Snacks can make or break your diet efforts. Done right, snacks can keep your metabolism boosted and help stave off hunger between meals. Done wrong, and snacks can add huge amounts of calories, fat, and sugar that can sabotage your efforts. Don’t derail your diet, keep on track by including these ten fat burning snacks in your meal plan.
Salsa And Cucumber Slices
Spicy salsa is a thermogenic food that has been shown in studies to increase metabolism by as much as 20%. Capsaicin, a compound found in spicy hot peppers responsible for this thermogenic action, can also help stimulate digestion.
Skip the chips, and enjoy some spicy salsa with cool cucumber slices. Cucumbers are incredibly low in calories, but rich in sulphur and silicon, minerals that can help stimulate the removal of fat. The high water content of cucumbers (96%) means they can also help flush out excess fluids and prevent bloating.
Tuna On Whole Wheat Crackers
If you want to burn fat, then you want to eat protein at every meal — including your snacks. Tuna is a great source of lean protein and also offers omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s found in fatty fish, such as tuna and mackerel, have been shown in studies to increase weight loss. Researchers believe they improve blood flow to muscles during exercise and stimulate enzymes that transport fat.
Ditch the mayo and squeeze fresh lemon juice on your tuna. Flavor with dill and pepper, and serve on top of whole grain wheat crackers for a perfect combination of protein and good carbs.
Chicken Breast With Sweet Potato
A diet that is high in protein can increase your metabolism by 25%- 40%. Chicken breasts are a lean protein that can help your body burn fat, and help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Pair a small chicken breast with a half of a sweet potato to give your body the protein it needs plus a dose of beneficial nutrients. Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, a mineral that is needed for energy production and metabolism. Sweet potatoes are also low on the glycemic scale and low in calories, making them the perfect between-meal snack.
Have you tried overnight oats yet? While they may be the easiest breakfast food on the block, they also make a terrific snack as well. Combine whole oats with yogurt in a container and leaving them in the fridge all night to soak and soften. Flavor with fresh berries, and you have a fat burning meal (or mini-meal) waiting for you any time of the day. Whole grain oats are a great source of insoluble fiber, meaning they digest slowly and leave you feeling fuller longer. Foods that are high in fiber can also help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Yogurt will add protein to this snack, as well as healthy probiotic cultures that can help with digestive health and reduce bloating. Recent research is suggesting that the bacteria in our guts may play a role in weight gain, so eat plenty of cultured foods to keep your levels of the “good guys” up.
Green Tea Pops
Green tea is a fat burning superstar, thanks to an antioxidant compound found in the tea known as Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. This antioxidant has been shown to boost metabolism and burn fat. To turn tea into a satisfying snack, make a frozen treat out of it! Blend together matcha green tea powder with coconut milk and a tasty tropical fruit like pineapple or mango, and freeze in paper cups or molds. To add to the fat burning effect, cold foods and drinks boost your metabolism as your body uses more energy to warm them up to body temperature before they can be digested.
If the last time you had a fig was in the center filling of a cookie, you are missing out on a delicious and low calorie snack. Figs are an excellent source of fiber that can help keep you feeling fuller longer. Fresh dried figs are also naturally sweet, and are a great healthy choice when you start to crave something sugary. The next time a sugar craving strikes, reach for a fiber-rich fig instead.
Foods that have a high water content, like lusciously juicy watermelons, can help you stay hydrated, beat bloat, and fill you up without adding a ton of calories to your day. Snacking on watermelon can also help reduce your risk of insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
Pistachios are a delicious snack full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. In a study published in the journal Nutrition, participants that added pistachios to their diets had smaller waists, better blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol after six months compared to those who didn’t eat pistachios. The monounsaturated fatty acids in pistachios can increase the release of hormones that regulate blood sugar, making them an excellent fat burning snack.
Raspberries are a delicious snack that can help burn fat. Raspberries have a unique compound known as raspberry ketones that triggers fat cells to release a hormone that regulates metabolism and blood sugar levels. The anthocyanin antioxidant compound found in red berries such as raspberries and strawberries also can help prevent individual fat cells from increasing in size and may reduce insulin resistance. Try adding raspberries to greek yogurt for an even better, higher protein, fat burning snack.
Fat Burning Smoothie
A small smoothie between meals can help fire up your metabolism and keep you from getting hungry if you build it with the right ingredients. Start with a quality protein powder, and add berries and a banana. Blueberries have the same antioxidant anthocyanins as raspberries that can have a beneficial impact on blood sugar. In addition, blueberries have been found in studies to decrease abdominal fat and improve insulin sensitivity. Bananas are a great source of magnesium and vitamin B6 that your body needs to digest and absorb fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. A fat burning smoothie is the ultimate snack to keep you on track for your weight loss goals.