Generally speaking, diet foods are gross. We've all been there and tried that, and when healthy foods taste as nasty as they look and sound, it's hard to stick to a plan that will help you lose weight.
Luckily enough for you, there are such things as diet foods that will both taste great and make you look great! We've done the research for you, and here are 5 yummy snacks that will shed the pounds and satisfy your cravings!
Fruits and Veggies
Don't let the blandness of these vitamin-packed food groups deter you from wanting to eat as much of them as you possibly can handle. And don't let the myth that fruits contain too much sugar for any diet scare you away, either.
The truth is, fruits and vegetables taste delicious when prepared correctly. Try cutting up strawberries just as they are and sprinkling some Splenda* over the top to sweeten them a bit. Mmm, tasty! Or even frozen bananas make a good summer afternoon treat.
(*Editors note: Stevia is an all natural herbal sweetener and may be a better option than Splenda)
For the veggies, go with the old childhood favorite of carrots dipped in peanut butter. Your taste buds, and your waist line, will thank you!
Low-Fat Dairy Products
If you love cheese (which, let's be honest, who doesn't?) and can't seem to give up your tasty treat, opt for a low-fat or even fat-free option. Dairy products are actually loaded with protein and nutrients that your body craves.
Try low-fat mozzarella shaped into balls and seasoned with a bit of heart-healthy olive oil and some basil. Serve with fresh tomatoes and voila! You have a delicious feast of a snack before your eyes.
For those yogurt fanatics out there - it's OK sometimes to sacrifice a bit of sugar for a tasty, fat-free yogurt snack. Try Chobani's line of 0% fat Greek yogurt. It's packed with protein that will help you stay more full longer and is overall much healthier than regular yogurt.
Almonds are what are known in the health world as "healthy fats." Yes, their total fat content is high (most nuts do tend to be loaded with fat), but it's fat that your body needs and actually uses to burn off other "bad" fat. Almonds are also bursting with lean protein, so snacking on them will help you feel full.
Just be sure to opt for roasted almonds and not the kind that are doused in salts. Salt will raise your sodium levels and dehydrate your body, which goes against everything you're trying to accomplish with your diet in the first place.
For an extra treat, try dark chocolate roasted almonds. Dark chocolate is good for your heart, and the tiny bit that's dusted onto these yummy treats won't break your diet for the day. Plus, they taste amazing and will totally kick your sweets cravings.
Meal Replacement Bars
Some of the meal replacement bars that are on the market today taste almost exactly like candy bars. So if you're the type to reach for a mid-afternoon candy bar, instead try heading for healthy protein bar or something of the like.
When shopping for these bars, though, do try to avoid the over-glorified candy bars that exist - look for protein bars that have high protein content (obviously) plus a few grams of fiber. And the lower the sugar, the better.
If you're watching calories as your dieting tactic, eat only half of the bar at a time as a snack. Their calorie load is a bit high for some - so keep it low by stashing half for later.
Keeping with the fruit and vegetable theme, frozen fruit smoothies can be oh-so-tasty and really make for a nice, refreshing snack at any time throughout the day. Depending on how you make them, you can even use them as a meal replacement for breakfast or lunch.
Stock up on frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas - whatever you want. Add them to your smoothie, mix them with some plain or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a splash of fat-free milk, a few ice cubes and a packet of Splenda. Blend all of the ingredients together, pour, sip and enjoy!
Dieting doesn't have to be a chore - all you have to do is choose the right foods that taste great and your diet will soon be a cinch. And you'll be dropping the weight you want to boot!
Annie Williams is a freelance writer and avid workout enthusiast. She knows that diet food doesn't have to be another thing you suffer through in your daily routine, so she is always experimenting with tasty recipes and ideas!