Healthy snacks are the perfect remedy for those situations where hunger catches us off guard. Those of you who track macros and eat well will know preparation is key. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is literally the rule to live by when you’re trying to lose weight or stick to fitness goals.
For many, the hardest thing to control is snacking. Lots of people feel the need to eat every couple of hours at least! Some people feel best this way and it keeps their energy levels up. If you’re really hungry, you can lose all rationality and eat whatever is near, usually high GI, sugar fuelled carbs. This can send you on a crazy cycle of uncontrollable cravings for the rest of the day, so it’s best avoided!
These are the snacks we keep on hand to make sure we stick to our macros and stay full up & bursting with energy!
High (good) fat, low carb snacks:
High-protein almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Great for your skin, almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, which protecst against UV light damage and Alzheimer’s disease. Minerals manganese and magnesium help strengthen bones and regulate blood sugar.
Another great source of monounsaturated fats, avocados really fill you up and and are seriously satisfying. A fab source of folic acid, avocados have anti-inflammatory properties. Great in smoothies and even as a chocolate mousse base, but I like them best in my super-quick guacamole, keep the avocado stone and put it in the middle of the guacamole to stop it turning brown.
Low fat, low carb snacks:
Not Butterkist!! Homemade popcorn is way better, as you can control what flavouring and oil you put on it. 15g bags of Sweet & Salty popcorn from M&S come in at a close second and are an ideal substitute for crisps or chocolate in a 3pm lull, but with only 8.4g of carbs and 0.5g fat per bag.
Green & Blacks Miniature 70% chocolate bars
Sometimes you just need chocolate. I keep these teeny bars handy for ultimate damage limitation. Only 15g, but just enough to hit a craving, a 15g bar contains 84kcal, 5.3g fat and 6.6g carbs. I guess you could just weigh out 15g of a bigger bar, but two squares of chocolate is demoralising and there’s something I love about being able to eat the (tiny) entire bar and throw the wrapper away without reaching for more.
Hailed as ‘the ultimate superfood’, blueberries are an absolute god send. Just 100g (4oz) of blueberries contain the same amount of age-defying antioxidants as five servings of other fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants help guard against a range of cancers, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and cataracts, Alzheimer’s and age-related neurological diseases. That same amount contains a mere 57 kcal and 14.5g of carbs and a pathetic 0.3g of fat! Some research has shown that 100g a day can boost brain power, speeding up cognitive performance, memory and even slowing the ageing process of the skin.
Total Greek Yoghurt 0% Fat
My latest obsession, these little pots provide a whopping 10+g of protein! Really thick, luxurious Greek yoghurt feels like a treat and is very filling and satisfying. Great with honey and fruit for breakfast, a snack or dessert.
More of a topping than an actual snack, but I had to mention these as they’re unbelievable boosters to yoghurts, porridge, salads and smoothies. Another nutrient packed superfood, 2 tbsps of hemp seeds contains 10.5g protein and the full spectrum of amino acids, including those which the body doesn’t produce naturally and are vital to muscle growth and regeneration (the same stuff packed into BCAA’s). As if that wasn’t enough, this tiny serving will give you the ideal ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9; fatty acids which help maintain optimum CV and immune health.
Whipped protein dessert recipe:
Layer blueberries, 1 Total Greek 0% fat yoghurt, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, honey and strawberries in a small bowl or glass.