3 simple snack swaps that burn body fat

Avoid piling on the pounds by snacking smarter

At this time of year salty snacks and sweet treats are everywhere, and it’s so easy to pick at them without really wanting to.

The good news is that it’s entirely possible to substitute in much healthier snack options without sacrificing taste, flavour or your enjoyment. Indeed, the following smart snack swaps will dramatically reduce your calorie intake while adding many essential health-helping nutrients into your diet – it’s a super simple strategy to avoid unnecessary weight gain that will also make you look and feel healthier!

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SWAP 1 Crisps for nuts
Nuts are packed with protein, heart-healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals, and so long as they’re not ready salted, honey roasted or chocolate covered, a handful can stave off hunger pangs for hours. Crisps, in comparison, are very high in calories, low in essential nutrients, and very easy to overeat. Many highly-processed varieties are also packed with unnatural “trans fats” your body doesn’t know how to process.

What’s more regular nut-eaters are more likely to be leaner than those who don’t eat them, and are 30% less likely to die from heart disease and 11% less likely to die from cancer, according to a study of more than 120,000 Americans, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

SWAP 2 Milk chocolate for dark
Chocolate is one of life’s greatest gifts and one of its simplest pleasures – but do yourself a favour by choosing the dark stuff instead of the milk and white kinds. Chocolate with cocoa content greater than 70% has far more health-boosting antioxidants than other flavours, so it’s better at protecting your heart and arteries from the oxidative damage associated with exercise, pollution, stress and, well, just life in general.

Dark chocolate also contains far less sugar and provides compounds, including tryptophan, serotonin and dopamine (which can help to suppress food cravings), and catechins, which can rev up your metabolism and reduce body fat levels.

SWAP 3 Cheap cheese for quality
Like chocolate, cheese is delicious. The trouble is it’s very high in calories – a standard 30g portion of cheddar (the size of a small matchbox) contains 120 calories – so opt for quality over quantity by choosing punchy “artisanal” cheeses rather than less flavoursome ones that are easy to over-eat.

Then consider cutting it up into handy 30g (or smaller) portions before serving to better manage your calorie intake, and instead of all-butter crackers and digestive biscuits (a single one has up to 80 calories), chomp your cheese with slices of apple, or grapes to up your nutrient intake while lowering the calories.

To find your perfect transformation plan, take the New Body quiz!
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Bonus tip! Walk away from weight gain
Alongside making some of these smart food swaps another fantastic way to avoid  weight gain is to be more active. After all, the more calories you burn the more you can eat without gaining weight! There’s also tons of research that links physical activity to greater mental health benefits. Going for a run will release a load of mood-boosting endorphins, while a daily walk with friends and family – especially out in nature – will boost feelings of motivation, positivity and happiness.

And when cravings do strike, quell them by telling yourself you’ll have that treat “not now, but later”. It works because you’re not denying yourself entirely, just delaying the treat for a while, according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Repeat this mind-trick mantra for as long as it works to keep off the weight and build greater willpower so your future cravings are easier to overcome.

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