To snack or not to snack? That is the question. Choosing the right snacks to help you reach your weight loss goal can be tricky.
Choosing the wrong snack can make or break a healthy diet and can be the difference between whether or not you reach your weight loss goals
Here are some top tips on choosing the best snacks to stave off hunger and keep your goals in check!
9 tips for choosing smart snacks
- Keep some healthy fresh food options like fruits and vegetables on hand so you don’t get caught reaching for the not-so-great snacks.
- Leave the house armed with healthy snacks in your bag. Nuts packed into portion-controlled containers are a great idea.
- Have fresh fruit on display (like a fruit bowl on the kitchen bench) so you are more likely to eat that instead of raiding the pantry for chocolate when you are craving something sweet.
- Be prepared. Plan your snacks based off food groups. Aim for a variety of snacks that are dairy, fruit, protein or vegetable based.
- Choose snacks high in protein that will help to keep you fuller for longer. Try a small tub of natural yoghurt topped with fresh berries or reduced fat cheese with some crackers.
- Air-popped popcorn is a great snack choice. A little goes a long way, 5 cups of air-popped popcorn (about 40g) is less than 150 calories.
- Leftover veggies can be perfect snack choices. Use up leftover celery and carrot by cutting into batons and dipping in natural yoghurt or hummus.
- Step away from the snack and confectionary aisle in the supermarket. Instead head for the fruit and vegetable section.
- Exercise your willpower and say no to the biscuits, bars, chocolates and chips that may be offered your way. They won’t do you any favours.
Try these tips if you find yourself reaching for not-so-healthy snacks. You could also try keeping a food diary and looking for some trends. Perhaps you are always hungry mid-morning? Are you eating to put off tasks like cleaning? Are you snacking a lot after dinner while bored and watching TV?
For some delicious snack ideas head to the snacks tab in the 12WBT recipe index or check out our Snacks factsheet (members only).
The next 12 weeks are going to be a bit of a challenge but I need to get back on track. I started on a gluten-free diet recently and unless you have a lot of fruit and vegetables there are not too many fat-free options so I have kept going for the gluten-free snacks which are full of fat. Because I am on dialysis I need to have a low potassium diet so tricky again but not impossible.
So I need to look at having pretty much the same diet day in day out. For the past week I have been having a two egg white omelette with one slice of gluten free toast, for breakfast for lunch I have a chicken breast salad with pineapple and raspberries – sounds disgusting but it is delicious, for dinner I have grilled fish and vegetables low in potassium sprinkled with lemon juice. No soft drinks or fruit juices, just a drop of lemon in water. I have already noticed a significant difference on the scales. Mainly because I have also cut out salt. The worst time is when I am on dialysis at night and have to sit still for five hours. I always use to take a picnic with me. Now I just take a small bowl of popcorn and eat it really slowly. I also bought a ice snow machine that shreds ice so I have lemon flavoured ice instead of water with lemon because you actually still feel like you are eating something. The discipline is in leaving the snacks in the kitchen, or not buying them at all, because once I am on my machine I can’t get up and help myself. For the first few day I was like “I will take this just in case” and of course I ended up eating everything. If they are not there I can’t eat them. It is going to be an interesting few months and I hope I can stick to it. The worst part is that bad nausea is relieved by eating and I am hoping that once my stomach shrinks, the nausea will be relieved with less food. Catch 22 but I am willing to give it a good go.
I am a great fan of MB’s attitude to food, and I have been on her diet once before, with great success, but I ate the meat and fish options. Now we are trying to do the vegan thing in my family (my daughter inspired us to do it), and I am struggling with this as I am constantly starving especially after a work out/ the day after. the vegan food just doesn’t seem to fill me up , so I end up snacking on spoonfuls of peanut butter, handfuls of nuts etc (not doing cakes, and have stopped chocolate bingeing). I bought a plant based protein powder (not MB’s btw..) and I hated the taste! My biggest problem I guess is that I am always hungry and that some of the vegan protein replacements such as nut cheeses etc seem so calorie rich (no-one in vegan-land seems to count calories, ie the recipes never have calorie counts..) that I am at a loss at how to lose (weight!).. Mind you I feel fit and healthy and working out gives me lots of energy. Barbo 51 y/o
Hi Barbo – A vegan diet can be done very well with loads of plant food including some terrific plant protein, but for some people the ‘filling power’ of lean meat, dairy products and eggs just cannot be beaten. It sounds as though you have some great intentions to give the ‘vegan lifestyle’ a go, but I can hear in your voice that it’s just not working for you from a ‘satiating and satisfying’ perspective. How about trying a modified approach, whereby you have some dairy based snacks like yoghurt, and perhaps include some meat/chicken/fish a few times a week. Do what feels right for you. If you are still eager to become a full vegan, you can drop back the meat and dairy intake gradually so that you have time to adjust and explore all the wonderful alternatives available.
All the best with it,
12WBT Support Crew
Will the 12 WBT work to if you don’t have a gym?
Hi Maddie – Yes, if you prefer to work out at home then you can, that’s the beauty of 12WBT! Most Exercise Plans have 4 different Exercise Locations to choose from – Gym Classes, Gym Machines, At Home and Outdoors. While following the At Home option for your Exercise Plan, you can either follow the online Workout Videos or you can follow the printed Exercise Plan, or a mix of both. To find out more, please feel free to head on to our website – https://www.12wbt.com/faqs/categories/1-introduction-to-12wbt
All the best,
12WBT Support Crew
Could you explain what nutrients are as I thought veggies were full of goodness and am now confused regarding your advice about fruit having nutrients but not veggies. In reference to your answer to Paula. Thank you.
Hi Mary – ‘Nutrients’ is a broad term for macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrate) and micronutrients (vitamins (Vit C, E, B6, etc.), minerals (iron, zinc calcium, etc.), antioxidants). Fruit AND vegetables contain lots of micronutrients but not a lot of energy. For this reason, they can be made more energy dense and even more nutrient packed, by eating them with other foods such as nuts (higher in protein), nut butter (higher in healthy fats), sweet potato (higher in carbohydrates). This can also help with feelings of fullness, which can assist with appetite regulation and weight loss efforts. Don’t read too much into it – in short, fruit and veggies are fantastic and absolutely full of goodness. Aim for 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day!
All the best
12WBT Support Crew
This a truly uninspiring list of recommendations.
Lists like this news to be specific as all fruits and vegetables have different properties that may be beneficial or not to regularly snacking on.
Sorry to say, but modern dietetics with university trained dietitians is more and more out of touch. This is a good example of that.
Hi Linda – Thanks for your post! We’re sorry to hear you find the list uninspiring. Simple, practical and healthy snack options is something that a lot of people struggle with – swapping a processed snack bar/chocolate bar/cafe muffin/large sugary coffee with some sort of fruit and/or vegetable is going to be a win, regardless of the nitty gritty properties of each fruit/vegetable. Here at 12WBT we recommend members eat 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables – this is for general health and is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines. At the moment, most Australians don’t meet these recommendations so aiming to include more of fruit and veg into the day is only going to be beneficial.
All the best,
12WBT Support Crew
Best fruit to snack on that also offers the best fuel after or before a workout? and vegetables , same question…
There is no ‘best option’ – those fruits and vegetables that you enjoy most are winners. Fruit – banana, pear, apple, orange or 2 smaller fruits (e.g. kiwi) are awesome. When it comes to veggies, these don’t provide a lot of nutrients or energy so eating them with something with a bit more fuel is a must. For example, celery sticks with peanut butter, carrot sticks with hummus, capsicum with cottage cheese, etc. Enjoy! 🙂
12WBT Support Crew
Rice cakes, cruskits.
Good or bad?
There are so many varieties of rice cakes and cruskits available. Make sure you choose the best option for your calorie and energy needs. My pick of Cruskit varieties would be the Rye Cruskits as they have more fibre than other varieties and less sodium.
The same goes for rice cakes as there are so many options. The best options are the thin rice cakes that are based on wholegrain brown rice. Some varieties also include linseeds, buckwheat or quinoa so keep an eye out for these the next time you go shopping.
12WBT Nutrition Content Writer