Diet Snacks Guide - Best Munchies for Dieting
Stick to your diet... tastily
Despite myths, snacking can actually be a good way to maintain a healthy weight; it's better to eat less at a time more often throughout the day, says Linda McLachlan, RD, CDN, a New Jersey dietitian with Nutrition Matters, LLC. However, your choice of munchies can prove to be your downfall.
Dieting might sound like a daunting task, but there are some ways you can help satisfy your daylong cravings while keeping to your diet plan. In this hub you can read about general diet-snacking tips and certain foods that are best, in addition to links and more to understand what you need to stick to your diet while satisfying your need to eat.
Quick, Healthy and Easy Snack Ideas From Bethenny Frankel
Have you ever surprised yourself by opening up a bag of fatty potato chips and managing to somehow scrape every last salty remnant from the oily packaging? This happens all the time but can be easily avoided with a few "strategies" to get you on your way to a healthy weight.
1. Keep a "snack" diary
You should keep a record of how much you snacked on a certain food item every day of your diet. That way you can confront any bad habits by looking at them written down in from of you. You can also note when you ate those snacks to try and occupy yourself during that time rather than find yourself with empty eating time.
2. Make a plan
You don't want to find yourself starving at the end of the day and eating everything in sight by the time you get home. Make sure you have healthier snacks about you when and where you'll really feel hungry. Keep things in your work desk or the car. You can also prepare by doing more to alter your day's activities to prevent ultra-hunger later. You might even want to think about what you're going to each and when; make a schedule of snacks and calculate if they'll have the calories you'll need to make it through the day. You can use your snack diary from Step 1 to help you make your snacking goals.
3. Try a different routine
Many people find that snacking on certain foods at particular times is actually a habit developed perhaps since childhood. You may have always eaten buttery popcorn during every movie... but maybe it's time to change that. Instead of continuing on with these unhealthy traditions, ditch them and maybe even add some exercise in your routine rather than eating.
4. Meet cravings with healthy foods rather than junk
So what you are really feeling a need for chocolate right now. To satisfy that melty smooth feeling, get some frozen yogurt instead. Substitute carrots rather than a Butterfinger bar. Find foods that will provide that sensation you want without the calories, fat, etc. Also search for different versions of the food you love; maybe there's a low-calorie option. It probably won't taste better, but a diet isn't always supposed to.
5. Throw in some protein
Don't go for chocolate or a super-rich coffee drink if you need a pick-up. Instead, pack your snacks with protein, which will provide all the staying power you need. You can find protein in nuts (keep this low, however, because they also have lots of fat) as well as dairy products such as cheese or yogurt, and even meat (nothing wrong with a little lunchmeat for a snack).
6. Pay attention to portions
If you have a problem with portion control, try purchasing your snacks in single-serving amounts. Granola bars, individual yogurts, small cheeses and vegetables slices are great, for instance. You can also prepare foods before and set them in little baggies, one portion in each. These methods are also more convenient to carry around with you. Just be careful that, if you're buying prepackaged snacks, that they don't have too much fat or sugar; processed foods can often be a Catch-22.
7. Indulge every once in a while
It's ok to submit to cravings if you can control them. Get small delicacies, however, and don't go for the whole candy bar. Satisfying yourself sometimes will help keep you on track for the rest of the time; those temptations will feel more special that way, something to look forward to after hard work.
Choosing Health Snacks (CBS News)
Great and easy diet snacks
There are certain foods that work really well for diet snacking, items that will help keep you on track to lose the weight you need.
Homemade trail mix
Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean you have to have snacks that are low-fat. A good example of diet-friendly trail mix can include nuts, raisins, even chocolate chips (small ones, of course!). The fattier sweetness and salt makes you feel satisfied when you munch on it, which keeps you from eating too much later. You can mix up the ingredients in your trail mix, too; try different types of nuts, butterscotch chips, dried fruit and more to make it more interesting and tasty while keeping it healthier.
Recommended serving size: An ounce of nuts, like walnuts, and a teaspoon of raisins and chocolate chips each... Approximately 250 calories
Fruit slices with low-fat cheese
This is something that my mom would always fix for my brother and me while we were kids. The fruit is great for supplying you with water, fiber and antioxidants. You can also substitute fruit for vegetables and cheese for cottage cheese. The fat in the cheese is great for keeping you fuller longer. This also goes for the fat in dips, like ranch dip, with vegetables. You can also try fruit with plain yogurt as well; the dairy products are great for protein.
Recommended serving size: A medium-size apple with a small cheese wedge... Approximately 105 calories
Graham crackers with peanut butter
Instead of indulging yourself needlessly with cookies, try this snack instead. Who knew peanut butter would land on this list? The sweetness of the graham crackers and the saltiness of light peanut butter should help satisfy your hunger pangs. The peanut butter will also fulfill your protein and fat needs while keeping you full until your upcoming meal. Feeling in the mood for cookies? While one standard Oreo or Chips Ahoy won't likely derail your diet, it's tough to stop at one. That's where a good substitute comes in. McLachlan recommends 2 graham cracker squares spread with light peanut butter. You'll get a mix of sweet and salty flavors, plus a protein and fat boost from the peanut butter, which will keep you full till your next meal.
Recommended serving size: Two graham cracker squares and a tablespoon of light peanut butter... 155 calories!
Tomato soup with baby carrots
Yes! I love tomato soup! This combination almost even serves as a small meal to stave you off until dinner. The fat in the tomato soup will fill up your tummy and both will provide you with plenty of good nutrients such as potassium, lycopene (great for fighting cancer!) and beta-carotene. Thankfully tomato soup often comes in those convenient portable microwavable containers; they even fit in car cupholders! If you don't want the sodium of regular canned soup, you can try to find a low-sodium version of it or dump a little out and dilute the remaining soup with water.
Recommended serving size: A can of Campbell's Soup at Hand tomato soup, a cup of baby carrots... 190 calories
Frozen tamale pie
Yes, it comes frozen, and yes, it's good Mexican food. These work great as diet snacks because they are low-fat and have healthy carbs for energy (from the beans and the polenta), protein to keep you filled, and vegetables for vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Amy's makes great frozen tamale pies (among other boxed food items, like Spinach and Feta pockets... one of my favorites!) with natural ingredients.
Recommended serving size: An Amy's Mexican Tamale Pie... 150 calories
Not enough time in the day to eat enough throughout the day? Then your diet snack should include plenty of protein along with some fat to get you through. Homemade egg salad has both of these. All you have to do is chop up a whole hard-boiled egg and the white of another, then mix them up with a tablespoon of low-fat mayo. Fat is good for slowing digestion to keep you feeling fuller; the protein keeps you satisfied longer as well. Sticking it on a piece of bread doesn't hurt either; a slice usually only has 100 calories and the carbs will ensure the snack sticks with you.
Recommended serving size: A whole hard-boiled egg and one white, a tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise... 145 calories
Canned mandarin oranges with light whipped topping
I like going for canned mandarin oranges because they taste great and they often come in smaller 11-ounce cans for portion control. This fruit is great for vitamin C and antioxidants. The whipped topping keeps down the fat while helping you satisfy your cravings for something "bad"... like ice cream. You might even want to try yogurt if you want something heavier than the whipped topping.
Recommended serving size: Half a cup of canned mandarin oranges with two tablespoons light whipped topping... only 50 calories!
- Snacks for eating healthy at the mall
What a great resource… yes, people definitely get hungry when they go shop at the mall, but there’s so much junk in the food courts. Thankfully there are a few healthy snacks for your diet.
- Easy Snack Ideas for a Healthy Diet
Easy snack ideas for a healthy diet
- Snacks: How they fit into a healthy diet
Mayo Clinic provides some insight into how snacking can work with a diet. There is some great information on the benefits of snacking, examples of healthy snacks and calories included.
- Kalyn's Top Ten South Beach Diet Snacks
Kalyn’s Kitchen is here to help you choose some great diet snacks if you’re put yourself on the South Beach Diet. There are some sample snacks along with reviews and comments by readers of the blog.
- Atkins Diet Snacks
Here are some great diet snacks to help you feel full while on the Atkins diet. Read through the multitude of choices while reading reviews, writers favorites and some really bad snacks.
- Protein Diet Snacks & Desserts
Protein Diet Snacks - Protein Supplements from DietDirect.com - your source for protein supplements, meal replacements, protein diet shakes, protein diet drinks, protein diet bars, diet foods and weight loss programs, at discount prices.
- Feds, legal threats put snacks on a diet
Read this USA Today article on what the government did to crack down on unhealthy snack foods and bad labeling, leading to the food products and packaging we see on shelves today.
- ExtendBar - Low Carb, Diabetic Diet Snack Food
Not only is this product great for a diet, but it also helps diabetics stay on track. Learn more about this professionally developed low-carb food that stabilizes blood sugar.
- Healthy Snacks for the Budget Shopper - The Budget Smart Girl's Guide to the Universe
Sure, its healthy, but it can also be very expensive. Susan Palmquist of Garden and Earth puts some insight into diet snacking and offers some advice on how to eat healthy while on a budget.
More by this Author
- EDITOR'S CHOICE32
In college, I became anorexic and am thankful to have overcome that condition. Learn more about my experience so that you can learn from my mistakes.
It may seem impossible to go out to eat while sticking to a low-carb diet. What's the fun if everyone else is pigging out on buttered bread and desserts? It doesn't make it any easier when you're with friends who insist...
Sharon Hays, who wrote the 1996 essay "The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood," described "intensive mothering" as being self-consciously committed to child rearing. It involves being dedicated to...