1. Fruits and Vegetables. The best snacks to eat while dieting are fruits and vegetables. They are both relatively low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The high fiber content slows down the digestion process and makes you feel full for a long period of time which will lower your calorie intake.
2. Complex Carbs. Carbohydrates can be split up into two groups: simple and complex. Simple carbs include sugars and are referred to as the bad or unhealthy ones. They are digested quickly,usually contain little in the way of nutrients and leave you hungry very quickly which promotes an increased calorie intake later in the day. Complex carbs are digested a lot slower, have an abundant source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and keep you full for a long period of time. Oats, 100% whole wheat bread and pasta, vegetables, fruits and beans are great sources of complex carbs.
3. Lean Meat. Meat has a bad reputation but if you pick the right types, you’ll be eating a food that is high in protein and low in fat. Some of the meats we’ve come to love are filled with saturated fat (the unhealthy kind). Fortunately for the meat lovers, there are choices that are almost fat free. When eating meat, stick to chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef and fish.
4. Nuts. Though nuts are high in calories, they are also loaded with healthy nutrients. They will also keep you full for a lot longer than snacks that are high in sugar which will help you from loading up on more food later in the day.
5. Junk Food. Most people think that diets are no fun because junk food has to be completely eliminated. This isn’t true at all. While the amount of junk food you eat should be reduced, it shouldn’t be removed from your intake all together. A diet isn’t about short term changes, it’s about a healthy lifestyle that will allow you to enjoy your food while at the same time, staying within your healthy weight range. If you get rid of all the foods you love, you’re depriving yourself. A diet won’t last very long if you aren’t enjoying the foods you’re eating. It’s a lot better to eat a doughnut here and there than it is to ditch your diet all together and go back to your old habit of having 4 doughnuts per day. Moderation is key, so have a few cookies each day but don’t eat the entire box.
Honorable Mention: Water. Though water isn’t technically a food, it’s a good tool to use to lose weight. When you replace high calorie drinks such as coffee and sugar, fruits juices, sodas and sweet tea with water, you can substantially cut down your calorie intake. At the end of the day, the amount of calories you take in will determine whether or not you lose weight.