There are many fad diets out there and a lot of them advocate following a very low calorie approach – i.e. eating less than 800 calories per day. These diets claim to enable you to lose over 5kg in one week, but eating so little can make you grumpy, angry and sluggish and that kind of weight loss is healthy or sustainable.
Most of these diets are high in protein, which can be very dangerous – your kidneys go under lots of pressure trying to keep up with processing the protein, which can lead to some unpleasant side effects. These sorts of diets may work in the very short term, but in the long term, they will leave you sluggish and weak – and desperate for a chocolate bar.
To be healthy, you need to take in plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Without these essential nutrients, from a wide range of food sources, your immune system will gradually become deficient, but you’ll also feel grumpy and very hungry. If you are a new mum, it’s essential that you take in enough vitamins to be healthy, especially if you are breastfeeding.
At Lose Baby Weight, we do not believe in cutting out any of the food groups – nor do we believe in starvation. To lose weight, but to stay healthy, you need to eat lots of real foods and you also need to eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your metabolism up.
Snacking is actually very important when it comes to weight loss, as snacking helps to keep you feeling energised throughout the day – but you need to eat healthy snacks. Foods like potato crisps and chocolate bars will leave you feeling sluggish, but healthy snacks will give you a vitamin and calorie boost and will also help to prevent that “I can’t eat, I’m on a diet” mentality.
The best way to make sure that the snacks you choose are the right kind is to ensure that you only have healthy snacks in the house. If you run out of healthy foods, you’re likely to reach for the chocolate, so make sure that your fridge and cupboard are well stocked with healthy, nutritious snack foods – to help you out, we’ve come up with 10 delicious and nutritious snacks.
Edamame beans are having a bit of a moment in the spotlight right now – popular with celebs, edamame are young soybeans that are soft and tender. They contain lots of vitamins and nutrients and plenty of protein to keep you going through the day, and ½ a cup of them contains less than 100 calories – 94 to be exact. Ramp up the flavour by serving with a little oil and lemon dressing, salt and pepper or paprika.
Carrot Sticks & Hummus
Hummus is an incredibly healthy snack packed with protein, heart-healthy fats and metabolism-boosting spice. Serve it with sweet and crunchy carrot sticks for a delicious snack. 45g hummus + 10 baby carrots contain just 140 calories – a great mid-day snack.
PB and Banana Cracker
Peanut butter is not a “bad guy” in terms of fat and calories – it is actually packed with protein and heart healthy fats. In restricted quantities, peanut butter, just like all nuts, is a great weight loss food. Spread 1 tsp. peanut butter on one rye crispbread and top with 1 small banana for a yummy snack that comes in at just 150 calories.
Grapes & Cheese
This might sound like a decadent snack, but actually, consuming low fat calcium products a few times a day can really boost your weight loss. A portion of low fat cheese (30g) plus 100g sweet grapes will provide you with 116 calories – a sweet, delicious and decadent snack.
Pumpkin seeds are not just the waste product of the pumpkin – they have a similar flavour to nuts, but they have less calories and less fat. They contain loads of vitamins too, including zing, tryptophan and magnesium. For a low calorie snack, serve up ½ cup pumpkin seeds roasted in their seeds – it will provide you with 143 calories. For savoury flavour sprinkle with paprika and for sweet flavour sprinkle with cinnamon.
Tuna & Veggie Sticks
Tuna is rich in omega-3s – which are heart healthy fats. It is also packed with protein, helping to keep you going for longer. Choose tuna that has been packed in water or brine, not oil, to keep the calorie count low. Sprinkle with vinegar and salt, or if you prefer, serve with mayo or salad cream. Serve your tuna with whatever veggie sticks you like – carrots, cucumber, celery, peppers – the list goes on. This snack comes in at just 140 calories and it will keep you going all day.
Olives are very filling – they are packed with fibre and protein, they are low in calories and they are full of omega-3s. Opt for pitted olives in brine for the lowest calorie count. 10 green olives packed in brine contain just 50 calories – so have 20 if you like!
Popcorn is an incredibly healthy alternative to potato chips – 2 cups of popcorn, topped with 1 tbsp. of grated parmesan comes in at just 90 calories. A great snack to dig into whilst watching a film, popcorn also contains bags of nutrients and vitamins. Just be sure to choose air-popped popcorn for the lowest calorie count.
Bananas are nature’s very own fast food. They are a great snack for a quick energy boost, as they are low in calories and low in fat. Bananas are packed with potassium, fibre and loads of vitamins, too – and they are easily and quickly digested, so eating one will satiate hunger pangs very quickly. A small banana contains around 110 calories – and to up the protein content and to fill you up even more, serve your banana with a little yoghurt.
Pecans with Applesauce
Applesauce is a sweet and delicious snack. It tastes just like a dessert, but it is low in calories and fat and high in vitamins and minerals. Serve the applesauce with pecans for added omega-3 and protein benefits. 110 applesauce (unsweetened), served with 10 pecan halves will provide you with just 148 calories.