance and write down what you need on your shopping list. Note the list below has serving sizes next to each option. I’ve talked about portion control before in How Serving Sizes Helped me lose Weight.
There’s a big difference between snacking on a pre-measured portion of nuts and dried fruit and mindlessly munching on nuts straight from the packet.
Keep Hunger at Bay with Healthy Snacks
1. celery or any vegetable sticks with a tablespoon of low-fat hummus
2. half a pear or apple spread with one teaspoon of peanut butter
3. small handful of nuts or seed
4. one slice of wholemeal toast spread with a little low-fat butter
5. two pieces of fruit
6. 125g low-fat yoghurt and a handful of berries
7. 75g portion of a low-fat ice cream
8. a smoothie made with 75g berries, 200ml of skimmed milk and a teaspoon of cocoa powder
9. two slices of fresh pineapple
10. two dessert spoons of fruit compote with a heaped tablespoon of low-fat natural yoghurt.
11. one blueberry pancake
12. one slice of malt loaf spread with a little marmalade
13. 20 small black or green olives
14. two rice cakes thinly spread with low-fat cream cheese and topped with a sliced apple
15. 20 frozen grapes
16. handful of lightly salted popcorn
17. four squares of good quality dark chocolate (if you have trigger foods and won’t be able to resist sticking to a small serving then make sure you only have an individual portion in the house. Alternatively, buy a healthier version or avoid keeping it in the house. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it, and you’ll find another snack.
18. One orange and cranberry scone with a teaspoon of jam. Which leads nicely to this week’s recipe
Making your healthy snacks in advance means you control the ingredients and can choose to use less fat or less sugar (read get sugar wise for weight loss). And though I wouldn’t recommend eating cakes, scones or flapjacks for every snack, it’s nice on occasion to change things up.
Healthy snacks don’t have to be all carrots and celery sticks. Don’t misunderstand me I’m quite partial to dipping them into a low-fat home-made dip, but I also like a nice cup of tea and a warm scone with a bit of jam.
The orange zest gives these scones an extra zing and they work out just under 120 calories per cake.