Keep Your Metabolism Fired Up With These Healthy Snacks

Keep you metabolism fired up with these healthy snacks

Post by OYS Contributing Writer Melissa. See more of her posts here.

I am a “snackist” all the way.  My body has been trained to eat every three hours, and if it doesn’t get food it’s not pretty (just ask my husband).  Eating small amounts of food frequently is such a great weight loss/maintenance strategy because it keeps your metabolism fired up, and you never get overly hungry to the point where you’re grabbing the first unhealthy thing in sight.  Yes, you must plan ahead for this, but your health is worth it.  Below you will find my tips for what types of food to include in a snack, and some of my favorite snack suggestions.

A healthy, satisfying in-between-meals snack should ideally include:

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  • a protein source
  • fresh fruit/vegetables
  • whole grains

PROTEIN

Protein is important because it helps you stay full longer, since your body takes longer to digest it.  It will definitely keep you from feeling sluggish and tired.  Protein does not automatically mean meat.  There are plenty of non-meat options out there for snacking.  These are just some of the choices I like to incorporate into my snacks.

  • thin slices of natural turkey breast
  • hummus
  • low-fat cheese sticks
  • non-fat Greek yogurt
  • low-fat cottage cheese
  • natural peanut butter
  • raw almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts
  • hard-boiled eggs

snack post #1

FRUITS AND VEGGIES

Fresh fruits and vegetables are important to add to your snacks for several reasons.  First of all, they are filled with fiber, which helps you feel full, and tons of healthy vitamins and minerals.  They also tend to be low in calories, so you can fill up on them.  There are a ton of possibilities here, and many of these can be combined with the protein sources (such as dipping the veggies in hummus, or adding the fruit to plain yogurt).

  • Fruits
    • bananas – filling, portable and delicious with peanut butter
    • apples and pears – full of fiber and portable
    • oranges – sweet and juicy
    • berries – so many antioxidants and fiber in these guys
    • melon – water-dense, which makes you feel full
    • grapes – delicious and portable
    • peaches and plums – best in the summer
    • don’t forget to think outside the fruit box and go for some you may not usually eat, such as kiwi, pineapple (my favorite!), cherries, mango
    • Vegetables
      • carrot sticks or baby carrots
      • celery sticks – yes, boring on their own, but with peanut butter or hummus, delish!
      • chopped broccoli or cauliflower
      • bell peppers – these are my favorite; super sweet and lots of vitamin C
      • cucumber slices
      • sugar snap peas
      • cherry tomatoes

snack post #2

WHOLE GRAINS

Whole grains are a better choice over refined grains because they have all of the good stuff still in them, which nature intended you to have.  You have to be sure to look for the word “whole” in front of the grain because some companies try to fool you with the word “wheat.”  The fiber in these grains will help you stay full until your next meal.  When I switched to eating whole grains years ago, my body just felt and worked better.  It’s such an amazing difference.  Just  give yourself a week of eating whole grains and I know you will feel it too.  Here are some of my favorite whole grain snack choices, which again can be combined with the protein sources.

  • slice of whole grain bread
  • whole grain crackers
  • air-popped popcorn
  • homemade muffins using whole wheat flour (I am obsessed with muffins, which I may need to write a whole separate post about)
  • whole grain granola bars (watch the amount of sugar in these or make your own)
  • rice cakes – phenomenal with peanut butter
  • whole grain cereal (again, watch the sugar)

Snack post #3

With all of these options, you can mix and match one food from each category for months without getting bored of eating the same snack all the time.

I would love to hear some of your snack ideas too!

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Comments

  1. I am trying to get healthy and I find I have those craving for something sweet hut forgot to pack my snacks, so this looks good.

  2. Upstate NYer says:

    As a diabetic, this is also how we should be snacking/eating. A protein with your carbohydrate. For example: Cheese with crackers. Apple slices with peanut butter. Thank you for this post and additional choices on what to snack on. This friendly reminder keeps me on track. I enjoy your site quite a lot!

  3. I love all the choices of snacks, but how much of each? I am guessing you can’t eat as much as you want. You won’t lose weight.

    • I recommend looking at the portion size on the package. Also, most nut portions are 1/4 cup. Fruits and vegetables are more generations at 1/2 cup or more. Hummus is about 2 – 4 tablespoons.

  4. Allison says:

    Would LOVE a post on muffins!! Please?! Also, what kind of whole grain crackers do you use?

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