10 Real Food Snacks 

By Cynthia Brace

Whoever said starving yourself to lose weight was crazy!  For one thing, it does the opposite.  Your body will hang on to your body fat and instead use your muscle tissue for fuel, which is the exact opposite of what you want. 

Why on earth would your body do this? It’s actually a survival mechanism.  If you’re body used up all its fuel you’d die.  So when your body thinks it’s starving it will use your muscle tissue for energy first because muscle tissue burns a lot of calories.  Studies show that up to 70% of weight loss while eating less comes from burning muscle…not body fat. Yikes!

So having healthy real food snacks are an important part of weight loss.

Eating nutritious food regularly is also important for kicking those out of control cravings for sugar, salt and carbs.

So what do you eat come snack time?  Well if you’re already chomping at the bit for some food, the first yummy thing you see may end up what you’ll be eating…like some cookies, chips or candies.

The problems with quick fix snacks and skipping meals is it throws your hormones out of balance.

The hormone Leptin controls how full we feel and once we’re full it triggers the brain to start metabolizing (breaking down your food).  When a lot of poor quality (high calorie, low nutrition) “food like” products are eaten you may have a tendency to overindulge because the food like product tricks your brain into thinking it needs more.  This makes it difficult for your hormone leptin to do its job of turning off your appetite.  The result…eating more and weight gain.

When you skip meals altogether the hormone Insulin is affected.  When you constantly skip meals your body goes into starvation mode and your brain is tricked into thinking that it should hold onto fat until the “famine” is over.   The best way to keep your brain and hormones happy is to feed them nutrient dense food regularly.  This will keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady.  This means snacking twice a day, about 2 hours after your last meal.

So what do you eat for snack time? 

Ideally, a snack will incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables, but realistically snack time needs to be either sweet or savoury.  Below are 10 Healthy Snacks you can incorporate into your day.  Be sure to plan ahead of time and have your snack ready to go so you’re not looking for that bag of cookies.

  1. Apple & Almond Butter. One of the easiest ways to balance blood sugar is to have a snack that combines fiber and fat with carbohydrates. Apples have pectin, a type of fiber that promotes weight loss by making you feel fuller faster. The natural sugars in apples is balanced by the fat in the almond butter…just be sure to get one that has no extra added sugar.
  2. Smoothies.  Smoothies combine the whole fruit, fiber and all, with other add-ins like nuts, veggies and coconut oil. This more complete spectrum will help you feel full longer and satisfies a sweet craving.
  3. Granola, Plain Yogurt & Raspberries. An easy snack to put together once the granola is made (see recipe below).  Plain yogurt is high in beneficial probiotics – which are vital to good digestion and weight loss. And the vitamin C in raspberries increases the body’s fat burning ability.
  4. Ants on a log. Celery with peanut butter and raisins.   Celery is very low in calories and is full of water and fiber to leave your stomach feeling full.
  5. Kale Chips. Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients including Vitamin A, C and K.  It is important to check the label on the kale chips, as they are not all created equal.   Or make them yourself.  Chop some kale and toss with a small amount of cold pressed olive oil and bake in the oven until crisp.
  6. Rice Crackers & Avocado. Avocados are considered to be a healthy fat – it has anti-inflammatory properties and helps our digestive tract transport fat molecules.
  7. Gluten Free Crackers & Sauerkraut.  Sauerkraut might not seem like a snack food to you –yet! It is a natural pro and prebiotic, is high in vitamin C and has a great zingy flavor.
  8. Hummus & Carrot Sticks. The crunchiness of the vegetables means that more chewing is required. Not only does this make you feel fuller, it gets the digestive juices flowing and sets you up for optimal energy use. By combining them with hummus, the natural sweetness of the carrot is balanced by the fats from tahini and olive oil.
  9. Quinoa Pudding. Quinoa is gluten free, high fiber and a complete protein.  Add a little fruit and you have a nutritious and delicious snack.
  10. Granola Bars. Granola bars fall into a category that is part convenience food and part nutrient dense food. But, not all granola bars are created equal! A lot of the bars lining the grocery store shelves are actually crammed with sugar, fat and strange additives – putting them on the no snack list. But for the sake of a quick fix once in a while here are two of the better brands:
    Kind: Almond Cashew with Flax and Omega 3. This bar has about 9 ingredients that are all natural. It does include some sugar but it is non-GMO. Each bars has 190 calories and 11 g of fat. The Omega 3 is derived from the flaxseeds.   Larabar: Their Cashew bar has only two ingredients, cashews and dates. It is a very nice way to get something a little sweet with the balance of protein and fat. It has 230 calories per bar and 13 g of fat.

Easy Sugar Free Granola

1 cup oats

2 tsp bran (for added fiber)

2 eggs

Slivered nuts and seeds to taste. You can use almonds, pecans and pumkin

1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Place a thin layer of the granola on a baking sheet and bake until it’s dry.  15-20 minutes depending on your oven.  Allow to cool and place granola in a sealed container.

Happy Snacking!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *