Through my weight loss story, I have learned that eating six small meals a day, instead of three, keeps your metabolism revved and steadily burning. What is your metabolism? I found this helpful information on the Mayo Clinic website.

"Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.

"Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy for all its 'hidden' functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.

"The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate - what you might call metabolism. Several factors determine your individual basal metabolic rate:

  • Your body size and composition. The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.

  • Your sex. Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than women of the same age and weight, thus burning more calories.

  • Your age. As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.

"Your body's energy needs for basic functions are consistent and don't regularly change. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75 percent of the calories you burn every day."

Isn't it interesting the way our bodies work? It's easy to see the importance of eating healthy and consistently throughout the day to give our bodies fuel so we can keep up with our active lives.

To be helpful, here are some of my favorite healthy snack ideas. They're quick and easy.

25 Healthy snack ideas

  1. Half cup low fat cottage cheese with one sliced banana, half cup grapes, or any serving of fruit

  2. One apple sliced with one tablespoon all natural peanut butter

  3. One grapefruit with one teaspoon agave nectar

  4. Half cup air-popped popcorn with butter spray, one tablespoon melted butter, and a dash of sea salt

  5. Fourteen Raw Almonds with two tablespoons craisins or raisins

  6. 3/4 cup frozen red grapes

  7. Whole grain pretzel sticks

  8. One cup edamame with sea salt or a quarter cup dry roasted edamame

  9. 20 Pistachios = 80 calories

  10. Half cup whole grain cereal (Mini-Wheats, Oat Squares, Kashi, Multi-Grain Cheerios)

  11. Half cup low fat Wheat Thins or Triscuit crackers with one low fat string cheese

  12. One whole grain granola bar (Annie's or Special K)

  13. Celery sticks with one tablespoon all natural peanut butter

  14. Eight ounces of light yogurt mixed with half cup of low fat cottage cheese

  15. Half cup raspberries with a half cup of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

  16. One Lara Bar

  17. Three ounces Beef jerky

  18. Two hard boiled eggs - There are seven grams of protein per egg and no fat if you don't eat the yolk

  19. One large rice cake - I like caramel, apple cinnamon, and the new garden varieties

  20. A quarter cup of hummus with baby carrots or half a whole wheat pita in wedges

  21. Half cup of Greek yogurt (Be sure to look for a protein count of 20 grams or higher) topped with 1/4 cup Grape Nuts cereal or granola

  22. Five whole wheat saltines with a slice of cheddar cheese

  23. An apple sliced with a single low-fat string cheese

  24. Veggie Smoothie - Incidentally, I have a terrific recipe

  25. A protein smoothie or any other smoothie

If you happen to be a calorie-counting type of person, you'll be interested in knowing that most of these 25 healthy snack ideas are around 100-150 calories.

I hope these ideas are helpful.

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