Anyone who has tried to reduce calories knows the feeling: the hunger, grumpiness, and endless thoughts over what you wish you could eat. And to this, there are two pieces of good news: 1. It's totally normal, and 2, there are amazingly satisfying low calorie treats to keep you sane during weight loss. You just need to know where to look. And by the end of this article, you will!
1. Pork Crackling Crisps
Sound like a calorie bomb? They taste like one but they aren't!
The Woolworths brand delivers a whopping 36g of protein, and just 15 grams of fat, and next to no carbohydrates. They're a great option because they can be taken with you anywhere and eaten at any time.
This is also an ideal snack for late at night when the cravings come; when you're doing some work or watching something on TV. You feel like eating high-calorie chips, but these should more than replace that desire.
The generous serve of protein is better than carbohydrates or fat when it comes to keeping you full (1), and the 15 grams of fat must be allocated for within your daily intake.
It's obviously not something to indulge in daily. But, couple it with water or a diet soft drink, and you'll be well on the way to waving your cravings goodbye.
Where to get them: Woolworths brand (as above) is great, other brands include Kerbside and Epic Bar. Most recommended: Woolworths brand.
Pikelets are another snack that can be taken with you anywhere and help knock your hunger over.
Ready to eat supermarket options pack just 10 grams of carbohydrates and hardly any fat.
This snack is perfect for those of you who have already eaten most of your fat content for the day, or for women whose macronutrient allowance is very low for protein.
For example, if Maria's daily macronutrient allowance for fat loss is:
Protein: 180 grams
Fat: 50 grams
Carbohydrate: 150 grams
then it's hard for Maria to reach carbohydrate numbers without adding additional grams of fat, as carbohydrates can sometimes contain many grams of fat.
The pikelets are a great way to keep you full on the go and ensure you don't usurp your daily allowance of fat and thus hinder weight loss progress.
Where to get them: Coles, Woolworths, IGA. Most brands have near-identical macronutrients, so you can choose whichever you like.
3. Sugar-free jelly
Most of you will recognise the iconic Australian aeroplane jelly packet:
The critical thing is to ensure that it's the lite version. This has basically zero calories (1.2 grams of protein!) and therefore can be consumed in a large amount; the whole packet or two is acceptable.
Where to get it: Coles or Woolworths (who have their own brand).
Some balk at the idea of consuming artificial sweeteners, but for a healthy person who exercises regularly, and consumes a treat like this 1-2 times a week, there's no problem.
The current body of scientific literature suggests artificial sugars, notably aspartame, is safe (2).
Without turning this into a large exploration of the topic, it's worth noting a recent conclusion into aspartame:
"Finally, the results of the extensive scientific research done to evaluate these allegations did not show a causal relationship between aspartame and adverse effects. Thus, the weight of scientific evidence confirms that, even in amounts many times what people typically consume, aspartame is safe for its intended uses as a sweetener and flavour enhancer (3).
Health is about an all-around approach involving consistency; a small amount of anything that is deemed to be "unhealthy" is not in a small dose!
It's all about staying on track and removing your cravings -- let these three options help you stay on track towards your fat loss goals!
(1) Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein - its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 2:S105-12. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512002589. PMID: 23107521.(2) Qurrat-ul-Ain, Khan SA. Artificial sweeteners: safe or unsafe? J Pak Med Assoc. 2015 Feb;65(2):225-7. PMID: 25842566.