It’s three o’clock, you’ve got at least two hours until dinnertime, and you’re famished. Your hunger alarm is ringing so loud you just can’t concentrate so you head to the kitchen, or vending machine, to scare up a snack.
Making the right decision now can keep your snack attack from turning into a diet tragedy. Trade in your normal potato chips or candy bar for one of these hunger-satisfying, fat-burning snacks instead.
Avocados aren’t just creamy and delicious, they’re good for you too! Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and oleic acid, they naturally turn down the volume on your hunger, helping to fill you up and stop you from grazing your way straight through to dinnertime.
In fact, in a study published in Nutrition Journal, folks who ate half an avocado at lunch had their feelings of hunger plummet by 40 percent for up to three hours after eating the fruit.1
And, according to another study, avocado fans had a lower body mass index, smaller waists and a 50 reduced risk of pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome) compared to folks who avoided avocados.2
Slice one open, remove the seed and sprinkle with a dash of Himalayan or sea salt for a fat-burning snack that satisfies, while helping to whittle your waist.
2. Almond butter:
Almonds contain waistline-friendly healthy fats and protein, which will keep you feeling satisfied so you don’t overeat.
In one study, researchers compared low-fat dieters to folks who ate a diet rich in almond-delivered fats. The almond eaters crushed the low-fat dieters shedding an astounding 50 percent more weight, according to the study in the International Journal of Obesity.3
Two tablespoons of organic almond butter straight off the spoon—or smeared on some celery stalks or a couple of apple slices (both of which provide tummy-filling fiber)—will keep you firing on all cylinders until it’s time for your next full meal.
Fiber? Check. Protein? Check. Healthy fats? Check. Energizing B vitamins? Check.
Pistachios easily top our list of the best fat-burning snacks around, but it turns out researchers think they’re tops too. Just make sure they’re still in their shells for the best results.
Scientists from Eastern Illinois University found that when folks were forced to shell their own pistachios they ate an average of 41 percent fewer calories than when they were offered ones that had already been removed from their shells.4 Apparently the time it takes to shell them—along with the growing pile of shells that serve as a reminder—is enough to make folks eat less without even trying.
And despite many folks fearing that the calories and fat in pistachios will cause them to gain weight, research has found the opposite to be true. In fact, according to a study published in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology getting up to 20 percent of your daily calories from pistachios won’t cause you to gain weight, and it could help improve your blood pressure and cholesterol.5
So go ahead and grab a handful or two of pistachios, and get to cracking.
4. A hard-boiled egg:
Forget all that bad stuff you’ve heard about eggs in the past. Eggs are the victims of a misguided smear campaign that has left far too many folks fearing this nearly perfect food.
So let’s clean the slate right away by assuring you that eggs will NOT increase your risk of heart disease or significantly raise your cholesterol.6,7,8,9,10 In fact, according to Dr. Glenn Rothfeld—Healthier Talk affiliate and the Editor of Nutrition & Healing—eggs are perfectly safe even for folks who have a gene that makes them more sensitive to cholesterol.
But what eggs will do is help suppress your hunger hormone so you can trim down.11 Eggs are naturally low in calories and yet still packed to the brim with metabolism-boosting,12,13 belly-satisfying protein,14,15 and muscle-building amino acids.
As the second nut to make our list walnuts really hold their own when it comes to fighting belly fat and helping you lose weight. Just two ounces of walnuts deliver around six grams of satisfying protein and an impressive dose of healthy fats. And according to a study published in The Journal of the American Heart Association a diet containing unsaturated fats such as the kind found in walnuts could help you lose weight.16
So grab a handful and snack away. Or, if you’re looking for a little more zip in your afternoon snack why not give our simple and delicious chili-lime flavored walnut recipe a try?
|Zesty Chili-Lime Walnuts|
|You can’t go wrong with this palate-pleasing, fat-burning snack, which is packed with protein and good-for-you fats. The pleasant lime zing combined with the metabolism-boosting bite of spicy pepper is deliciously satisfying and will help keep you filled up until dinnertime.
1. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults,” Nutr J., 201312:155
2. “Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2008,” Nutr J. 2013; 12: 1
3. “Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program,” International Journal of Obesity (2003) 27, 1365–1372
4. “In-shell pistachio nuts reduce caloric intake compared to shelled nuts,” Appetite. 2011 Oct;57(2):414-7
5. “Effects of pistachio consumption on body composition and blood lipids in healthy young women,” The FASEB Journal, April 2014, vol. 28 no. 1 Supplement 640.6
6. “Associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with carotid intima-media thickness and risk of incident coronary artery disease…” Am J Clin Nutr, First published February 10, 2016, ajcn122317
7. “Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations,” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Jan;9(1):8-12
8. “Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;92(2):422-7. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29406. Epub 2010 Jun 9.
9. “Effect of dietary fat and cholesterol on plasma lipids and lipoprotein fractions in normolipidemic men,” J Nutr. 1988 May;118(5):555-60
10. “Influence of dietary cholesterol and fat on serum lipids in men,” J Nutr. 1981 Dec;111(12):2069-80
11. “Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men,” Nutr Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):96-103
12. “Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in healthy, young women,” J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Feb;21(1):55-61
13.”The influence of thermic effect of food on satiety,” Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998 Jul;52(7):482-8
14. “Protein, weight management, and satiety,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1558S-1561S
15. “A satiety index of common foods,” Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Sep;49(9):675-90
16. “Effects of Diet Composition and Insulin Resistance Status on Plasma Lipid Levels in a Weight Loss Intervention in Women,” J Am Heart Assoc. 2016; 5: e002771
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