When it comes to weight loss mistakes, nutrient-poor snacks are often a culprit. Finding the best snack foods and healthy snacks to buy can be revolutionary for one’s healthy eating journey.
Arming oneself with weight loss snacks, healthy snack recipes, and the best snacks can truly change a health trajectory for the better. Read on for weight loss snacks, tips, and tricks (like how to find the best healthy fruit snack combos).
Common Weight Loss Mistakes
When it comes to weight loss, it is easy to make these mistakes. Each individual will have a unique weight loss journey and needs a customized plan to fit their needs.
Avoid making these common snacking mistakes when it comes to weight loss.
1. Obsessing Over Less Means Gaining More Weight
The classic diet cliche of counting almonds out for a "meal" is sad but rings all too true for some people.
When trying to lose weight, most people try to cut out all carbs or fat. However, when chosen right, nutritious carbs and fats - like omega-3 fatty acids - are some of the very compounds that keep the body feeling full and fueled.
2. Eating Mindlessly
Snacking can be both intentional and satisfying. Many people mindlessly (or bored) eat and miss out on recognizing the meditative act that eating can be.
Awareness while eating can bring enjoyment that helps make eating patterns a natural part of the health process.
3. Eliminating Entire Foods or Food Groups
Cutting out dairy or gluten for reasons other than allergy or serious sensitivity is usually not recommended. Eliminating a food or food group also means cutting out the nutrients from that food group, too.
Overall, being too restrictive can limit the amount of nutrients available to the body.
4. Setting Goals or Rules That Cannot Be Met
Weight loss goals are often fixated on a number instead of non-scale victories and short-term successes. Non-scale victories, such as being able to keep up with kids or grandkids, can be more meaningful than measuring the pounds shed.
Unrealistic rules can be too restrictive and ultimately lead to eating disorders or disordered eating patterns.
5. Looking For a "Magic Pill" to Solve Problems
Weight loss studies show that quick fixes and even surgeries often fail because people fail to keep long-term healthy habits up. They easily regain weight and lose focus on long-term health because effective strategies were never set up in the first place.
Be wary of anything that promises "instant weight loss" and understand that these remedies often rely on unsupported or unethical claims. A weight-loss meal delivery service, such as bistroMD, can be a long-term solution for success!
6. Looking Past the Label Instead of Learning How to Read It
Words like "healthy" or "plant-based" or "natural" on a label can make it seem like an easy choice. However, sometimes alternative products are full of additives and preservatives that take away from the nutritional value.
Look closely at snacks that distract with gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, keto, paleo, or other enticing label claims.
7. Getting Caught Up with Cheat Meals
Having a total "free-for-all" diet-wise after an entire week of restriction is not necessarily healthy. Instead, it is okay to intentionally indulge in a snack every now and again. Do not obsess over calories during the week just to go crazy on the weekend.
There are a lot of other potential triggers, such as disregarding portion sizes and eating based on boredom. However, these seven are the major players experts see when it comes to weight management and snacking problems.
Can Snacking Be Healthy For Weight Loss?
Finding healthy snacks that satisfy is an important piece of the weight loss puzzle. Snacks can be filling without causing bloat or other uncomfortable symptoms.
Snacks should support an overall well-balanced diet. They should contain a balance of nutrients, including:
• High-quality carbohydrates (carbs)
• Dietary fiber
• "Healthy" fats
Carbs are used by the body for energy while dietary elements like fiber and protein promote a feeling of fullness. "Healthy" unsaturated fats - think fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil - help regulate hormones and appetite.
Balancing all these dietary components helps to create snacks that support overall health and weight loss goals.
Healthiest Snacks For Weight Management
The following five foods and food combinations are some of the healthiest options for a mindful snacking experience. Try one today for a satisfying snack!
Nuts & Seeds
Most nuts make great snacks, but walnuts in particular are nearly magical. According to studies, walnuts contain polyunsaturated fats that may be able to help improve fat metabolism. Some studies even show that having walnuts in the diet may help moderate cravings and feelings of hunger.
Other nut and seed snack options that offer exceptional nutrition include:
• Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
• Unsalted mixed nuts or with a touch of sea salt (i.e. almonds, cashews, walnuts)
• Dry-roasted sunflower seeds
• Homemade trail mix (i.e. mixed nuts with cacao nibs, dried cranberries or raisins, banana chips)
Foods like strawberries can give snacktime a boost of fiber and healthy carbs. Plus, they contain many vitamins and minerals that can help lower blood pressure, alleviate inflammation, and even more.
Many people like berries because they taste naturally sweet without all the calories. Keeping sweet cravings in check is extremely helpful when trying to lose weight.
Whole-Grain Crackers & Hummus
Combine a high-quality carb cracker with hummus rich in protein, healthy fat, and filling fiber for lasting satisfaction. Whole-grain options are the best because they pack more of a nutritional punch.
Veggies With Healthy Dips
Vegetables with a healthy dip can be delicious and also replace higher-fat snacks like fries. Instead of high-salt, high-fat snacks, try one of the following combinations:
• Hummus + bell pepper slices
• Homemade greek yogurt ranch + broccoli
• Tuna salad + carrot sticks/baby carrots
• Edamole + cucumber
• Peanut butter + celery sticks
High-Protein Dairy Options
Dairy can be high in protein, but it can also contain additives that derail weight loss goals. Especially when buying store-bought items, be sure to examine the label closely.
Some options are extra good at balancing nutrition. Pair them with fruit for a naturally sweet snack:
• Fresh peaches + cottage cheese
• Low-fat Greek yogurt + blueberries (add a dash of cinnamon)
• Low-fat cheese sticks + grapes or figs
• Low-fat milk + a banana
Recapping Weight Loss Snacking
Snacking can be a healthy, well-balanced experience in one's weight loss journey. It's important to notice where mistakes are being made and bring awareness to mindful eating.
Combining protein, fiber, and healthy fats - such as high-quality carbohydrates like whole grains and veggies with high-protein dips like hummus - can be just the trick for keeping cravings away.
Benshosan A. 17 Diet Mistakes You Should Never Make, According to Nutritionists. Eat This, Not That! Published October 7, 2020. https://www.eatthis.com/biggest-dieting-mistakes/.
Manaker L. 6 Dietitian-Approved Snacks to Help Manage Your Weight. Verywell Health. Published March 9, 2021. https://www.verywellhealth.com/snacks-for-weight-management-5095572.