One of the biggest downfalls I see in my client’s that want to lose body fat, is what they eat between meals. Sure, it’s easy and delicious to have porridge in the morning, a salad or soup for lunch and everyone’s always telling me they eat veges at night. So why are people still struggling to drop body fat? I believe a huge reason is what goes in, between meals.
Why snacking could be your downfall
Snacks can really make or break your dieting efforts. You’re standing in the line at your favourite coffee shop, and those muffins look soooo good right? And they may even say ‘skinny’ – less than 5% fat… and you’re starving…
Have you ever thought about why they taste so good? They are FULL OF SUGAR! And what does sugar turn to if you’re not training intensely? That’s right, FAT!
Think about the little things that sneak into your mouth without you even noticing throughout the day. A handful of crisps, a biscuit, some sweets here and there… How much better to have food with you that you can eat instead, and know that you are getting in good nutrition and less calories.
Retraining yourself to make smarter choices
Most people I speak to find it hardest when they are out and stuck for choices. I suggest you make it a rule not to leave the house without some food in your handbag. Sure, people laugh at me when I pull out a homemade muffin, or some grilled chicken wrapped in foil (which I take everywhere I go!). But if you don’t provide for yourself, next thing you’ll be on a train, or at the shops or stuck somewhere with very limited options. Or you’ll be staring at the sweets in the cinema or supermarket…
Whatever it takes, try and always take your own food when you go out. You can’t rely on the places out there to have good options.
To help you remember to take food with you, you could put your house keys with your prepared food in a plastic bag in your fridge! Or do what I did and have a note on the back of your door ‘Have you got your food?’
Failing this, here are some ideas for you.
Snacks to eat when you’re on the run
These beat most the fat and sugar laden snacks you see when out and about:
- Starbucks – Carrot/celery and hummus, fruit salad, or a tuna bean salad. They even have seasonal fruit 🙂
- Supermarket – A bag of raw veges e.g. radishes or sugarsnaps, a pack of pre-cooked prawns and a low fat hummus – yum!
- Most shops – Beef jerky / Biltong – low in fat, high in protein. Very portable protein, great for holidays!
- Supermarket – A tub of cottage cheese with berries mixed in
- Health food store – Protein bar, but read the labels and avoid the ones high in sugar and fat
- Most stores – Vegetable juice – Carrot, celery, tomato etc. (good for hangovers!)
- Sashimi and a seaweed salad
- Sushi – 3-4 pieces – with large pieces protein e.g chicken / prawn (ideally brown rice)
Healthy snacks to make at home (most are 200-300 calories)
Most of these you can pack in containers or wrap and take with you. They are generally very quick to prepare. Although some of them require a bit more prep and organisation, I promise it’s worth the effort for your health, fat loss and well- being.
- Baby carrots with a cottage cheese and salmon dip
- Berry smoothie made with low fat yoghurt or protein powder
- Carrot / cucumber / celery sticks with low fat hummus & cottage cheese
- Cherry tomatoes or a carrot and some low fat deli chicken breast
- Coleslaw – Buy the bags without dressing and add your own vinegar + cherry tomatoes and tuna / chicken / salmon
- Cottage cheese – whip stevia and berries through
- Egg – Hard boiled and a piece of fruit (you can boil half a dozen to keep in the fridge for a quick snack through the week)
- Fruit salad – + a protein shake or low fat yoghurt
- Fruit – 1 large piece e.g. an apple or 2 small – e.g. mandarin / kiwifruit + a protein shake
- Muffin – homemade healthy, sweet – with oats/fruit/yoghurt (ask me for the recipe!)
- Muffin – homemade healthy, savoury – made with brown rice, tuna, egg, cottage cheese, herbs (cook and freeze)
- Omlette – You can whip a 1 yolk omlette quite quickly. Add spinach, tomato and mushrooms
- Porridge or muesli – with low fat yoghurt or protein powder
- Prawns – Pre-cooked. Dip in hummus or a natural yoghurt dip made with lemon and herbs
- Raw beans – A big packet has less than 50 calories and a balance of protein/carbs
- Raw nuts (watch your porton size), a protein shake and a small piece of fruit
- Raw veges – e.g baby radishes, sugarsnap peas or brocolli dipped in cottage cheese
- Rice – brown rice with tuna, lemon juice, soy sauce and herbs
- Ryvita crackers – with salmon or tuna and sliced tomato or hummus and cottage cheese, or chopped boiled egg and avocado
- Rye crackers – with nut butter
- Sweet potato – cook in microwave or boil for 5-7 minutes, add cottage cheese / tuna / salmon
- Vege soup – homemade with chicken breast or lean meat
- Yoghurt – low fat / low sugar. Add your own fresh or frozen berries and raw seeds
What makes a good snack?
The reason these snacks are much better choices than ‘junk-food’ is that they provide:
– Fewer calories
– Better nutrition (e.g more quality fuel for your body)
– More protein so they will fill you up and sustain you for longer
– Less sugar and fat = less fat on your body!
Choose a few and give them a go. Or be creative and come up with some of your own.
It’s your body, it’s precious and deserves the best you can give it. Please don’t let the shops suck you in with their greatly presented sugary and fat-laden foods. They may look nice, but they don’t provide you with the life-giving fuel and energy you need. They will only take you away from your goals.
Be strong and choose the best option as often as you can and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a better looking and feeling body!
Image / Flickr – ZoeShuttleworth