Losing weight doesn’t have to involve starving or depriving yourself of delicious food. Use healthy ingredients to prepare delicious, nutritious snacks.
When trying to lose weight, don’t think about what you can’t have. Instead, focus on eating foods that nourish your body and provide the essential nutrients for good health. Keep healthy ingredients on hand so you’ll always have something to prepare when you get hungry.
Stock your pantry and refrigerator with low calorie items to put together for snacks. Avoid processed sugars and other starches that contain empty calories and cause junk food cravings. If you fill up on high quality foods with enough protein and fiber, you won’t feel that constant pang of hunger.
For effective dieting, make sure you have plenty of snack foods that you can grab on the go. This will help prevent you from stopping off for a high-carb, high-fat snack that will sabotage your weight loss efforts. Avoid too much sodium and use spices or herbs for flavor.
Pantry and refrigerator ingredients to have on hand:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Low-sodium canned fruits and vegetables
- Garbanzo, kidney and black beans
- Wholegrain crackers
- Wholegrain, high-fiber cereal
- Wholegrain tortillas
- Turkey or salmon jerky
- Low-sodium rice crackers
- Cottage cheese
- Plain and flavored yogurt
- Low-fat cheese
- Frozen fruit-flavored treats
- Variety of spices and herbs
Baked Banana Treat
- Cooking spray
- 1 large banana
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. raisins
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Slice the banana and place the slices on the cookie sheet.
- Pour the orange juice over the banana slices.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon and raisins over the banana slices.
- Bake in a 350 F oven for approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
- Serve alone or with plain yogurt.
Fruit and Protein Smoothie
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 banana
- 4 large frozen strawberries
- 1 tbsp. protein powder
- 1 tsp. honey
- Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Mix on high speed until everything is blended.
- Pour into a large cup and drink with a straw.
Sweet Protein Trail Mix
- 1/2 cup of unsalted nuts
- 1/2 cup of yogurt-covered raisins or cranberries
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup of whole grain square cereal
- Pour all ingredients into a bowl and gently stir.
- Divide into 4 single-serving bags.
- Refrigerate until you need them. They will always be ready to grab on the run or place in a lunch box.
Savory Roll-Up Snacks
- 2 wholegrain tortillas
- 2 tbsp. humus
- 1 cucumber quartered lengthwise
- 1 carrot quartered lengthwise
- Spread 1 tbsp. of humus on each of the 2 wholegrain tortillas.
- Place the cucumber and carrot slices lengthwise on the tortillas.
- Roll the tortillas around the vegetables.
- Slice into rounds.
- Place the roll-up snacks on a serving tray and garnish with cherry tomatoes and watercress.
After you try these simple recipes, experiment on your own with healthy ingredients. You’re likely to discover some delicious dishes that nourish your body with protein, fiber and vitamins without adding pounds.