Snacking between meals is a means to stave off hunger and keep your energy level up to improve your performance at work, at home or in school. Although this is a good habit, if you are not careful in choosing what food to eat during snack time, you’ll give your body few nutrients but add more calories to your diet.
According to Susan Bowerman, RD, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition’s assistant director, when snacking is done right, it gives you additional chances to fill up your daily nutritional needs. There are healthy snacks that burn fat, which will keep you lean and strong, without the extra calories and these are what we are going to discuss here.
Types of snacks that burn fat
To aid in weight loss and maintain energy, you have to choose the right types of snacks – those with the right calories and the nutrients. These include snack foods rich in protein to help grow lean muscle mass, increase calorie burn and boost your metabolic rate. Include food items that are high in fibre to keep you from eating food with too much sugar and fat and to improve your digestion. Technically speaking, there are no food items that will “burn fat” literally. What fat-burning snacks mean is finding smart choices in what to eat plus exercise, to make your body function more efficiently.
Healthy snacks should be less than 200 calories, with about 5 grams of fibre and 10 grams of protein. Below is a selection of some very nutritious and delicious snack foods, which will help you maintain your required calorie intake each day yet keep you fit and lean.
1. Skim milk and apple
An apple is a great snack as it is, but combining it with protein will keep your hunger levels down while sustaining your energy for a few hours before your regular meal. You’ll get about 5 grams of fibre from a large apple and 10 grams of protein from the skim milk.
2. Avocado with cottage cheese
You only need half an avocado to satisfy your craving. Replace the pit with 2 oz. of 1% cottage cheese and you’ll have a savory, creamy and rich snack that will give you 7 grams of fibre and 9 grams of protein.
3. Whole-wheat crackers and tuna
If you do not like dairy products, you find this very satisfying. Open of can of tuna packaged in water and put them on top of wheat crackers. Tuna is a good source of healthy Omega-3s and lean protein. Six whole-wheat crackers and 3 oz. of light tuna give you 20 grams of protein and 3 grams of fibre.
4. Quick shrimp salad
Combine pre-cooked shrimps, Greek yogurt, jalapeño sauce, mashed avocado, lime juice, parsley and cracked black pepper. Stack this over rye flatbread and you’ll have a tasty grab-and-go protein snack. This will give you 4 grams of fibre and 9 grams of protein.
5. Berry-power smoothie
Blend unsweetened soy protein powder, honey, plain or Greek yogurt, water and frozen mixed berries for a delicious, protein-rich smoothie. This will give you 139 calories with 4 grams of fibre (from the frozen berries) and 9 grams of protein.
6. Chicken and vegetables pita sandwich
Season cooked boneless, skinless chicken, sliced red bell peppers and baby spinach with low-fat Italian vinaigrette. Arrange over pita bread and cut it in half and you’ll have two healthy and balanced snacks for the day. One-half of the sandwich will give you 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fibre and 200 calories.
Figs are rich in soluble fibre, minerals and natural sugars. They are great snack items as they help you burn fat quicker. A 100-gram serving of fresh figs will give you 2.2 grams of fibre, 1.3 grams of protein, 20.3 grams of carbohydrate, 0.3 grams of fat and only 80 calories.
A cup of watermelon only gives you 46 calories and contributes 17% vitamin A and 20% vitamin C to your daily nutritional intake. It promotes metabolism and increases your amino acids to help burn fat. It is a source of dietary fiber and has potassium that helps keep your blood pressure down.
You do not have to spend much to keep fit and healthy. Choose the right type of snack food to help burn fat, keep your hunger and bay and at the same time boost your energy to keep you going.