With all the misinformation in the weight loss industry, it’s not surprising to see certain foods and snacks labeled as “healthy” and “unhealthy”.
If you think you can’t eat carbs, fruit, meat or whatever food a ‘fit influencer’ tells you because it’s considered “unhealthy” – think again.
I lost more than 22 pounds eating foods and snacks that some people “think” are unhealthy.
I’m not blessed with great genetics either. My genetics dictates fat to be stored on my butt, thighs, and legs as a pear shape.
Here are my top 10 healthy snacks that actually helps with weight loss:
When I tell people I eat popcorn every day and lose weight, they think I’m crazy.
No, it’s not the store-bought popcorn kind that’s laden with salted margarine or hydrogenated oils.
It’s plain old popcorn kernels that’s microwaved sprayed with white vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt for a filling afternoon or evening snack.
Air popcorn has more fiber, more polyphenols (aka micronutrients from plant), less fat and less calories than most snacks on the market.
With only 30 calories per cup, air popcorn with your favorite seasoning makes a healthy food substitute for chips!
Try Amish Country popcorn kernels.
Nutrition information for 3 cups of air popcorn:
- Calories: 90
- Protein: 3 g
- Carbs: 18 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Fat: 0g
2. Non-Organic Foods
You don’t need to eat “organic food” in order to lose weight.
According to a new French study, results concluded that similar foods will contain similar nutritional content, regardless of whether it is organic or not.
So if you are buying organic food due to the benefit it conveys and pay more for it… then you are probably not going to get the health or nutritional benefit you think you will be getting.
It’s great to eat mostly organic food but the point here is that you can still lose weight and become fit from eating non-organic vegetables, fruit, eggs, and meat.
Real guacamole is made from fresh mashed avocados, onions, lime juice, tomatoes, jalapeños, herbs, and spices.
There’s nothing unhealthy about guacamole.
What’s unhealthy is when guacamole is stuffed into a squeeze bottle and mixed with cornstarch, dehydrated potato flakes, dried glucose syrup and a teeny bit of real avocado.
With fresh guacamole, you’re getting a powerhouse of unprocessed, fresh nutrition and healthy fats.
It also tastes delicious with baked vegetable chips and on top of baked chicken. Try Wholly Guacamole, they come in portion control minis!
Nutrition information for ½ cup of guacamole:
- Calories: 265
- Protein: 10 g
- Carbs: 11 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Fat: 20 g
4. Protein Bars
I use to give protein bars a miss as the ones available in my supermarket contained partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sugars and tasted synthetic.
Nowadays I prioritize protein for satiety and fat loss. Protein bar has been a lifesaver at curbing that sweet tooth.
And you don’t need to be a bodybuilder or gym junkie to eat protein bars.
There are plenty of healthy protein bars available these days that come in a variety of flavors.
They’re usually under 200 calories, contain 20grams of protein, 3-4 grams of carbs and under 7 grams of fat.
It may not be “whole food” but it beats grabbing a chocolate bar when your busy or need a sweet snack on the go.
At the end of the day, look at the nutrition label and don’t choose protein bars that are loaded with synthetic sugar and extremely high in calories.
Here are some tasty protein bars to try out:
- Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bar
- MEHRET Energy Bars
- JiMMYBAR! Clean Protein Bars, Lemon Crush
Yup, eating fruits like apples, oranges and bananas. Fruit doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it’s developing.
Whilst I enjoy making low carb recipes and eating them for lunch and dinner – including fruit in my diet, has not affected my ability to lose weight.
When you eat a fresh apple or banana – that natural sugar comes wrapped in fiber, water, and nutrients.
That fiber slows the release of natural sugar into your bloodstream, preventing a sugar spike, especially when you eat fruit as part of a meal or snack that contains protein and healthy fats.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends 2 cups of fruit per day for men and women. It drops to 1½ cups of fruit for women over 30.
So have an apple with your almond nuts, eat some grapes with yogurt – you’ll be happier and healthier.
Nutrition information for 1 cup of apple:
- Calories: 57
- Protein: 0 g
- Carbs: 15 g
- Fiber: 3g
- Fat: 0 g
Like fruit, wraps have copped some major flack throughout the years because it’s either not “whole foods” or has “carbs”.
There’s no need to be scared of wraps unless you’re coeliac or have a gluten intolerance.
If you don’t have these two, eating healthy wraps can give you that “satisfied” feeling especially when you add quality proteins and greens in them.
You can find wraps that are low GI and low carb and include balanced portions of it throughout the day. Simple.
Here are two wraps you can eat to hit your weight loss goals.
Ole Xtreme Wraps contain less than 50 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, 11 grams of dietary fiber (that’s 6 grams net carb) and 4 grams of protein per wrap.
Norigami Wraps contain less than 15 calories, 2 grams protein, <1 grams carbs and 0.5 grams of fat per wrap!
As always, read the nutrition label and only buy wraps that meet your nutritional requirements.
On long road trips, we stuff our wraps with chicken breast, ham, loads of salad and veggies.
7. Protein Powder
The most ridiculous statement I’ve seen on protein powders is that they are synthetic, made from chemicals and are poison.
Protein powders are NOT synthetic. The word synthetic is any chemical substance that is made by chemical or biological synthesis.
Whey protein comes from milk. Casein protein also comes from milk. Soy protein comes from soybeans.
They’re all naturally occurring proteins and are processed in various ways to make various grades of protein powders.
The point is protein powder is not poison and can be helpful if you’re not getting enough protein from whole foods or you want a convenient protein source that doesn’t spoil easily.
Protein powders helped me lose weight by regulating my hunger and appetite. I also use it to curb sugar cravings by making my own protein bars and desserts.
Tip: Some ‘cheap protein’ powders are cheap for a reason. They usually contain higher amounts of lactose, fat, fillers, and so on to cut costs in the production process. It’s important to read and research the ingredients in your protein powder.
My two favorites high-quality protein powders right now are:
- Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Powder Isolate 90% Clean
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Nutrition information for bulk 1 scoop of Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Powder Isolate 90% Clean:
- Calories: 115
- Protein: 27g
- Carbs: <1g
- Fat: 1 g
- Purchase Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Powder Isolate 90% Clean
Use this protein powder to make caramel choc protein slices (no bake).
Nutrition information for 1 scoop of Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate Peanut Butter:
- Calories: 130
- Protein: 24 g
- Carbs: 4 g
- Fat: 2 g
- Purchase Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Make protein ice cream with this protein powder:
- Add 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of chocolate peanut whey protein powder
- ½ teaspoon of xantham gum
- and ½ cup of ice in a nutribullet
- Blitz and you have instant ice cream!
8. Deli Meats
Not all deli meats are created equal and while some contain more preservatives or sodium, some don’t.
Your best choices are whole cut deli meats. Think slices of roast beef, turkey breast, ham off the bone and all the meats that get sliced in front of you.
Whole cuts are the best choice for your health, as they are less likely to contain as much salt and as many additives.
The ones to stay clear from are pressed meats like multi-part turkey breast or meats that are pressed together to form the shape of whole meat.
This also applies to highly processed meat that contain only 30% meat and the remaining ‘meat’ is usually bits of offal and fat.
9. Canned Vegetables
Some people believe canned vegetables are less healthy than fresh vegetables.
If you were to look at the nutrition information between canned and fresh green beans, you’ll find that the nutritional content is pretty similar between the two.
One of the primary differences is sodium content.
Sodium is used in canned foods to “enhance flavor and texture, prevent microbial growth, and increase shelf life.”
There are low sodium options available in canned vegetables and I buy tomatoes, chickpeas, black beans, green beans in cans.
Just remember that canned vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and immediately canned, locking in flavor and nutrients.
There’s an ongoing debate where people have been told to eliminate milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products in order to lose weight.
You see the likes of Khole Kardashian saying she dropped 11 pounds just two weeks sans dairy.
I USED to buy into these sensational headlines but the short answer is that eating dairy is different for everyone.
Some people are more sensitive to dairy than others and the effects vary person to person – so don’t eliminate it entirely yet.
Traditional-made milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich sources of vitamin D, protein, and calcium and a critical nutrient for bone health.
Including dairy products like cottage cheese and greek yoghurt are great sources of protein snacks that assists with weight loss.
Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss
Here’s what I realize about weight loss….
You can eat low carb, high carb, high fat, high protein etc
But the most important things are that you:
- Eat foods that are nutrient-dense and that you enjoy
- Don’t overeat your calories excessively
- Adopt foods that become part of your lifestyle
Some people enjoy eating higher fat or protein snacks because it helps them stay full and become less hungry.
Some people get “triggered” when they eat carbs or alot of fruit and they end up eating more over the day.
The point is, choose snacks that you enjoy eating and adopt an eating lifestyle that you can adhere to consistently – this his how you can achieve weight loss successfully.