6 smart snacks that burn fat and build lean muscle

Shed fat fast without ever going hungry

Brazil nuts
The most surprising thing about brazil nuts is that your local supermarket’s supply most likely comes from Bolivia, because it’s this South American country that is actually the word’s biggest producer of your new favourite go-to snack. A handful of them, will provide energy from quality fats and protein, as well as a decent dose of vitamin E, for better skin, magnesium, for better sleep, and zinc, which is need for the production of the hormones behind building muscle and burning fat.

With nuts, like vegetables, it’s important to eat a variety of them because each contains a unique combination of vitamins and minerals your body needs. So add some almonds to the mix because as well as being high in vitamin E, iron, zinc and fibre, they are also full of B vitamins, which play a big part in releasing energy from the food you eat. Almonds are also packed with vitamin B2, which powers up enzymes that increase the activation of other vitamins. Just go for the natural type rather than those salted or sugared or covered in thick Belgian chocolate.

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Protein shake
A whey protein shake is one of the fastest and best ways to consume the high-quality muscle-building amino acids your body needs to recover from exercise. A single scoop of protein powder shaken with 300ml of water will deliver around 25-30g of protein straight to your muscles, while adding milk will provide slower-release casein and more carbs and fats, which is useful if adding size is your number one training goal. If you want to get really fancy, add spices such cinnamon and nutmeg, to make your shake taste great and consume beneficial compounds that enhance recovery and reduce post-workout inflammation.

Jerky is usually beef, trimmed of all fat, cut into strips, then dried to make a convenient high-protein snack you can carry around with you. This convenience makes you more likely to eat it when those hunger pangs being, as does that jerky is delicious. Bear in mind, however, that some varieties can be very high in salt or covered in a sugar-based seasoning, so check the label to make sure the brand you buy is predominantly protein and not much else, to give your muscles what they need without any excess calories.

Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt can come in full-fat or no-fat options but both are high in protein, bone- and teeth-strengthening calcium, and energy-releasing vitamin B12. The protein is mainly in casein form – the whey is strained, which is why it’s sometimes known as “strained yogurt” – which means it’s released slowly into your bloodstream to drip-feed amino acids to your muscles for prolonged recovery. For extra protein, or if you find the taste too sour, mix in half a scoop of chocolate or strawberry whey powder for a sweeter taste and more muscle-building benefits!

Fruit and nut butter
Think of this as your new go-to mid-afternoon treat if hunger strikes, and experiment with different combinations. Apple slices dipped in almond butter works well, as does a banana with peanut butter, but orange segments with cashew butter we wouldn’t recommend. Find your favourite for a delicious and nutritious hit of energy, healthy fats, fibre and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

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