According to experts, snacking in between meals wards off hunger and aids weight loss by maintaining blood-sugar levels and reducing blood insulin levels. "When your body produces less insulin, you're much less likely to convert dietary calories into body fat," says weight loss expert Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen. "If we feed the body at regular intervals we send a signal to the body that it doesn't have to store calories," he adds.
Get off that couch and make yourself some dinner! With these five meal ideas you sure won’t be in the kitchen for long, and you’ll satisfy your hungry belly with nutrients and finger-licking, vegan goodness. With a little creativity, any meal can be nourishing made with ingredients you have on hand. For all you lazy vegans out there, do you have a favorite meal idea or recipe? Share your thoughts, we would love to hear from you!
One cup sliced cucumbers and 10 large olives makes for a great keto-friendly snack, with added benefits: “This is a great snack to help people in ketosis supplement their sodium levels." says Desiree Nielsen, RD, author of Un-Junk Your Diet. When you're in ketosis, your body needs more sodium, and “without adequate sodium, people are at risk for dehydration, constipation, and more dangerous electrolyte imbalances," she adds.
Good snacks are also relatively portable and easy to eat while you’re on the go. Search for snack ideas that can be thrown into your purse or bag, giving you the ability to always have food on hand. Additionally, a good snack is one that can be made ahead of time. For example, a trail mix that contains mixed nuts, dried fruits, and a small amount of chocolate provides a great balance of nutrients. You can portion a large bag of trail mix into smaller, snack-sized portions at the beginning of the week. Then, simply stick one in your bag before you head out the door to avoid mid-afternoon cravings.
If you’re looking for a post-workout snack with a little more staying power, try this delicious sweet potato toast recipe. Sweet potatoes provide filling fiber and carbohydrates, and ham and egg offer protein to help build muscle. Spinach is a good source of magnesium, which often gets lost in sweat, and carbohydrates for replenishing glycogen stores. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn
Where I live, in Sydney, Australia, there is a sushi shop on every corner. Sushi is always cheap, fresh and readily available. However, if you live in a place where sushi is difficult to come by, simply make your own. Most good Asian grocery shops stock everything you’ll need: sushi rice, nori paper, wasabi, mirin, soy sauce and cucumber. The rice should be made with vinegar and sugar. Limit your portion to approximately 30 grams of dry rice – not much.
This portable, affordable protein is a must-eat for anyone looking to lose a few. Why? Canned tuna is a prime source of a specific omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which has been shown to "turn off" fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from growing larger. To keep calories to a minimum, skip the mayo and instead add a few cranks of ground pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve the fish over a bed of greens—super filling, yet low-cal.
You don't need to go on a grapefruit diet to reap the health benefits of this ruby fruit. A whole grapefruit has about 100 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Not to mention, it delivers 100 percent of women's vitamin C needs for the day. That's a lot of nutrition packed into this tart citrus fruit (see other powerful health reasons to eat more grapefruit).
Other good vegetarian snacks include roasted chickpeas, baked kale chips, sliced vegetables with a couple tablespoons of hummus, energy bars, or a piece of fruit with peanut butter. Adding nut butters, seeds, nuts, cheese, or beans to a snack is a good way to get additional protein. For more snack ideas, see the recipes and snack recommendations below.
Oatmeal is a complex carb, meaning it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it's a good source of fiber and eating more fiber helps people lose weight and keep it off. While we think of it typically as breakfast, a small bowl of oats makes a hearty, filling and delicious snack. To make this snack more convenient-keep a packet or two of unsweetened instant oatmeal at your desk or make overnight oats in a mason jar.