It’s the end of the day. You nailed your nutrition for the day and made good choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner and had sufficient protein, fruits and veggies. You worked out earlier in the day and now it’s 8:00p.m. and you’re catching up on the new season of GLOW on Netflix. Life is good.
And then the snacking begins.
It starts with some peanut butter pretzel bites from Trader Joes… then a bag of Stacey’s pita chips (all of it) and what started as a spoonful of ice-cream turns into half the pint.
I’ve totally been there, myself, and don’t regret it. It happens and on occasion it’s totally necessary. But if you have serious fitness or fat loss goals this strategy may not be the best option for success.
So what snack IS good for fat loss? Does such a thing exist?
We have our favorite dessert recipe below, but first…
Do Certain Foods Help With Fat Loss?
I’m going to share an industry secret with you right here and now. Are you ready for it?
There is no 'best' fat loss food. In fact, there is no food that inherently promotes fat loss. Period.
Sorry not sorry for the click-bait-y title of this article but I wanted to prove a point.
We all (yup, all of us) fall prey to false claims because it's easy to believe hyped media. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning to lose fat? Because, why not?
While there are no specific foods that will cause your body to lose fat, there are better options that will provide the conditions for your body to optimally burn fat. They are:
High protein foods (so you burn fat, not muscle.)
Fruits and veggies (lower calories + higher nutrients since you MUST be in a caloric deficit)
Water (because hydration is important, too, and needs to be mentioned)
The Fat Loss Formula
At AMP Fitness our mantra for fat loss is: “You can’t out train your diet.”
Rule #1 for fat loss is you must consume fewer calories than your body burns.
Body transformation goals (e.g. fat loss, muscle gain, getting toned and lean AF) will ALWAYS be nailing your portion control and remaining in caloric deficit over time. And it does take time.
That’s it. That’s the formula. There’s no special workout, magic pill, or secret fat loss food.
Things like working out, hormones, sleep, hydration, training, and stress all play a MINIMAL part but none of those things matter much if you’re not in a caloric deficit.
One key piece of the puzzle that you may have heard is you must consume adequate protein. And that’s not just #BroScience, it’s actual science.
If your focus is on fat loss and getting 'toned' (aka defined muscles), specifically, protein (and strength training for that matter) will help to maintain muscle mass.
Maintaining muscle mass will ensure that when you’re maintaining a caloric deficit your body will burn fat as fuel rather than muscle.
It’s not a perfect science but consuming roughly your bodyweight in grams will aid in this process. It’s important to note that slightly less than your bodyweight is okay but if getting in more protein means you go over your daily budget, the calories are more important.
That's really it. No special food and no magic potions.
Oh yeah, onward to the dessert!
High-Protein Low-Calorie Greek Yogurt Parfait
Here is my personal favorite high-protein low-calorie Greek yogurt parfait. It helps to satisfy the snack monster and sill helps me stay on track with my own health and fat loss goals.
Greek yogurt is crazy high in protein and if you need a bit of sweetness in your mouth hole, berries are perfect! They’re low in calories, like one strawberry is only 4 calories. What?! And just enough granola gives it a bit of satisfying crunch.
1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
A handful of berries
sprinkling of granola
It’s simple and sexy!
Hopefully this snack idea gives you a good idea on how to #TreatYoSelf with healthy goodness to help you succeed on any health and fat loss journey you may be on. Happy snacking!
Interested in learning more about fat loss and body transformation?
Our FITCAMP 6 Week Transformation Program might be just what you’re looking for! Drop your email here to learn more and to be the first to hear when the next program begins and get on the early bird discount.
Steve is co-founder and head coach of AMP Fitness, downtown Boston's most inclusive personal training studio. His background is in posture, performance, injury prevention and strength development and packaging fitness in a way that is accessible to everyone. He's a brand new father, an avid reader and enjoys nerding out to science fiction movies.