Crash dieting can work in the short run, but most sustainable diets involve small, regular meals that provide your nutrition and keep your metabolism running.
Here are my Top 10 favorite snack ideas that I've developed over the years. Each one is healthy, low-fat and low-carb. Even better, they're easy to prepare and inexpensive too. Today's lesson? Snacking is OK!
1. Low Calorie Bran Muffin
You know those muffins that you probably buy for $5 or more in your local coffee shop? Here's a low calorie replacement that tastes just as good.
They're high in fibre and nutrients, and a really convenient snack for on the go. To cut down on preparation time, you can even make several batches and freeze them and dethaw as needed.
2. Celery with Peanut ButterAn unlikely but delicious combination! If you aren't a fan of peanut butter you can try some other nut butter such as almond, cashew, and hazelnut butter.
Nut butters contain benefical "good fats" that are excellent for your skin. They are also high in fibre and antioxidants.
3. Sweet Potato WedgesThese delicious sweet potato wedges are low in calories and high in vitamins and fiber. They're also very filling, which makes them a really great diet food.
For a little variety, you can do the same with pumpkin, yams or even parsnips. They're an excellent side dish for a lunch or dinner too.
4. Low Fat Hummus and VeggiesA very delicious and filling snack thats high in protein, fibre and antioxidants. Try putting it on some whole wheat pita bread - slice the pita in half (lengthways) and you can put it in your toaster.
Check out my Low Fat Hummus Recipe. Its a great, low fat snack that substitutes peanut butter and sesame oil for the more traditional tahini.
5. Fruit saladFruit contains plenty of antioxidants. Keeping your diet consistently packed with antioxidants will prevent damage to your cells, slow the aging process, and keep you healthy too.
Cut up all your favorite fruits in a bowl - enough to last a few days. That way when you get a sweet craving you can easily grab a bowl.
6. Smoked Salmon and Multi-Grain CrackersSalmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 oils. In recent studies it has been shown that an increased intake of these heart-healthy fatty acids can help to balance blood sugar levels, control appetite and reduce fat storage.
These are really tasty snacks to eat between meals. They only take a second to prepare, they're very low calorie and they're great for your health too!
7. Cottage Cheese or Yogurt with FruitRecent research has found that 4 daily servings of low-fat dairy products can boost your body's fat-burning ability. Calcium actually increases your metabolism and keeps your bones and teeth strong.
8. Fruit & Nut BarsFinding a nut bar to suit your taste is easier than ever now. They come in all kinds of different varieties and brands.
Nut bars are great snacks to carry with you in those times when you are hungry and healthy snack options are limited.
I always take one on long photoshoots to give me an energy boost when I need it.
9. Boiled Eggs or Devilled EggsAn excellent source of lean protein and a very tasty snack to keep in the fridge for when you're peckish.
10. Apple with CheeseThis is a quick, easy and healthy snack thats high in fibre and calcium. It will help quickly curb your appetite between meals.
Some diet experts might tell you that you should stay off the cheese while you're dieting, but in small portions its absolutely fine.
Almost everyone has apples and cheese in the fridge, so this one's a no-brainer.