Are you on a nutritional plan with the aim of losing weight? Or maybe your plan is to build up and maintain your muscle mass, and have a lean and toned body?
You’ll definitely notice through your research that you have to eat small meals and snacks regularly and reduce your calorific intake. You have to eat healthy to have the physique you desire. So why not go for those healthy snack alternatives?
Quantity and Quality are Important
To get the results you want, you should not starve yourself. Also, you need to incorporate the right amount of healthy snacks into your daily nutritional plan to stay on top of your health and wellness goals.
Even if you’re already a workout enthusiast, and especially if you have done some resistance training or have been to the gym regularly, your body requires a constant supply of energy to keep it fuelled and functioning at its peak state.
See your body as a nice working engine. You can’t run an engine without fuel, and if it’s a Bugatti, you won’t fill your tank with just about any fuel you see. Think of yourself as a high-performance motor and fill your body with the right stuff.
Make Conscious and Considered Choices
It’s very easy to take a chocolate bar or packet of crisps and tell yourself that you had no time to make a more healthy decision about what to eat. But that’s just a lame excuse. Whether or not you have to make your snacks ahead of schedule, or you just make your snacks when you need them, there are lots of healthy snack options available to you.
All you have to do is to make good and healthy nutritional choices. And that’s where I can help you with my top ten healthy snack alternatives.
It’s All About Eating Clean to Stay Looking Lean
Of course, we realize that it’s a tough task to constantly eat healthily. Today sugar would be good, and tomorrow fats would be your worst enemy, and ketones are your ally and all carbohydrates should be avoided like a plague.
With the amount of conflicting and confusing information about food and diets being hailed online as the best thing since sliced bread, it can be hard to sieve out the right information.
Are protein bars good for you? Should you be snacking on Brazil nuts? Can you eat full-fat yogurt? Now, I’ll sieve out the right information and see some of the top healthy snacks you should have in your fridge, store cupboard, gym bag, or larder for when your stomach starts growling, and you want to take something.
1. Go Greek
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and it is a nutritious and tasty snack and also an alternative dessert that can be taken in place of a cheesecake. Top off your yogurt with colorful and nutrient-rich berries like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, and sprinkle with diced nuts, almond flakes, or seeds.
One other great and healthy snack you can combine with Greek yogurt is to add a spoonful of your favorite protein powder to your yogurt and keep it in the fridge. It will come out like a whipped mousse – consistent, fluffy and light, and filled with protein powders that build the muscles.
2. High Protein Pancakes
This is a perfect breakfast alternative or a fantastic mid-morning snack during the weekend. You can prepare this protein pancake in batches by stacking them high and adding some fresh berries, chia seeds, and sprinkling some Manuka honey. This will give you an amazing taste and a lot of nutrients too.
You just need a good protein powder as your base, but you can mix yours with crème Fraiche. They are a fabulous choice for breakfast or dessert, or as a snack.
3. Protein Shakes
Regardless of your plans, proteins are the basic building block of having lean muscle mass, burning excess fat, and having a more trim and toned physique. Therefore, if you’ve not gotten a protein shaker, now is the perfect time to do so. Go out there and buy yourself a tub of high-quality protein powder.
The type you invest in is dependent on your body goals (building muscle or shedding excess fat). It also depends on any other dietary requirements or restrictions you might have (gluten-free, vegan-friendly, lactose intolerant).
Protein shakes are the perfect snack either before a workout session or after it. So if you just finished exercising on a treadmill or had an intense resistance bands workout, then your body deserves a protein shake, something to provide those essential nutrients it craves.
You can easily prepare one before leaving your house and then when you are ready to consume it, you just have to give it a good shake. Or you can purchase wonderful protein shakers that come with built-in powder storage systems.
This helps you to mix and prepare your protein shake on the spot. With that being said, a protein shake is really a healthy snack you must have.
4. Kale Chips
Of course, chips are on my list of top ten healthy snacks. And a round of applause for the great kale, please! Kale is really a superb food, and you have my permission to eat it the way you desire. It’s wonderful in a super mean, green smoothie that has lots of nutrients so get ready with your protein powder and some avocado for a great post resistance training recovery drink.
Now, back to the chips. Kale is extremely healthy. Filled with fiber and antioxidants and other stuff too hard to pronounce such as quercetin and kaempferol. Although you might not know these compounds, they are good in reducing blood pressure and can help decrease the risk of colon cancer. So get yourself some kales right now!
If you want to make some kale chips, get some kale, a sprinkle of high-quality olive oil, and some sea salt. Properly mix your ingredients, place them on parchment and keep them in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F.
If you want to be a bit adventurous, you can add some chili flakes to your mixture. This is another great snack you can enjoy at home or put into your gym bag for a post-gym session.
5. Smoothie Bowls
Smoothie bowls are excellent for people who have that sweet tooth craving. It’s also a good alternative to ice cream, most especially in the warmer summer season. There are lots of juice and smoothie bars that pop up in each corner of every city around the world, so you’ll always have one close to you. Unless you’re in the middle of an uninhabited island, maybe.
Also, smoothie bowls are very natural and healthy and can be easily made at home. You just have to pick lots of frozen fruits like blueberries, bananas, and grapes and whip up a tasty and refreshing bowl of awesomeness that will replenish the glucose you lost after a rigorous workout session without increasing your blood sugar levels.
You can also make one on the go for your gym session and put it into your gym bag inside the protein shaker you’ve just got to relish later in the day.
6. Go Nuts for Nuts
Nuts are an excellent nutritional snack and are easy to consume on the go. They are also excellent for an after workout recovery meal. They can be bought already prepared in simple gym bag sized, in pre-portioned packets or you can mix your own.
Nuts contain a lot of fat, yes, but that’s the good kind of fat, the kind needed by your body. Nuts are also satisfying and can be eaten moderately. They can help with weight loss if that’s one of your nutritional goals.
If you have a foldup treadmill in your home and you have a rigorous workout regimen, but you’ve been neglecting your snacks, it’s probably the reason you’re not getting the desired results. That’s why you should get lots of nuts and release your inner squirrel!
You don’t have to put nuts in the fridge, they don’t require any special preparations, and they are excellent snacks when you’re away from home. Now is the time to let go of the salted caramel-covered peanuts. You should stick with a proper mixed nut selection with pecans, macadamias, Brazil nuts, almonds, and unsalted peanuts.
7. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Actually, carbohydrates are not your enemy. Your enemies are the deep-fried, triple-cooked goose fat fries! And I understand that they taste so good. But I have a healthy alternative that you can relish, especially after an intense workout session when you need to get some food into your system immediately.
You should rather try to cook up some sweet baked potato fries. They are very simple to make and they can go with lots of main meals as healthy alternative side dishes. They are also a fabulous snack option.
All you have to do is to cut some sweet potatoes and drizzle them with olive oil. If you want to try out something new or you want to add more flavor, then add some piquant chili flakes and some ground black pepper, and sea salt.
Then bake in the oven till it becomes crisp and slightly browned, and then savor the richness of this snack. They also contain a high amount of beta-carotene that helps with your vision.
8. Swap the Colourful Candy For Some Home-Made Trail Blaze Mix
Our brains have been designed to always be attracted to bright colors, which is the reason why candy is so tempting. Bright and vibrant colors are associated with youth, vigor, and—if you’re talking about food and snacks—taste! This is why you can trick your taste buds by making an alternative healthy snack that is like a homemade trail mix.
You can add different kinds of colorful ingredients into this including dried fruits such as berries and cherries. You can even add dark chocolate chips to add that extra layer of texture plus loads of high-quality carbs and fats.
Now you can snack to your heart’s delight when you get hungry and have that sweet tooth craving. Get some sealable plastic bags or small plastic containers, prepare and keep them in your gym bag and consume it after that hardcore resistance session you just had.
9. Bell Peppers with Guacamole or Hummus
This is another incredibly tasty and healthy snack option. Bell pepper is a highly nutritious snack filled with antioxidants like capsanthin, beta-carotene, and quercetin. You might not know this, but red pepper is also a good source of vitamin C. In fact, only one red pepper has about 300% of your daily required dose of vitamin C.
Cut your peppers and put them in a container to take to the office with you. Also, add a pot or either hummus or guacamole for a highly tasty mid-afternoon snack that is very tasty but has few calories.
10. Cottage Cheese, Flax Seeds, and Cinnamon
This might seem like a weird combo but trust me, it’s so delicious, highly nutritious, and of course, it is healthy.
Cottage cheese is a source of lots of protein, and it can really sate your hunger. It also contains conjugated linoleic acid or CLA for short. This compound is useful in targeting and reducing excess body fat. When taken with flax seeds, cottage cheese can help in regulating your blood sugar levels that are responsible for those cravings which most times lead to bad nutritional decisions.
Of course, I understand how tough it is looking at things that are tempting at every turn, but it’s not that difficult to do, and you’ll really enjoy snacking. I’ll advise you to add some cinnamon to this recipe too.
Cinnamon helps in regulating and lowering your blood sugar levels just like flax seeds. It can also improve the overall health of your gut. As you can see, it’s really a wonderful snack!
There you have it! These are some of the healthy snack alternatives to fire up your imagination and wow your taste buds and help you maintain your weight loss and nutritional plans.
You really don’t have an excuse, regardless of how busy your life is, for not being able to make wise and healthy decisions when it comes to your snacks. Snacking is great, you just have to train yourself to eat healthier and make more conscious decisions from now on.