With so many weight-loss programs out there, it can be hard to determine what’s right for your body. And sometimes even when you think you’re eating healthy, you’re still consuming more calories than you burn. New research has revealed that the average person unknowingly consumes 800 calories a day from snacking – that’s nearly the equivalent of two meals. So how can you keep track of your snack intake and still maintain regular eating habits?
“Often when we graze between meals we make the mistake of opting for calorie laden foods, rather than making nutritious choices,” says Sheila Zhou, expert Scientist at USANA. “Not only does this hinder our body’s ability to properly process the food; it often also results in weight gain from the additional calorie consumption.”
To help you shed those unwanted snacking kilos, Sheila has provided us with her top five low-calorie alternatives:
- Think fishy
Tuna is a great snack that is packed full of nutrients and will keep you feeling full. “Not only is it stacked with protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids, its ability to curb your craving leads to a flatter stomach,” says Sheila. Also, with so many different tuna flavours now available, it’s easy to mix it up on a daily basis.
- Play it cool
We’re usually advised to avoid frozen foods when it comes to eating healthy, but Sheila insists snap frozen vegetables such as peas and corn are a great source of nutrition: “The combination of low calorie density and high levels of fibre means they are both a filling and satisfying snack.” So next time you feel that 3pm hunger strike coming on, do your waistline a favour and zap yourself a sachet of frozen mixed vegetables.
- Go nutty
Nuts are a fuss-free, vitamin rich snack. Packed with vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium, they are a great source of protein and fibre and are low in sugar, insists Sheila. If you’re not a fan of eating plain almonds or walnuts, then opt for a nut bar. Always be sure to check the label, however – some of these nutty treats can contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar!
- Pull the udder one
While some eating plans limit, if not eliminate the consumption of dairy, Sheila says milk is the perfect snack: “Not only is it loaded with calcium and vitamin D, its high protein content means you stay full for longer than most other drinks.”
- Pop it
Now you can have your popcorn and eat it too. With only 20 calories per cup, Sheila says natural popcorn is a relatively healthy low-GI snack. “The fibre from whole grains help you to feel full on fewer calories, meaning you consume less food overall,” she insists. So next time you’re at the movies, why make your own popcorn or stop by the supermarket to pick up a natural alternative.
Image Via Motive Nutrition