Snack on This! 5 Healthy Snacks to Boost Metabolism
I am what you call the "Ultimate Snacker". I graze, I eat, I hoard snacks. Simply put, I love food...all the time. When I was in the 8th grade and I joined my first sports team (cross country and track and field for life!), my idea of giving up my snacks was "downgrading" to Snickers and clear sodas only, because the caramel color in sodas just HAD to have the most sugar, right?! In that quest, I did learn to ditch sodas completely throughout high school and most of college. And my mom always had a snack of the day of some variety, waiting for me when I got off the bus. One thing I didn't truly focus on, though, was the importance of snacking healthy. Because of my body type, I wasn't gaining weight, so I figured I could just eat whatever I wanted. But for the sake of being the best athlete I could be for my sport, I was mindful of what I ate most of the time - except those blasted Burger King visits our coach made late night at the end of a long Saturday of competition; hey it was all we had available at 11pm!
Over many years as an athlete and eventually as a coach, I learned what made my body work at its optimal level. Smaller meals, more often throughout the day. Enter snacking. Now, when we talk about snacking, I'm not talking about a bag of your favorite potato chips or a row of your favorite cookies. I'm talking about snacks that help sustain your body's energy, and help to boost your metabolism. Snacking that involves 100-200 calories, max, just to get you to your next main meal. When you snack healthy, you'll find that you have more energy, they are meant to satiate you, not make you full, and the more you snack, the more you will be hungry. Because now, your body is using those snacks as fuel and not storing the food as fat. You're welcome. Your metabolism is being kicked into high gear now! This is just a quick list, but very good to note that any of these 100-calorie snacks can be taken with you very easily, so you're not caught out during a day of shopping with a growling stomach, or spending money on food that isn't going to fuel you.
Snack on This!
Raspberries are super high in antioxidants like Vitamin C. This super fruit is sweet and tart, all at the same time, and can be blended in smoothies, eaten fresh, or baked into a delicious muffin (see, I told you I'm a snacker). Raspberries are low in fat and high in fiber, so they make you feel fuller, longer, which help aid in weight loss because they keep you regular (keeping metabolism high, too). They have also been known to be a great anti-inflammatory and fight against heart and cardiovascular disease. For your 100 calorie quota, you can eat up to 1.5 pints of them!
Cashews are very high in protein, vitamins and minerals. They are so antioxidant rich that it helps to boost your immune system. They contribute to a healthy heart, increased nerve and muscle function, and they aid in the formation of red blood cells. They are easier on the stomach, and lower in fat than most nuts. For a 100 calorie snack, fifteen halves are what you'll need for snack time. Cashews are a great post-workout snack, too, so eat these on your way home from the gym or when you finish your home workout. They have zero carbs, are high in fiber, and rich in magnesium, which promote increased memory and easing of anxiety.
Carrots have been a long time favorite among adults and children alike. Another snack rich in antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, K, and B8) that protect your body from toxins, they have always been known to promote eye health. But did you know that they are also great for strengthening muscles, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and preventing cancer? To boost your metabolism, add this high fiber snack to your day and pair it with 2 tablespoons of hummus. You can chop up large carrots to equal 28 3-4 inch pieces to get your 100 calorie snack in!
Mini pretzels may not seem like a likely snack because it's bread, but don't knock this good, quick 100 calorie snack. The super power of this salty snack is that it makes you drink water! So 21 of these bad boys in the afternoon after lunch will help you keep your water intake in check, thereby promoting an active metabolism and putting you on the path to weight loss.
We all have a sweet tooth of some type, right (remember my Snickers fetish)? Well, dark chocolate definitely makes this list of healthy 100 calorie snacks for its metabolism boosting ability and increasing your mood. It also is high in antioxidants, protecting you from disease-causing free radicals and aids in cognitive function. And because chocolate makes everything better, right? Just try to keep your intake at about 4.5 small squares, and you want to make sure you're eating dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, as it has the highest amounts of antioxidants and the lowest amount of sugar. For more benefits of dark chocolate, this is a great post.
BONUS!! This doesn't necessarily aid in metabolism boosting, but since we're talking about snacks, At the end of a long day, you may just want to have a "healthy" night cap. I can't think of a better night cap than a great glass of red wine (actually, I can, but we're talking about snacks.....well, I guess we could still label......FOCUS!). A 4.5 ounce pour is 100-calories of antioxidant rich goodness, and aids in heart health and fight in cognitive decline. ONE glass, though. I told you it was a bonus (for more on other "healthy" drinks when you're trying to stay fit, read THIS POST).
Snacking, done mindfully, will boost your metabolism, and aid in weight loss, making you a happy camper because you'll be on the path to your weight loss goals. Skipping meals does nothing for you, except slow down your metabolism. And with so many foods out there that can sway your tastebuds because of the sugars that may be calling your name, it's best to start off with some snacks you can take with you that actually help your body to function at its best.