Those hunger waves that penetrate your being between meals can sabotage your weight maintenance goals. Reaching for unhealthy snacks to curb your hunger pains is very common. Usually, those unhealthy snacks are convenience foods that take little preparation, are conveniently packed and immediately satisfy the urge of “I’m hungry and I want it now”. Unhealthy snacks have gained their reputation because they are usually high in sugar, carbohydrates and fats.
The body tends to crave these unhealthy foods with vengeance but the truth is that when you are hungry, it is because the body is crying out for wholesome nutrients that satisfy longer. Unhealthy snack foods such as potato chips, biscuits, sweets, cake and junk food, just to name a few, satisfies your hunger initially and then you are hungry again. Sugar, fats and high carbohydrate foods give you an initial boost in energy but quickly this high send the body into a slow-mo mode, robbing you of energy and vitality. This article lists many low-calorie healthy snacks you can reach for, next time you have an attack of hunger pains between meals.
Sometimes hunger is mistaken for being thirsty. Try drinking a glass of iced water and see if it satisfies the false hunger pains first. Iced water burns more calories digesting it as the body has to warm it up first.
Fresh fruit is nutrient packed. The sugars in fruit are natural and won’t give you a spike in insulin in the blood. Insulin spikes give you an initial high and then sluggishness seeps in. Most fruits are low in calories, so you won’t sabotage your weight goals.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, a handful at a time make a perfect snack. In large amounts, they are high in calories. They contain healthy cholesterol-lowering fats and are a rich source of protein for healthy muscles. Walnuts are food for the brain and sunflower seeds are a natural anti-inflammatory.
Buy plain natural yoghurt and jazz it up with your favourite berries and fruit segments. Supermarket shelf yoghurt tends to be high in sugar and you can’t modify it to your own individual tastes. A cup of homemade yoghurt with added fruit is only 130 calories and will satisfy your taste for sugar and dairy.
If you like a crunchy snack, try microwaving a bag of low-fat popcorn which is now available in the supermarket. Pop Corn is high in fibre and low in calories provided it is low fat. 1 Cup is only 31 calories. Air poppers are readily available for purchase and a bag of kernels to pop will last a long time. Just add a couple of sprays of low-fat butter and a little salt to your own individual tastes.
Baked Chips or Corn Chips with Hummus
This is a healthy alternative to regular fried chips. Baked chips and corn chips contain less fat and fewer calories. 20 baked chips or corn chips contain 110 calories as opposed to 200 calories for fried chips. Hummus is made from chickpeas and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. It is high in protein and healthy omega 3 fats which helps decrease blood cholesterol and sugar levels.
Baked Apples with Cinnamon
Simply slice apples with skin thinly, place on a baking tray, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until crisp. This makes a healthy, flavoursome snack with crunch at only 80 calories per apple.
Sugar-free jelly is available in the supermarkets. It contains no calories and has no significant nutrient content. It would be considered a stomach filler to stave off hunger. It comes in many flavours and it has 2 servings per packet.
Tuna and Salmon
Tinned tuna and salmon are available in single serve tins or packets seasoned with spices and other flavours. Tuna and salmon are high in protein and contain healthy fats that reverse high cholesterol levels in the blood. Being seafood products, they are very low in calories.
Pickles will satisfy a salt craving without the extra calories. Munch on a few dills, pickled onions or olives. Most pickles are less than 20 calories per serve. You can add a few slices of your favourite low-fat cheese.
Healthy low-calorie snacks do not have to be boring, flavourless foods. By making healthy snack choices, your body will thank you in the long run.