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Snack Choices

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Snack Choices

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12 Great Snack Ideas

(35 calories per serve)

If you buy a microwave mix of popcorn and believe you're eating healthily, guess again — commercial popcorn can easily run up to 500 calories a bag. But if you're willing to put in a little legwork and pop the kernels yourself over the stove in oil, you've got yourself an incredibly low-calorie snack that only soaks up 35 calories a serve.

Hummus and Vegetable Sticks
(207 calories per serve)

This healthy snack might be slightly more calorific than other options, but rest assured hummus is packed with nourishing plant-based protein, fibre, and is low-GI, so you'll feel full for longer and won't get stung with those pesky sugar cravings. The key here to keeping your calorie intake low here is by rejigging the ratio of hummus to veg — if you bind together three celery sticks to make a tablespoon-sized scoop, you're really not doing your diet any good. But if you stick with dipping just the tip (stop giggling!), you can keep the whole 100 gram serve under 150 calories..

Chia Pudding
(119 calories per serve)

Here's one you'll need to make in advance, but you'll be glad you did. A chia pudding is simply chia seeds and coconut milk mixed together, and then allowed it to set in the fridge for about eight hours. If you're craving extra sweetness, you can add a dash of honey to the original mix or sprinkle berries over the top for an extra anti-oxidant kick. Chia pudding also makes for a low-GI breakfast you can make the night before.

Quark Cheese
(69 calories per serve)

Bodybuilders take note: if you're after a high-protein, low-fat snack, you need to be eating quark. For every 100 grams, quark contains nine grams of protein, which makes it ideal for that late-night snack. Although its name sounds like a duck being strangled, quark is like a cream cheese that's made by slowly adding lemon juice to heated milk. Unlike yoghurt, it doesn't have a live strain or culture base and therefore isn't considered to be a probiotic

Banana chips
(146 calories per serve)

Banana chips can swing both ways: they can either be hidden little calorie bombs full of sugar, or a high-nutrition snack food that makes eating fruit easier. If you make them yourself at home, they are definitely the latter. Simply thinly slice a ripe banana, and then brush the slices with lemon juice. Bake them low and slow for around three hours to properly dehydrate them, and you'll have yourself a low-calorie and low-guilt snack that everybody loves.

Beetroot Chips
(140 calories per serve)

Veggie chips such as beetroot chips are almost a fifth of the calories of regular potato chips in many cases, though fair warning — the supermarket ready-made varieties contains loads more salt and fats than homemade. To make them, slice a beetroot as thin as humanly possible with a mandolin, softly brush each chip with olive oil, and bake them for around 30 minutes. Add a final pinch of salt to taste, and you have an ultra-low calorie snack that's also high in vitamins.

Honey and Yoghurt
(103 calories per serve)

If you feel like a guilt-free dessert that will replace ice cream for you but one that also helps you pack on the muscle, try drizzling a little bit of honey over an all-natural Greek yoghurt. Not only is it extremely high in protein and "good" fats, but this dessert won't leave you feeling bloated thanks to the probiotic effect of the yoghurt on your gut.

Sweet Potato Chips
(82 calories per serve)

Every blogger under the digital sun has tried their hand at making sweet potato chips, and only some manage to keep them reasonably waistline healthy. As much as you'd hate to hear this, to keep the calories of sweet potato chips down, you've really got to limit the amount of oil and salt you put into each batch. For the ultimate low-cal chips, try popping wafer-thin slices of sweet potato in a dehydrator, and sprinkling with no-sodium spices like pepper, cumin, cilantro and garlic powder.

Edamame beans
(122 calories per serve)

The best TV snacks are those that require you to do a little bit of handiwork yourself, like cracking peanuts or sticking your fingernails between pistachios shells. The trouble is, it's easy to blow out your daily calorie budget on nuts — less so on edamame beans. These little Japanese snacks hit two birds with one stone as they'll satisfy your appetite while also boosting your levels of protein, calcium and magnesium. Look for them in your local Asian supermarket, or major grocers in larger cities.

Roasted Chickpeas
(134 calories per serve)

When you're binge-watching Netflix or simply flicking channels on the couch, the urge to mindlessly snack is strong. Skip the chips and calorie-dense nuts and try something like roasted chickpeas — they're much higher in fibre and therefore more likely to fill you up. To make them, simply drain and rinse a can or two of chickpeas, rub them in sodium-free spices, and roast them for around 40 minutes.

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing on Salads
(45 calories per serve)

The best way to make boring old salads tastier is to add a dash of balsamic vinegar dressing — it's way healthier for your waistline compared to island or ranch dressing. Make it yourself with a dash of mustard, balsamic and extra virgin olive oil and enjoy even more health benefit

Smoked Salmon
(132 calories per serve)

Boost your brainpower and snack to your heart's content with smoked salmon. Perfect on a low-calorie rice cracker and sprinkled with some chopped chives, smoked salmon gives you enormous amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping a healthy brain and heart. Take heed, however — smoked salmon can up your sodium levels significantly if consumed in large amounts.
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