How Eating Snacks Helped Me Lose 20 Pounds
Looking for healthy vegan weight loss snacks? In this article, I’m going to show you, how snacking saved my diet and helped me lose 20 pounds.
I will teach you, how you can use them to your advantage as well.
Now, you might think that I’m exaggerating, but I promise you I don’t.
I love this strategy so much, I want to share them with you, so you can have a positive and successful dieting experience.
Now, let’s get into healthy vegan weight loss snacks!
During my 7 years of constant dieting, I found, that one of the most important aspects of powering through a diet is snacking.
This may sound crazy, but hear me out. It’s not what you think.
One of the awful habits we all develop that’s a leading reason for weight gain is eating a lot of unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
These snacks may seem innocent and small, but they are sneakily giving us a TON of unwanted calories, fat and sugar and other yucky things.
We have to take this habit, turn it around and use it to achieve the exact opposite.
It’s crucial to understand, that eating a certain amount of calories from “bad” snacks
and eating the same calories from healthy, plant-based food like fruits is NOT the same to your body.
A Snickers bar contains 250 calories. What else does it give you though, other than 2 minutes of temporary pleasure?
- a ton of sugar that your body cannot use up properly because it’s so over-processed;
- blood sugar spikes, that cause further cravings and in long-term, type 2 diabetes;
- a big amount of sodium (yes, despite that it’s a sweet snack it contains a lot of sodium) which will retain a lot of water in your body resulting
in bloating (how to avoid water retention). What else…
- saturated fats, that are damaging to your heart and arteries,
- fattening residue hormones and puss that is in milk (so gross)…
…should I go on? No matter how I look at it, It just doesn’t worth that 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, the same 250 calories you can eat from :
- 1 cup of strawberries+
- 1 cup of blueberries+
- 1 banana+
- 1 lime+water.
You can eat all that yummy food for the same calorie amount of a yucky, sugary bar. Here are all the amazing things you will get as a bonus:
- a TON of fiber – good for your digestive system
- 100% of your daily Vitamin C need – good for your immune system and beauty
- 65% of your daily Manganese need – good for your bones
- 3.6 g protein (yep! fruits have protein too, how awesome)
In comparison, the Snickers bar has 4 grams of protein. So virtually the same amount as the fruits. How embarrasing. 😉
Why do we crave snacks?
It’s simple. We crave sweet snacks, if our blood sugar levels spike. Our blood sugar levels usually spike, if we eat something with a high glycemic index (like sweet snacks).
The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 based on how quickly and how much they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, are rapidly digested and cause substantial fluctuations in blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index, like whole oats, are digested more slowly, prompting a more gradual rise in blood sugar. (source)
It’s a brutally vicious circle.
On the other hand, we crave salty snacks because of their high fat and sodium content. Our body loves and needs fat, but you have to teach yourself to choose the healthy/good types.
In here lies the secret of it all.
The perfect SALTY snack
If you’re dieting, you must have noticed, that in the late afternoon/ early evening there is a low point.
A point where you feel like crying, giving up, yelling at clouds, moving to another planet or something irrational like that.
I know I felt that Every.Single.Day.
Now, what I meant by saying that snacking saved my diet, is the following.
We don’t have to look at dieting, as a horrible, cruel task, that is draining all our life energy.
We can have the same amount of delicious food and meals we had before, just with the right swaps.
When I first started dieting 7 years ago, I had this horrible attitude, that dieting takes away all my joy and fun in the day. That’s NOT TRUE!
If you had a snack before lunch and a snack before dinner, you don’t have to give those up. Just choose a healthy option.
REWIRE your brain.
You will still enjoy your snacks as something nice and rewarding, but it’s actually good for you and helps you get through the low points!
Your diet is saved and it’s fun! Yay! 🙂
There are a lot of things that contain fat and you can make salty, but it ‘s important that you choose the appropriate type of fat and amount of salt (again, sodium–water retention.)
My recommendation is, that you compensate for the amount of salt with 1-2 cups of water.
So, what should you eat?
I recommend choosing:
- lightly salted nuts, like pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews,
- homemade popcorn (without butter!),
- half an avocado with salt, pepper and lemon juice,
- greek/green/black olives.
My choice was pistachios. And I still choose them over other snacks. They are so delicious and as a bonus, it’s hard work to get all of them out of their shells, so you can’t eat too much. 😛
Again, what I did was REWIRE my brain so that it would recognize pistachios as not a health food, but a snack.
It was easy because basically, it’s everything a snack should be. It’s salty, crunchy, and comes in small bites. It worked.
Combined with my sweet snack choice, I was fully satisfied. My mental well-being and my diet was saved. Every single day. I managed to lose 20 pounds in 6 months and I still maintain my weight. 🙂 You can do too!
The perfect SWEET snack
Sweet snacks were even more important to me, than salty ones, given that i have a HUGE sweet tooth.
I noticed that if I eat something very sweet in the morning, my brain checks off some virtual box and leaves me alone for the rest of the day.
As soon as I started having problems with sweet cravings, I realized that I had to do something about it.
The problem with cravings is that they should not be frequent. By that I mean that if you are having cravings,
it means you have to readjust something in your meal plan. As time passes, those cravings are only going to get worse, so to prevent them, try to take immediate steps.
The amount of guilt that comes after a binge eating does NOT worth it.
So, what should you eat?
I recommend choosing:
- Protein bars (best if it’s raw with no added sugar, see my best healthy vegan protein bars list);
- Dried fruits like apricots, pineapples, plums;
- Dark chocolate (min. 75% cocoa content, max. 2-3 squares/day)
- Medjool dates- they’re really sweet naturally, you can even use them as sweetener in recipes.
Now, my sweet snack choice was, drum roll… Protein bars! YEP. I especially liked the strawberry and banan flavored ones.
Of course, these protein bars do not contain any added sugar or yucky unhealthy ingredients, like artificial flavorings and additives.
They are as clean as a pre-packaged food item can get.
In conclusion, make sure that you choose 2 healthy vegan weight loss snacks a day, that you can eat as preventatives or if the cravings kick in.
- relatively high fat content
- no more, than 1/3 cup
- compensate for sodium content ( +1-2 cup of water)
- lightly salted nuts, homemade popcorn, half of an avocado, olives
- relatively high carb content
- no more, than 1/3 cup
- if possible, no added sugar
- clean – no preservatives, artifical flavorings, colors…etc.
- dried fruits, dates, protein bars, dark chocolate
What healthy snacks are your go-tos, when it comes to dealing with cravings? Let us know in the comments!
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