Eating balanced snacks between meals can energize you and help your weight loss efforts, as it will prevent you from reaching for nutrient poor, high calorie junk foods. Here are 10 quick and easy snacks you can try for energy and weight loss!
While nuts may be high in fats, they are actually an excellent snack to help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way! The fats found in nuts are primarily unsaturated fats (a.k.a. healthy fats) that can reduce your desire to eat by switching on some of the satiety hormones in your intestines.
Eating a handful of nuts (roughly 1 oz.) each day also provides your body with nutrients like fiber and protein, which can help control your appetite. In fact, studies have found nut eaters excrete around 10% more fat!
Here is the amount of nuts to have as a snack for weight loss:
- 20 almonds
- 10 Brazil nuts
- 15 cashews
- 4 chestnuts
- 20 hazelnuts
- 15 macadamias
- 15 pecans
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 30 pistachio kernels out of shell
- 10 whole walnuts or 20 walnut halves
- a small handful of mixed nuts (about two of each nut type, not including chestnuts)
2. Boiled egg
Egg are a great snack option for keeping your energy levels high, as they contain nutrients like iron needed for proper energy production. Iron is an essential mineral needed by your body to form new red blood cells, transport oxygen to your muscles, and keep your immune system strong. Low iron levels can leave you feeling tired and lethargic, especially when it comes to work and exercise, so consuming foods high in iron will help you feel energized. Two hard boiled eggs provide almost 15% of your daily iron requirements. Try boiling a bunch of eggs at the start of the week, run them under cold water once boiled, and then peel and keep them in the fridge for a ready-to-eat snack.
Bananas are known as a happy mood food because they help fuel your body and brain with long lasting energy that makes you feel good! Bananas contain low GI carbohydrates, which are essential for keeping you feeling energized throughout the day! They’re also rich in Vitamin B6 which is required for energy production.
Bananas do contain natural sugars; however, this is actually a good thing for weight loss, as it provides your body with the natural sugars it needs and reduces your processed or refined sugar cravings. Here is a recipe for “Easy Banana Nice-Cream”, which you can whip up as a nutritious alternative to regular ice-cream.
Easy Banana Nice-cream
- Ripe bananas (black spots) – use as many as you like
- Peel & slice bananas and place into a plastic container in the freezer overnight.
- Once frozen, remove bananas from freezer.
- Place bananas into a blender & blend until forms ice-cream consistency.
- Scoop out and enjoy!
To flavor your nice-cream, try:
- Vanilla – add a dash of vanilla extract
- Cinnamon – add a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Mango – add a peeled, frozen mango
- Berry – add some favorite berries that have been washed & frozen
- Peanut butter – add a tablespoon of homemade peanut butter or any other nut butter you like
- Peppermint – add a dash of peppermint extract
- Chocolate – add a tablespoon of cacao
- Passionfruit – add the pulp of 2 passionfruits
- Coconut – add a few tablespoons of shredded coconut
4. Baked Veggies
Vegetables are your best friend when it comes to healthy weight loss! Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, they are extremely nutrient dense and will help fill you up without all the extra calories. Try roasting a big tray of mixed vegetables at the start of week like pumpkin, zucchinis, sweet potato, broccoli, eggplant, capsicum, and onion. Then simply portion this out into small containers ready for a mid-week snack.
Edamame, which are immature soy beans, are a great weight loss and energy boosting snack option! Soy beans are the only plant food to contain all of the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. Consuming adequate protein is essential when trying to lose weight so you can maintain your muscle mass. Edamame are also rich in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full while reducing unwanted snacking.
6. Veggie Juice
When you want a snack but you’re not overly hungry, a cold-pressed veggie juice can be a great option! While it won’t have as much fiber and vitamins as eating the veggies whole, it will still provide you with small amounts of nutrients and help hydrate you, which is essential for keeping your energy levels up! Did you know that when your body is 2% dehydrated, you can experience physical and mental fatigue? Cucumbers and celery are excellent hydrating veggies you can add to your juices!
Chickpeas are high in plant protein, fiber, and low GI carbohydrates. These nutrients can help with weight loss, as they keep you feeling full and energized, which reduces your likelihood of snacking on highly processed foods and sweets. Here is a recipe for Coconut Roasted Chickpeas.
Recipe: Coconut Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 x 15 oz. tin chickpeas
- 1 tbs cumin seeds
- 3 tbs coconut flakes
- Olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 425°
- Drain chickpeas. Place onto a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, coating evenly all over.
- Sprinkle with cumin & bake on high until crispy. Note – Mine took ~20minutes and I mixed the chickpeas around in the baking tray half way through cooking so they baked evenly.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with coconut, and enjoy!
Berries are an excellent option for a healthy weight loss snack. They are low in calories and contain fiber to help fill you up. You can choose fresh or frozen berries and can serve them with some regular or Greek style yogurt for a yummy snack.
Veggie sticks are a great option to snack on for weight loss. Low in calories and high in fiber, they provide a big bang for your buck when it comes to weight loss! Pair them with a healthy dip like hummus made from chickpeas and you have a great weight loss snack that will also keep you feeling energized.
Quick, easy, and convenient, a tin of tuna is a good weight loss snack option. High in protein, tuna can help keep you feel full and satisfied, which can help manage cravings. You can add flavor to your tuna by adding some chili, garlic, curry, or any of your other favorite additions.
Next time you feel like you need a snack, try one of the healthy options above. It will energize you and help keep you on track with your weight loss efforts.
Read more from our “Eat Well Series”: