Healthy Snacks Fit People on Instagram Swear By for Weight Loss
By Michael Martin
There’s no better source for foodie inspiration than Instagram. The trouble is, all those juicy artisan burgers and glistening chocolate ganache can make you feel like it’s the devil’s instrument when it comes to cravings.
Luckily, a fleet of health-minded bloggers who know their way around a kitchen document their real-life snacks, and it ain’t just trail mix. These decadent-seeming snacks, which make the porniest food porn seem tame, are packed with superfoods that have demonstrated fat-burning benefits.
Here are some of our favorite between-meal indulgences — from high-protein snacks to sweet treats — that’ll keep you slim. Use them as inspiration to create weight-loss and high-protein snacks at home.
AVOCADO ON RYE AND SEED BREAD
This Instagrammer’s snack of rye-and-seed toast topped with avocado and grated carrots is an excellent choice for satiety, as it’s packed with fiber and healthy fats. In fact, participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward, in a study published in Nutrition Journal. The olive oil drizzled on top of this snack is another source of healthy fat that’ll make you skinny.
This smoothie made with strawberries, coconut, almond milk and chia seeds is a fat blaster in a blender. Berries of any stripe are loaded with polyphenols, which can actually stop fat from forming. Researchers found that feeding mice three daily servings of berries decreased the formation of fat cells by up to 73 percent in a recent study. Coconut’s medium-chain triglycerides are burned as energy, not stored as fat, and have been shown to shrink waist size.
CHOCOLATE/BANANA PROTEIN SHAKE WITH CINNAMON-CHIA PEANUT BUTTER
This decadent-looking protein shake whirls up chocolate protein powder, ice and unsweetened almond milk, topping it with a banana and a teaspoon of cinnamon-chia peanut butter. The combination of protein, potassium from the banana and filling, fat-busting nut butter makes it an ideal snack to keep the afternoon hanger in check.
BANANA, OATMEAL AND COCONUT COOKIES
These guilt-free cookies have no flour or sugar; instead, they boast an oatmeal base sweetened with only banana, raisins and vanilla extract. Almonds and grated unsweetened coconut provide a one-two superfood punch as the finishing touch.
APPLE SLICES WITH PEANUT BUTTER, GOJI BERRIES, COCONUT AND FIGS
Fiber-filled apples provide a nutritious base for this snack and using them to make mini open-faced sandwiches is a genius idea. We approve this pick because they’re one of the best fruits for weight loss: The anthocyanins that give them their hue blast fat, while their high fiber content helps with satiety. Chopped pumpkin-seed-bark crackers, dried coconut and figs provide texture while goji berries have energy-boosting properties and help the body cope with stress, according to celebrity nutritionist Dr. Lindsey Duncan.
FRUIT ON TOAST
This colorful snack is a superfood smorgasbord: Strawberries, cherries and blackberries all have fat-burning properties thanks to their high levels of antioxidant polyphenols. Plus, peaches are loaded with phenolic compounds that turn off fat genes and reduce inflammation and metabolic syndrome, according to Texas A&M researchers. And the fruits’ high fiber and water content, along with a schmear of mascarpone cheese, will keep you feeling satisfied ‘til mealtime.
KALE CHIPS WITH COCONUT OIL
A healthy snacker’s dream, these homemade chips pair two of the very best foods for fat loss; kale is high in satiating fiber and bloat-busting potassium, while a study published in Lipids found that coconut oil actually reduces abdominal obesity and measurably shrinks waistlines. Dusted with salt and pepper, this savory nosh bakes up in just 10 minutes.
PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE BOWL
The smoothie bowl is a new genre we can get behind, especially when it contains so many fat-blasting components like this one. The nut butter, strawberries, coconut and cacao chips this healthy Instagrammer uses are sure to satisfy your taste buds as they slim you down. Dark chocolate is the dark horse of snacking for weight loss; it’s digested slowly, thanks to its stearic acid content, keeping hunger at bay. In fact, when men ate 3.5 ounces of chocolate two hours before a meal, those who had dark chocolate ate 17 percent fewer calories than those who were given milk chocolate, a recent study found.
MASON JAR FRUIT SALAD WITH CHIA SEEDS, STRAWBERRIES AND BANANAS
Packing snacks and salads into mason jars is great for portability and portion control, and we’re all for creative ways to consume more fruit. We’re fans of this particular combination for a number of reasons: fiber from all three ingredients will keep you from making poor snack decisions and omega-3 fatty acids in the chia seeds help keep your heart healthy. As if that weren’t enough, chia seeds soak up water and will reduce bloating.
FROZEN COCONUT KEFIR YOGURT CUPS
These may riff on Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, but they’re way better for you — without sacrificing flavor. Kefir and coconut team up to fight belly flab in two ways: kefir promotes healthy gut bacteria that keep bloating at bay and the lauric acid in coconut targets and burns belly fat. Top it off with berries, and you have a near-perfect snack, particularly for the summer.
FROZEN BANANA BITES
These frosty snacks have exactly two ingredients: bananas and organic chocolate chips. They provide a bite-sized hit of potassium — an electrolyte that aids muscle recovery — and a hint of chocolatey sweetness that’ll help slim your middle and satisfy your cravings for sweets.
FRUIT AND SPREADS ON CRACKERS
This inspiring set of crackers with healthy spreads and toppings illustrates how easy it is to mix and match superfoods to create a sweet yet filling snack. An unsung hero here, kiwi, has demonstrated de-bloating benefits and is rich in vitamin C.