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Low Calorie and High Nutrition Snacks for Weight Loss
We are all familiar with the hunger pangs that we experience in the gap between meals. Ignoring these pangs is not easy and can lead to overeating at mealtimes. The good news is that you can effectively silence these hunger pangs with some low calorie snacks that are healthy, nutritious, and filling. Dieters who eat five to six small meals per day can include these low calories snacks as part of their daily dietary regimen.
Raw vegetables are great low calorie, high-nutrition snacks. The next time you have hunger pangs, tackle them with a variety of vegetables sticks including sliced carrots, bell peppers, radishes, mushrooms, broccoli, celery, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes. Fresh vegetable salads with a dash of paprika or pepper, and a spritz of fresh lemon for dressing are filling and provide your body with nutrients. Bottled salad dressings can add unnecessary fat and calories, so use natural herbs and spices. Roasting vegetables brings out their natural flavor and can be eaten with rye crisps for a healthy, fiber-rich snack.
If your cravings lean toward the sweet side, a healthy, nutritious option is fruit. Mixed and diced together in a salad or eaten whole, those cravings can be alleviated with a wide variety of fresh fruits including mangoes, apples, watermelons, grapes, pineapples, peaches, cherries, kiwis, papayas, strawberries, grapefruits and blueberries. Make a fruit smoothie with cold water or fat free milk or yogurt, or snack on a baggie of blueberries. Use fresh or frozen fruits over the canned variety as these fruits are in their natural state and do not include sugary syrups.
Protein snacks can help you feel satiated for a longer period of time and provide essential amino acids in your diet. Sources of healthy protein include almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, low-fat dairy products and nut butters. Nuts are high in fat and calories, but the fat is heart-healthy. If you are on a weight-loss diet, you do need to control your portions to ensure that your daily caloric intake doesn’t exceed your energy requirements. Protein aids in a variety of bodily functions, and along with weight-bearing exercise, aids in building muscle mass, which boosts your metabolic rate.
Whole grains also make good low calorie nutritious snacks. Whole grain cereal, oatmeal, a whole-grain granola bar, popcorn, whole-grain or rye crackers, a slice of whole grain bread or a whole-grain English muffin provide a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as helping tide you over until mealtime. Again, watch the add-ons such nut butter or humus, which add additional calories.
Mix and match these nutritious low-calorie products to create interesting and tasty snacks like a combination of fruit and yogurt, cereal and yogurt, or a slice of whole-grain bread with salsa or your favorite veggies. Be innovative, experiment and create satisfying combinations.
While consuming snacks, dieters should remember to monitor the quantity of snacks and the calories consumed. An easy rule of thumb is to keep total calorie count at snack time below 100, but your primary concern should be to simply balance out your total daily caloric intake to a level where you are ingesting less calories than your body is utilizing, while still maintaining adequate nutrient intake.
You can find many low calorie recipes as well as weight loss tips in The Healthy Way Diet Manual and Recipe Book.