Weight loss is on the minds of many Britons, with summer holidays fast approaching and the amount of skin on show set to rise.
Among the countless diet tips and calorie-cutting plans, most have one thing in common: no or very little snacking.
However, eating a snack between meals can curb your hunger, meaning you are less likely to overeat or eat too quickly when you finally sit down for a meal.
Snacking fuels your body’s metabolism between meals and keeps your fat-burning levels turned up.
Many diet-friendly foods also pass as the perfect weight loss snack, and are packed with nutrients to also benefit your body’s well being.
Best snacks for weight loss
When it comes to choosing snacks while losing weight, it’s best to aim for something between 150 to 200 calories.
Nuts are an ideal nutritious and waist line-friendly snack, as according to a study in PubMed they can help you lose weight.
Nuts are high in good fats, protein and fibre, meaning even a small handful is filling. Reach for a 28 gram handful of almonds which are also high in vitamin E, great for your hair, skin and nails.
Another way to consume nuts is in peanut butter, which has been shown to increase HDL “good” cholesterol and reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol. Smother a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on apple or banana slices, for a delicious snack that is under 200 calories and will also help you lose weight.
For a crunchy and satisfying snack ideal for losing weight, try slices of red bell pepper. Red bell peppers are the highest beta carotene and vitamin C.
Dipping bell peppers into good-fat laden guacamole or hummus will satisfy your appetite without impacting your weight loss goals, as it is also packed with fibre.
For a metabolism-boosting fruity snack, you can do little better than opting for grapefruit.
One study actually found that when people simply ate grapefruit with each meal, they lost up to 3 1/2 pounds over three months. This is down to helping to manage appetite by lowering insulin levels.
If you’re used to snacking on chocolate bars, biscuits and crips, there are easy calorie-controlled substitutes that will satisfy your snacking appetite.
Instead of fat and salt-laden potato crisps, try roasting chickpeas or kale in the oven. Both loaded with fibre, when baked chickpeas and kale will develop a satisfying crunch similar to that of crisp, with kale just 150 calories per cup and chickpeas packed with protein.
Another snack that will help you lose weight is popcorn. High in fibre, low in fat and with some protein, a serving of popcorn (three cups) has just 110 calories and one gram of fat.
When at least 70 per cent cocoa solids, chocolate can also be a surprisingly health snack.
Lowering blood pressure, reducing hear diseases risk and high in magnesium, studies have shown dark chocolate can also surpress your appetite, helping you reduce belly fat.
When made into a “pudding” chia seeds also become a delicious, satisfying and waist-loving snack. Simply mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with almond milk or yoghurt and let to set for 30 minutes for a rice-pudding like treat.
Many other everyday foods are packed with weight-loss potential, with some using more calories to digest than they contain alone, offering the perfect weight loss solution.