In our fast-paced world, amidst a generation that shows no signs of slowing down, convenience is king. Fast-food and convenience store chains continue to crop up on every corner and lure us in with their promise of quick and easy food and beverage options. After a long day at work or a battle to get the kids to bed, the last thing many of us want to think about is preparing and cooking the delicious, healthy meal that our bodies deserve. It’s in these moments that we are most vulnerable to making food choices that our bad for our bodies, our minds and our overall success.
Not to worry! Here’s a list of 7 foods that support our fat loss and other fitness goals while having the added bonus of being super quick and easy. Add these to your shopping list today and keep them stocked in your fridge, both at home and work, so you’re never unarmed against hunger and your time-crunched schedule!
7 foods that promote fat loss
This probably isn’t news to anyone, but eggs are a super food – a low-calorie, protein punch that will satisfy hunger in a jiffy! Get creative with eggs. If you have 10 minutes to prepare your breakfast in the morning, nothing beats a quick omelet loaded with fresh veggies and spices. If you dash out the door without a thought to fueling your body for the day, think hard-boiled. You can prepare a dozen when you have spare time and store them in the fridge for a grab n’ go option. Some brands are doing all the work for us and selling whole, natural eggs pre-boiled for optimum convenience. Pop two in a Tupperware container and when lunch-time rolls around simply add a little dijon mustard, salt and pepper for a quick egg salad or toss on top of a garden salad for a filling, no-fuss meal. However you prefer to enjoy them, eggs are a simple and versatile choice that support health and fat loss.
2. Cheese Sticks
When we think cheese sticks, many of us think of the kid-friendly, mozzarella string cheese sticks that have been around for ages. And if mozzarella is your flavor preference and you enjoy playing with your food a little, go for it! But keep in mind that today, you can find just about any type of cheese in pre-portioned packs at the grocery store. Cheddar, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar (yes, just about every variation of cheddar imaginable), among other fun and tasty options come in single-serving packs for all of us cheese-lovers. The protein in cheese will help satisfy hunger, just be sure to remember that the product is packaged as a single serving for a reason. While we may be tempted to eat 5 or 6 in a sitting, our bellies will thank us for keeping it to one at a time.
3. Nuts/Nut Butter
It’s great that companies are catching on to the fact that people are interested in losing weight and being healthy. It has started a trend in pre-portioned, calorie controlled snack options. Nuts are a great source of good-for-you fats that support our heart health but, if you’re anything like me, they are also very easy to mindlessly munch. Despite health benefits, nuts are a high-calorie food and portion control is a must when we choose to enjoy them. 100-calorie packs of whole, natural almonds, walnuts or mixed nuts are a great grab n’ go option. The same rules apply to nut butters, and if you don’t trust yourself around a jar of almond butter, look for the portion-controlled packets. Brands like Justin’s® sell 1-serving packets of the good stuff that satisfy hunger and cravings, all while you continue to whittle your waistline.
Yogurt has been a diet staple for years. Its healthy bacteria support gut health and aid digestions. Keep containers of it in your home and work fridge for when hunger hits and you’re in a pinch. When choosing a yogurt, it’s important to look at sugar content. Fruit flavored options tend to pack tons of added sugar that we don’t need. Plain yogurt is the best choice for those focused on fat loss. Dress it up yourself with fresh fruit, nuts or a touch of honey for a quick and easy treat. Choose a Greek yogurt and you’ll almost double your protein intake, keeping you feeling fuller longer. Yogurt makes a great dessert options for those who with a diabolical sweet tooth that aches after dinner. Plus, tons of different topping combinations help prevent us from getting bored with this healthy diet staple.
Whole fruits are always a healthy on-the-go food choice, but when it comes to fat loss, there are definitely good, better and best options. Berries top the list for their super-low sugar and calorie stats. It also doesn’t hurt that there are so many delicious berry varieties! Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, stock up on them all!! Use berries as a yogurt topper, as suggested above, or just grab a handful and go to town. Berries will satisfy a craving for something sweet and they’re packed with fiber, antioxidants and other goodness, so you can’t so wrong when treating yourself to this delicious treat from Mother Nature.
6. Baby Carrots
Any crunchy veggie that’s cut up for easy munching and, perhaps, dipping (see below) is great to have on hand. We chose to focus on baby carrots because they require zero effort, just buy and enjoy. But if you can spare the prep time at the beginning of your week, and we encourage you to prep, then bell peppers, celery, zucchini, just about any veggie that you can cut into a handy snack size, makes a great option. When you’re sitting at your desk and dying for a quick crunchy snack, veggies are the ultimate choice. Hot meals can become tiresome during warm months, so cold, crisp veggies make a great alternative side dish at dinnertime or allow you to throw together a quick stir-fry by simply adding your favorite protein source.
Who doesn’t love a good dip? The many varieties of the finger-food accompaniment are very popular for entertaining, but there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy them as a solo snack too! Two dips that are great go-to options for the health conscious are hummus and guacamole. Both are great with cold veggies or as an alternative to mayo when you want to add a decadent flavor boost to a quick sandwich. Hummus is packed with fiber and comes in tons of tasty flavors, like sun-dried tomato and garlic pesto. Guacamole is a wonderful source of healthy fats and is now popping up in convenient 100-calorie packs, like those sold by Wholly Guacamole®. Be sure to check ingredients and go for brands that use whole, natural ingredients. With these two dips, the simpler the recipe, the better they taste and the better they are for your body.
While life is hectic and we all have obligations that keep us from being able to focus all of our time and attention to living well and meeting our fitness goals, it is important to make time to take care of ourselves. If you know your week is going to be a particularly crazy one, prepare for it! Do a quick shopping trip at the beginning of the week and give yourself an hour to wash and cut veggies, bake chicken breast to store in the fridge for effort-free dinners, hard boil some eggs and/or pre-portion out your favorite healthy snacks so they are ready to grab when you’re walking out the door. Set yourself up for success today and you will thank yourself tomorrow!