From fruit to coffee to crackers, here’s what you can snack on when you’re intermittent fasting.
In case you missed it, intermittent fasting has been the *it* diet for a while. Not only has intermittent fasting been linked all kinds of health perks from improved gut health to cognitive performance, it’s also been championed for its potential in the weight loss arena.
While it’s no more effective than a standard calorie-controlled diet, it can certainly be a helpful weight loss tool for some people.
There are more and more types of intermittent fasting coming out of the woodworks, but the most popular regimes remain the 5:2 diet (where you eat just 500-ish calories for two days a week and eat ‘normally’ the rest of the time) and the 16:8 diet (where you have a daily 16-hour fast and eat ‘normally’ during an 8-hour eating window).
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What’s nice about intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t come with a strict list of rules of foods you can and can’t eat like most traditional diets do. Instead, it’s more concerned with when you put food in your mouth.
That being said, if you’re on the 5:2 diet, you’re limited by your daily calorie cap of 500 – and in reality, that’s not very much food. To put that into perspective, I’d eat far more than that in my daily breakfast of muesli, fruit, yoghurt and nuts, along with a coffee.
If you’re doing the 5: 2 diet, I think the best strategy is to focus on foods with a low energy density. In other words, foods you can eat a lot of for little calorie cost.
The good news is, there’s no need to turn to silly diet products to get you across the line – there are plenty of nutritious, whole food snack choices to help tide you over when you’re on a low calorie day.
To give you a helping hand, here are ten dietitian-approved snack ideas for a fasting day on the 5:2 diet:
For non-fasting days on the 5:2 diet or for the entirety of your stint on the 16:8 diet, you’re not limited by the number of calories in your snacks. Obviously, however, you don’t want your between meal bites to turn into an entire meal… but there’s no need to painstakingly count every single calorie you’re consuming.
Instead, I’d just focus on snacking on good-for-you whole foods. In addition to the ten lower calorie snacks above, here are ten other snack ideas that’ll fit perfectly into any healthy eating pattern:
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.
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