I’m working hard to get in shape and reduce body fat, and snacking can totally be a part of any ‘diet plan’ — in fact, it’s helping me LOSE weight. The key is choosing the right snacks — and they can be totally indulgent!
I’ve been following Weight Watchers since January and I’ve lost around 17 pounds in 6 months. The changes I have made really add up into long-lasting results and I never feel deprived. I personally think WW sets you up for life, since, at least for me, it has to be a constant balance of when to indulge and when to eat more clean. I usually have three meals plus one or two snacks every day. I have a raging sweet tooth and don’t use a scale or any other food measuring device. These are the tips and tricks I’ve picked up in the last few months that have worked for me.
1. Avocado/ Guacamole — On the surface, an avocado has a lot of calories and fat, but actually, they are super nutrient dense. Plus, they contain the “healthy fat” that helps your body absorb nutrients and keeps you fuller longer. Vanessa Hudgens has an avocado every day — and she has 6-pack abs! So many nutritionists I’ve spoken to recommend avocado in meals to keep them well-rounded. Also, who doesn’t love avocado toast?
2. Peanut Butter — PB has a ton of filling protein and tastes AMAZING with fruit like bananas or apples. Make sure you look for a natural brand with the fewest ingredients possible — usually peanuts, and salt or palm oil. I love Justin’s Peanut Butter — the Kardashian family is also a fan of Justin’s and their almond butter.
3. Ice Cream — There are a ton of high protein, low sugar ice creams on the market these days. Halo Top and Enlightened make tons of yummy flavors (my personal favorite is Enlightened Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip) and now Breyers Delights has 4 options “with 260-330 calories and 20 grams of protein per pint.” Thrive and Artic Zero have more options as well!
4. Regular Pasta — I’ve tried whole wheat pasta and it’s just not what I’m looking for when I think about a yummy Italian meal. To get a truly fulfilling “fix” of pasta, you should try to go for quality over quantity. I have been buying homemade pasta at Eataly (since I have not opened the pasta maker I got for my wedding 4 years ago) and just trying to have a little bit less, rather than having a huge portion of whole wheat pasta. I actually took a pasta making class in Little Italy in NYC at Aunt Jake’s and it was SO fun. Pasta is a super simple recipe, usually of just flour, water, salt, and eggs. Aunt Jake’s Chef Carmine Di Giovanni said it’s a better option because there are no preservatives or any added ingredients, like in boxed pasta.
5. Chocolate — Again, for me, it’s quality over quantity here. I love chocolate and could eat an entire Hershey’s milk bar in seconds. Instead, I reach for super dark and delicious options like Antidote Chocolate. Antidote’s founder, Red Thalhammer, told me that dark chocolate can actually help if you’re on a diet: “Dark Chocolate is perfect to nourish and curb hunger. The trademark flavor of the cacao bean — a pleasant bitterness — has a very important purpose. A slightly bitter flavor on the tastebuds can decrease food cravings in the brain for up to 4 hours. Levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for increasing appetite, are significantly lower after eating a square of dark chocolate!” Their dark chocolate bars range from 73% to 100% in cacao content. I find that the more intense, the less I need to satisfy a chocolate craving.
6. Sausage — I truly find for me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets me up for success. I just tried Diestel’s Breakfast Turkey Sausage with some eggs and I was full for HOURS. It has 12 grams of protein per serving, and is “free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics and gluten.” It was super easy and fast to make, and tasted great.
7. Tacos — I make simple swaps when having tacos or burritos. At Chipotle, you can fill up a bowl with lettuce and brown rice and save tons of carbs and calories by skipping the tortilla. At home, load up on filling toppings like beans — I love the Better Bean Company. It’s a family business that sells ready to eat tubs of beans. They have pinto, black, white, red, and baked beans available for a delicious meal or side in seconds.
8. Water — It’s a no brainer that you need to hydrate a lot, but that can be hard if you hate the taste of plain water. Mix it up with favored, carbonated options from Perrier and La Croix, or make delicious iced or hot tea with DAVIDsTEA blends. Their Strawberry Lemonade tea tastes amazing and has zero calories! I also love Sakara Life’s Beauty Water, which contains silica, rose water, and 72 trace minerals to really make you glow from the inside out.
9. Protein Bars — I’m frequently running around during lunch hours. Instead of grabbing something unhealthy and fast, I try to keep protein bars in my purse. I like Toosum, KIND, Goodness Knows snack squares and the Quest Cereal Protein Bars.
10. Popcorn & Chips — I love a crunchy snack now and again, but I also know that some chips have tons of nasty ingredients and artificial coloring. Pre-portioned bags help me stay in check as well. I love SkinnyPop (so does Selena Gomez!) and now Amazon has an entire line of snacks called “Wickedly Prime” — the Pea Crisps are a low-calorie, high protein option.
HollywoodLifers, what healthy snacks to lose weight do you love?