Looking for snack food to help with cravings on a diet? What are the best diet snacks?
So, it’s about 11:00 am and you are a few hours into your work day. You have had a healthy breakfast of natural yogurt, oats and fresh fruit and you are trying to stick to your new fat loss program but those hunger pains are starting to knock at the door.
It’s still a while until your lunch break and the tray of “office doughnuts” is starting to look very appealing! Bless those office colleagues always thinking about the team. You could get stuck into the plate of “stickiness” or you could have planned ahead.
I worked in an office for a few years and, from my experience, there were always cakes, cookies and other sweet goodies on offer. As I have always been conscious about the food that I eat on a daily basis, I refused to make a habit of getting stuck into these offerings. Instead, I would plan ahead. I didn’t just take my lunch to work with me; I took all of the food that I needed for the day, including healthy snacks for the morning and afternoon.
It can be fairly hard to resist food in this environment. You do have a lot that is against you. The first hurdle will be trying to convince yourself that you should not lunge at the plate and scarf down a nice moist cake or two — after all, you are hungry.
If you do manage to overcome this hurdle and decide that you are not going to send that chocolate-topped giant cookie down the hatch, you may then have a “friendly co-worker” push the plate under your nose and give it the old familiar, “Go on, just one isn’t going to hurt?” But if you are in the early stages of your new health plans, yes! One will hurt!
When you start with your new plans, you should establish solid routines before you start to have the odd treat here and there. Being strict in your first month or so could be the deciding factor between success or failure when it comes to achieving your goals. It will become easier to resist the temptation the longer that you are able to resist. This is something that you will just have to trust.
You are probably reading this because you want to know what to eat instead of all of those sticky treats, right? I will talk about the foods that may help you now, but I think it is important to understand the situations that lead you to the “un-healthy option.” There is a lot of psychology around eating habits and if you can understand or even preempt a situation, you will have a good chance of being able to control it.
First off; if you are trying to lose weight, it is best that you don’t skip meals. This will give you two benefits; you will make friends with your metabolism (this is a great companion to have along for the ride as it can really help you burn the fat: if you don’t look after this, it will hold you back). The second benefit is that you will not be as hungry and, therefore, you will be less likely to binge on bad foods.
I would advise that you eat 5 small meals per day. You have your breakfast, lunch and evening meal — that’s 3! But where are the other 2? This is where we fit our snacks in.
You should eat a snack in between your breakfast and lunch (around 10:30 am / 11:00 am, and one again between your lunch and evening meal). These snacks can be savory or sweet. Some people have a savage sweet tooth and prefer to snack on this kind of food whereas others have a savory craving. I am actually in both categories!
Healthy Savory & Sweet Snacks to Stop The Hunger
Here are a few things that you can try in place of the office nasties:
Popcorn is a great snack to have when you are on a weight loss diet. It has a fraction of the fat and calories in it than potato chips. So you can eat a few big handfuls of popcorn and be saving on extra calories. Popcorn is not a bad choice at all but do be aware of the coating on the popcorn. Although the “dirtiest, sweetest” popcorn still probably has less calories in it than a bag of potato chips, these coatings are where the extra calories start to mount up.
The best bet is to get slightly salted popcorn for your savory cravings and sweetened for your sweet tooth. Remember that the more additives in the popcorn, the worst it becomes for you. So it is probably best to stay away from the stuff if it is all sorts of pretty colors.
This is one of my favorites. When I was in the office, I got to a point where my body would actually tell me what time it was. 10:30 am every day, and my body would suddenly tell me it was hungry and that it was “Beef Jerky o’clock.”
This is a great low fat, high protein snack that is very convenient. If you are a meat eater, this is a great choice, especially if you are also doing some form of regular exercise.
Humus is another one of my favorites. Although it is high in fat, it is a good fat. However, if you are on a calorie-controlled diet, you may want to watch how much of this you eat. Humus can be great with carrot sticks, celery or other vegetables. It is possible to get some low fat naked tortilla chips that you can also add to this but you are looking at more calories than vegetables. If you do go for healthy tortilla chips, remember to watch your portion control.
Another good choice for a savory snack. Nuts do contain a lot of calories but they are a great snack as they can be filling. Portion control must also be observed when snacking on nuts. I would go for almonds as these have some good benefits like a good helping of vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-6.
We have looked at these with humus but sticks of vegetables are great on their own. In my experience, the best veggies to eat raw are carrots and celery sticks. I did go through a stage of raw broccoli spears and handfuls of plain raw spinach but this was not a great deal of fun!
I’m guessing that you have heard this before. Yes, almost every weight loss diet will tell you to eat fresh fruit. It is a good idea but sometimes the cravings for savory are never curbed. Fresh fruit should address your sweet cravings. A few great fruits to choose are blueberries, pomegranates, acai berries, bananas and dates. Dates are also very high in calories so be mindful of the amount that you eat. Dates are the the main ingredients for sticky toffee pudding so you can imagine how well these will address your sweet cravings.
Yes, chocolate, but dark chocolate. There have been studies that have shown that dark chocolate can actually have some great health benefits. I know that I don’t have to keep saying this, but “eat everything in moderation.” If you are going to eat dark chocolate as a snack, make sure that you only do this around three to four times per week and in small quantities. As with most other foods out there, there are different brands that will throw in lots of additives to their products, hence diluting the good benefits. There are also some good brands that sell organic dark chocolate. This is what I would aim for.
These are just a few of the snacks that I have eaten in the past that have helped me. If you are looking to lose weight but are really finding it a struggle to get past these cravings, you might want to try some of the above ideas.
I hope that this article has been useful. Thanks for reading!
As always, I will try to answer all questions and would love to hear of your progress and success stories, so, please, don’t forget to email me or leave a comment.