15 High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks to Stop Carb CravingsMar 04, 2021
Note: Reshape Physical Therapy and Wellness evolved into Weight Loss for Health, and finally Zivli. How to Lose Weight After 50 was our first course that eventually grew into Zivli. Some old blog posts or resources mentioned in this episode may have been removed.
This video shares my top 15 high-protein, low-carb snacks that hep reduce carb and sugar cravings. Plus, you'll learn a few more tips to reduce cravings so you can continue to lose weight, maintain your weight loss, or improve your health.
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Is Snacking Helpful for Weight Loss?
I’m not an advocate of snacking. I suggest my clients and members structure their meals well enough - meaning they have enough calories, fat, fiber, and protein to feel satiated from one meal to the next. Once they have that down, if they find they are still struggling with snacking, it’s usually because of emotional eating.
For that I have a few tips and will make a video on steps to stop emotional eating in the future. But if you’re struggling with snacking just because of an emotion like being tired, mad, sad, procrastinating, feeling like you deserve food, etcetera, here’s a few steps you can take.
Tips to Stop Emotional Eating (Snacking)
Number 1: Keep a food journal or diary. Write down every time you emotionally eat using these questions. What time is it? Where am I? Who am I with? What am I doing? What am I feeling? And how can I deal with that emotion in a way that doesn't involve food?
Number 2: Find behavior patterns. Once you start keeping track of your existing habits, you can start to change them. We can't change a habit if we don't know it exists.
Number 3: Make an implementation intention. This comes from James Clear in Atomic Habits. I recommend weekly intentions. Here's a template:
I will [insert behavior] at [insert time/date/location] because [insert reason].
An emotional eating example could be: "I will log my food and reflect on the 6 emotional eating questions each night from 8 - 8:15 PM."
Once you know your pitfalls, you progress your intention each week until you've successfully created a different habit.
If you came to this video wanting the low-carb snacks and now realize maybe you need some emotional eating work, too, let me know in the comments! Trust me, you’re not alone on this one.
Often some coffee, a naturally essenced water, or some hot tea will curb your cravings until your next meal so I recommend starting there.
Criteria for Healthy High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks
When I’m considering what a good low-carb snack is I have three criteria:
Number 1: Is it a whole food or made from whole, mostly unprocessed foods?
Number 2: Is it free from, or very low in added sugar and artificial sweeteners?
If you’re snacking on something sweet, even if it’s technically sugar-free, know that those artificial sweeteners still trigger something called the cephalic phase insulin response, and some artificial sweeteners like sucralose, found in many protein bars, have been shown to have even a higher insulin response than regular sugar!
Plus, your brain releases dopamine in response to sweet tasting foods, this is your feel good hormone and it keeps you coming back for more!
Number 3: Is it mostly fat and protein?
Fat and protein are more satiety than carbs, and if you’re snacking because you’re actually hungry, snacking on carbs will just contribute to more carb cravings. So stick with snacks that fall in those three categories.
My one exception to this rule, at least right now are the Kirkland protein bars. These are more processed than I’d like but I go by the good, better best philosophy. There are certainly better and worse things I could have.
15 High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks to Stop Carb Cravings
1. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or other nuts and seeds.
2. Celery and peanut butter
3. Turkey and cheese roll-ups
4. String cheese or other individual serving sizes of cheese if you tolerate dairy
5. Fat Snax almond flour crackers with a cream cheese spread
6. Parmesan cheese crisps, or those cheese whisps that are getting popular
7. Minimally processed, no sugar added beef sticks
8. Cottage cheese, I like to add some texture to it with almonds and/or chopped bell peppers or other veggies
9. Vegetables and hummus. I like cucumbers, carrots, celery, and bell peppers.
10. My chocolate peanut butter cups. Click here for the recipe!
11. Hard-boiled eggs
12. A small smoothie
13. One of my almond flour scones. Click here for those recipes!
15. Mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar.
There are a myriad of different “snack mixes” on the market and if you’re evaluating those, just see if they are mostly whole, minimally processed ingredients with no or minimal added sugar and artificial sweeteners!
To stop snacking, structure your meals well enough so you’re not physically hunger. Address the root cause of your emotional hunger and deal with it in a way that doesn’t involve food. If you do need a snack, or you’re working towards healthier emotional eating options, i hope this episode gave you healthy ideas.
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