Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of free time to prepare your meals or hit the gym. However, there are ways to increase your metabolic rate without having to sacrifice precious time that could be spent with your loved ones. Save yourself the headache of figuring out meal plans and calorie counting, and just incorporate these snack ideas into your daily intake.
You may be surprised at how easy it is to lose weight if you just eat mindfully!
Apples are quick and easy to grab, even if you’re rushing out the door to get to work. They are high in fiber, and good carbohydrates, which means that you won’t have to deal with sugar crashes as a result of excessive insulin spiking.
An apple is relatively low in calories too, so it’s unlikely that you’ll exceed your daily caloric intake unless you eat dozens of them. They also contain vitamin C, which helps in boosting the immune system and ward off diseases.
Nuts are an excellent example of how nature does fast food. Almonds can provide a host of health benefits when eaten in moderation, such as promoting satiety and reducing the risk of heart disease. This is due to the monounsaturated fat that is found in most nuts. Also, raw almonds contain no sodium, which helps in lowering blood pressure for those who are sensitive to it.
Broccoli is one of the vegetables that come to mind when you think of the word “diet,” and for a good reason. It’s tasty when eaten steamed, blanched, or even raw, and it is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K. This helps detoxify the body from toxins and free radicals that could cause tissue damage. Since it contains dietary fiber, it helps boost the metabolism by keeping you full longer which prevents excessive snacking. Just try to avoid dipping sauces, as they are often loaded with salt, sugar, and fat.
Low-Fat Plain Yogurt
Low-fat plain yogurt is a great snack option because it’s versatile and tasty, not to mention loaded with probiotics. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria or ‘live cultures’ that are essential to a healthy digestive tract. Low-fat plain yogurt is also high in protein, which boosts the metabolism because of its thermic effect. It is lower in calories than its full-fat counterpart, making it ideal for those who are trying to lose weight. Just avoid flavored yogurts that are high in sugar; instead, add your own fruit toppings or sweeten them with honey or stevia.
In addition to being cheap and easy to prepare, eggs can help you lose weight. They are low in calories (about 77 calories per large egg) and low in fat. They also score high on the Satiety Index Scale, which means they keep you full. Worried about the cholesterol content? No need. Eggs do not spike your cholesterol levels.
Canned tuna is another weight loss staple because it’s quick and easy to prepare, great for people who are always on the go and have very little time to cook, and is available in all grocery stores. It’s loaded with protein, vitamin B3, and vitamin B12, and since it’s lean, you won’t have to worry about the excess calories from fat. Try to find albacore tuna—which is a white tuna—because it has a better nutrition profile than other fish. Eat it straight out of the can, or serve it over rice and some greens.
You may have already come across edamame at your favorite Japanese restaurant, but did you know that it could help you lose weight? Edamame, or soybeans, are delicious and low-fat. They are also high in dietary fiber and protein, which makes them ideal for snacking and makes for a great salad topping or road trip munchies. They are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron, and can be made in bulk, so you won’t have to worry about cooking or steaming them when you’re pressed for time. Simply pack them into individual bags for a grab-and-go.
To avoid cottage cheese thighs, eat cottage cheese. Yes, you read that right. Cottage cheese is high in protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They also come in low-carb, low/non-fat varieties, which cut down the calories significantly. Cottage cheese is rich in antioxidants and has the ability to improve digestion and regulate blood sugar.
Beef jerky can be good for you and boost your metabolism, provided it’s not loaded with excess sugar and sodium. You may want to avoid barbecue-flavored ones, especially because they are usually the ones with the most additives and artificial flavorings. Try to find plain beef jerky that is freshly made and does not keep for too long (fewer preservatives). Turkey jerky is also a good option for those who’d like something with a lower fat content.
Blueberries have long been considered a superfood and anti-cancer in one. They are high in antioxidants which help rid the body of unwanted toxins and free radicals, and they have weight loss benefits as well since they promote satiety and gut health. You can eat them raw, add them to whey protein smoothies or bake them into healthy muffins. Studies show that blueberries can even increase the rate of recovery in active individuals because they promote healing as well as tissue repair.
Asparagus is a weight loss staple because it is considered a negative calorie food item, meaning you burn more calories chewing and digesting them than the item’s nutritional value. This is great for boosting the metabolism while still being able to absorb its antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
You will read conflicting views on the consumption of cheese and other dairy products, but studies show that cheese and the butyric acid it contains have been linked to reduced hunger levels, reduced incidences of obesity, and increased metabolic rate. Consuming natural cheese with whole-grain bread has been shown to yield better metabolic results as compared to consuming processed cheese with white bread.
Raw celery sticks are great for weight loss. They contain very few calories (roughly 16 calories per cup), and the high water and fiber content increases satiety and reduces hunger cravings. In addition, celery provides important nutrients that keep your energy levels up (so you can work out) and your body functioning well.
Love your morning cup, joe? Guess what? Caffeine can help you lose weight. That is if you leave out the sugar, milk, syrups, etc. Not only does a serving of coffee contain little to no calories, but it acts as an appetite suppressant and boosts your metabolic rate. Too much coffee can have negative effects, though.
Losing weight doesn’t have to mean denying yourself sweet treats. In fact, that can lead to binging. Eating watermelon is a good way to keep those cravings under control. They are delicious and filling (they’re mostly water), plus they are low in calories and contain fiber, potassium, glutathione, and other nutrients.
Chances are you’ve heard about the health benefits of green tea – there are numerous. One of them is weight loss. That’s because green tea is calorie-free and contains caffeine. It’s also loaded with potent antioxidants known as catechins, the most important of which is EGCG, a well-known metabolism booster.
Cinnamon boosts calorie burn and aids weight loss by regulating insulin, lowering blood sugar, and decreasing LDL cholesterol levels. It also speeds up the metabolism and suppresses appetite, reducing cravings for sweets and high-calorie foods. Cinnamon is especially effective at targeting abdominal fat.
That’s right, nuts. They’re a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fats. They are also rich in fiber, which keeps you full, and at least one study has shown that regularly consuming nuts can boost metabolism considerably. The best nuts for weight loss are Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.
Grapefruit is a decent source of polyphenols and pectin, which help the body break down stored fat and burn up cholesterol – among other things. Grapefruit is also high in fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients that support weight loss. At around 50 calories per serving, it makes a good low-cal meal or meal addition. Plus, it’s tasty.