Healthy Snacks for Your Tummy
I get so many emails from people asking about healthy snack foods. While I listed some of the good food groups on the fat burning foods page, here are some more specific snacks you can eat that fall in line with flattening your tummy and losing weight.
Before getting started, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of David Zinczenko's The Abs Diet book.
It's not just your run-of-the-mill diet guide that tells you to lower your fat intake and starve yourself by eating 1,000 calories per day. :)
It shows you the 12 "ab friendly" food groups and gives examples of meals and snacks that incorporate all the groups.
He provides you with hundreds of recipes, examples of meals to eat at the popular chain restaurants and gives great explanations of what certain foods do to your body. It's very easy to read and small enough to carry with you.
There's even a chart that tells you the kinds of foods you should eat often and the kinds you should almost always avoid.
As David will tell you, dieting is not about starving yourself and going hungry, it's about choosing the right foods and enjoying them often.
Without further ado, here are some healthy snack foods you can munch on without feeling guilty...
As long as you don't saturate it in butter and/or salt (a.k.a. movie theatre popcorn) this is a very healthy snack.
It's very high in fiber and low in calories. The best kind to eat is the air popped but if you're going to pop it on the stove make sure you use oils with monosaturated fats like canola or olive oil.
Be careful with microwave popcorn. Check the labels for sodium and fat content because it varies from brand to brand.
Almonds and Other Nuts
You've heard the old phrase "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well now people are saying the same thing about a handful of nuts.
The biggest weapon contained in nuts is the monosaturated fat. This kind of fat is actually good for you and can even help clear your arteries.
Nuts help fill you up and are also high in Vitamin E, fiber and magnesium.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight diseases such as cancer, asthma, osteoperosis and a host of other inflammations.
Sunflower Seeds Will Also Work
Sunflower seeds are like a cousin to the nut and contain a lot of the same good characteristics.
If you choose to eat these, be sure to choose the ones with low or no salt. Many people like to lick the salt from the shell and that's when a healthy snack turns into a not-so-healthy snack.
The salted shells are fine in moderation but just be sure to limit your consumption.
Peanut butter is a delicious member of the legume family. It has a lot of the same good qualities as regular nuts, and is great because it will fill you up quickly.
If you ever want to hold yourself over to the next meal just eat a couple of teaspoons of peanut butter. That's 190 calories right there and you get a load of protein.
You can also add it to your fruit, crackers, or even a smoothie. It makes a great healthy snack.
Watch your consumption of it, however. Despite the protein, peanut butter is considered a high-calorie food. So be sure you don't overdo it.
Fruit smoothies can actually be used as a meal replacement if you pack them with enough ingredients.
Depending upon what you put in them, they can contain anywhere between 400 and 600 calories which will keep you full for hours.
The benefit to this kind of snack is you can get fruit, protein, fiber and dairy all in one delicious serving. The choice is up to you.
Lisa's Tip: If you live near a Smoothie King this is the best place to go! Not only do they have tons of flavors, but you can even ask for extra protein/whey powder (great for toning your stomach) and many other healthy ingredients that will give your drink a healthy boost.
Another Note: If you're watching your sugar intake, please understand that smoothies are very high in sugar - even though most of it is natural.
Sugar turns into fat when it's not burned off so I wouldn't eat a smoothie everyday. If you really find yourself enjoying them, see if you can order a "light" or "low sugar" smoothie. Many places offer that option.
Who knew? Beef jerky is actually a very healthy snack contrary to popular belief. On average one ounce of jerky contains about 70-80 calories, 12 grams of protein and around 1 gram of fat.
Just remember to buy your jerky at a health food store. The kind you see in regular grocery stores are generally high in sodium.
Low Fat Yogurt
An 8-ounce cup of yogurt generally contains 2-3 grams of fat and around 150 calories. This is a much better snack food option than something like ice cream.
A recent study showed people that consumed three servings of light yogurt daily as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost about 20 percent more weight than those who only cut calories.
Some recipes will even call for low fat yogurt to replace sour cream.