Five Quick and Easy Weight-Loss Friendly Christmas Snacks
Five Weight-Loss Friendly Christmas Snacks
There is so much food around at this time of year with Christmas snacks everywhere. But what if you’re trying to reduce any weight around the middle?
The usual Christmas snacks tend to be mince pies, crisps, boxes of chocolates, mixed savoury snacks and what’s left of the Christmas cake. None of which are going to help any weight loss efforts.
The words “weight-loss” and “snacks” often appear in the same sentence. But that might also bring thoughts of "tasteless," "cardboard," and "completely unsatisfying." Right?
Let me give you my best weight-loss friendly snacks that aren't just nutritious but also delicious! Having these in the house or packed with you when visiting will help you resist the more traditional Christmas snacks.
What’s my criteria you ask?
They have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain protein and/or fibre with very little sugar.
Nuts or seeds
It’s true - nuts contain calories and fat, but they are NOT fattening!
Well, I’m not talking about the “honey roasted” ones, of course. Those probably are fattening.
Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner.
By the way, nuts also contain protein and fibre, which means a small amount can go pretty far in terms of filling you up. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals you can get from nuts. This is why nuts were also one of the top breakfast foods in this post.
Did you know that almonds have been shown to help with weight loss? At least 10% of the fat in them is not absorbed by the body, and almonds can also help to boost your metabolism!
Tip: Put a handful of unsalted/unsweetened nuts into a small container and throw it in your purse or bag.
If you find nuts a bit boring, put a baking tray of almonds in the oven to roast (about 180 degrees and check after 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes) until they look toasted. Allow to cool before storing in an air tight container.
To make seeds more interesting, put a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a baking tray and spread out to form a thin layer. Bake at 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes until they’re starting to change colour. Put the tray on a flat surface and shake soy sauce over the seeds while still hot. Mix this around with a fork and allow to go cold before storing in an air tight container. These are lovely as snacks or sprinkled on top of salads for extra flavour.
Lower sugar fresh fruit
As with nuts, studies show that people who tend to eat more fruit, tend to be healthier. (I’m sure you’re not too surprised!)
Yes, fresh fruit contains sugar but whole fruits (I'm not talking juice or sweetened dried fruit) also contain a fair bit of water and fibre; not to mention their nutritional value with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Some fruits have a higher sugar content than others – berries have the lowest sugar – plus eating fruit with some protein, fat or fibre is recommended. Fibre is something that not only helps to fill you up (known as the "satiety factor") but also helps to slow the release of the fruit sugar into your bloodstream and reduce the notorious "blood sugar spike."
Try eating your fruit with a handful of nuts.
Tip: Can't do fresh? Try frozen. Plus, they're already chopped for you.
This is one of my personal favourites…
Chia is not only high in fibre (I mean HIGH in fibre), but it also contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids (yes THOSE omega-3s!). As well as antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium.
Can you see how great these tiny guys are?
They also absorb a lot of liquid, so by soaking them for a few minutes, they make a thick pudding (that is delicious and fills you up).
Tip: Put two tablespoons in a bowl with ½ cup of nut milk and wait a few minutes. Add in some berries, chopped fruit or nuts, and/or cinnamon and enjoy! This is great as an alternative to porridge for breakfast as it helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the morning.
Boiled or poached eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrition and most of it is in the yolk.
They contain a lot of high-quality protein and a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
And recent research shows that the cholesterol in the yolks is NOT associated with high elevated cholesterol or heart disease risk.
Yup, you read that right!
Tip: Boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in your fridge for a super-quick (and nutritious) snack! Or make ‘omelettes’ in muffin tins for a quick, convenient snack – you could cook a batch and freeze. They microwave well if you’re fancying something warm and make a great breakfast too.
I don’t need to tell you how great these are for you, but just maybe I need to sell you on the delicious “snackability” of these nutrition powerhouses.
Veggies contain fibre and water to help fill you up, and you don't need me to tell you about their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, right?
You can easily open a bag of baby carrots and/or cherry tomatoes and give them a quick rinse (they’re already bite-sized). Keep these stored in the fridge for ‘emergencies’ and put them where you’ll see them first.
We make hundreds of food decisions every day and with Christmas snacks available at every turn, there are more decisions than ever to make. Put the healthier stuff where you’ll see it otherwise you’ll go for what’s most readily available.
Tip: Use a bit of dip to make your veggies more interesting. Have you put almond butter on celery? Or tapenade or dukkha with your crudites?
7 Ways to beat the Christmas snacks!
Remember we make nearly 200 food decisions per day and at Christmas this probably rises sharply.
Prep ahead! If there’s no alternative to the more usual Christmas snacks or it’s going to take effort then the mince pies will win!
Put the Christmas snacks out of sight in containers you can’t see through and in cupboards out of reach. Make it hard to get to them and there might just be enough thinking time to stop the automatic habits.
Toast a batch of nuts and/or seeds and put these where you can see them instead of a bowl of chocolates.
Cook a batch of eggs, either boiled or as little muffin omelettes and store in the fridge where you can see them.
Have berries available in the fridge or freezer to have with full fat Greek yoghurt or with a handful of nuts when the munchies strike.
Chop up a load of more interesting veggies so they’re immediately available and visible but make them more appealing with additional flavours, such as tapenade.
If all else fails, try to eat either some fruit or veg with your not-so-healthy Christmas snack to increase the nutrition - a handful of berries with the mince pie or a few slices of cucumber or cherry tomatoes with the cheese, biscuits and crisps.
If you’re trying to keep your sugar intake down over the Christmas period or you need some additional support to avoid a sugar ‘free-fall’, why not join the 5 Day Sugar Free Challenge?
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.