Is weight loss stuck in your mind? Think about your snacking habits first. It might seem trivial, but those little meals can make or break your success. A clever approach to snacking will make sure hunger is never strong enough to throw you off track.
It’ll also make the journey more bearable. Often, weight loss is linked to stomach grumbling and hangriness (anger due to hunger), but it doesn’t need to be that way! Plus, not all snacks are alike. Some foods actually make you hungrier or never leave you satisfied. With these five smart choices, you’ll be less tempted to swing by that pastry shop after work.
1. Greek Yogurt
You can replace the desire for ice cream with Greek yogurt. One container has about 17 grams of protein, plus some calcium and potassium to boot. The protein content alone is significantly more than normal yogurt.1
In fact, a 2013 study in the journal Appetite found that Greek yogurt leads to reduced hunger and increased fullness. But to avoid added sugar, opt for plain and unflavored. If you need a little twist in your yogurt try this out. 2
- Chop up fruits of your choice.
- Mix with yogurt, nuts, coconut flakes, and/or honey.
- Stir well and enjoy.
2. Roasted Chickpeas
When you’re craving a salty snack, eat roasted chickpeas. The fiber and protein will increase satiety and ward off hunger. Fresh spices and herbs can also be used for flavor.
Meanwhile, salty snacks are high in trans fats. They can also increase appetite! The body reacts to sodium by making urea, a process that uses lots of energy and results in hunger. For a tasty twist on your chickpea snack follow these steps.3 4
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toss in the chickpeas with olive or grapeseed oil.
- Generously sprinkle with spices and herbs
- Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crunchy.
3. Protein Bar
Nothing says “on the go” like a protein bar. However, make sure you’re not snacking on a candy bar in disguise. Look for ones with less than 8 grams of sugar and 300 calories.
Opt for high fiber and protein. According to the Food & Drug Administration, “high” content means that the bar has 10% of the nutrient’s daily value. That means 15 to 20 grams of protein and at least 5 grams of fiber. Even better, make your own! Here’s how.5
- Combine 3 tablespoons chia seeds and ¾ cup non-dairy milk.
- Blend 2 cups of almond flour, 1 ripe banana, and 1 scoop of protein powder in a food processor.
- Add chia-milk and blend until smooth.
- Add 1 teaspoon spirulina powder.
- Press the mixture into a lined baking pan.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Cut it into bars.
4. Oatmeal Cookies
Cookies get a bad reputation. For a healthier version, cut the sugar and use oats. It’s a high-fiber food that will suppress energy intake later on. Add nut butter for protein and banana for a natural energy boost. Here’s how to do it.6
- Mash 1 small ripe banana.
- Combine it with ½ cup of nut butter over medium heat.
- In a bowl, combine 3 cups of quick-cooking oats and 3 tablespoons honey.
- Add ¼ cup non-dairy milk and a splash of vanilla extract.
- Stir it well.
- Scoop onto a metal tray and refrigerate.
5. Peanut Butter And Banana
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this classic combo. Thanks to its high protein content, peanut butter is one of the best foods for fighting hunger. Just two tablespoons contain 7 grams of protein.7
Bananas offer a burst of energy, so it’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Pair it with a packet of nut butter for a travel-friendly meal. Slice a banana, dip it into peanut butter and enjoy!8
Not on a mission to drop pounds? Don’t ignore these delicious, healthy snacks. They’re excellent choices for overall weight maintenance.
|↑1||Basic Report: 01256, Yogurt, Greek, plain, nonfat. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑2||Douglas, Steve M., Laura C. Ortinau, Heather A. Hoertel, and Heather J. Leidy. “Low, moderate, or high protein yogurt snacks on appetite control and subsequent eating in healthy women.” Appetite 60 (2013): 117-122.|
|↑3||Satchithanandam, Subramaniam, Carolyn J. Oles, Carol J. Spease, Mary M. Brandt, Martin P. Yurawecz, and Jeanne I. Rader. “Trans, saturated, and unsaturated fat in foods in the United States prior to mandatory trans-fat labeling.” Lipids 39, no. 1 (2004): 11-18.|
|↑4||Kitada, Kento, Steffen Daub, Yahua Zhang, Janet D. Klein, Daisuke Nakano, Tetyana Pedchenko, Louise Lantier et al. “High salt intake reprioritizes osmolyte and energy metabolism for body fluid conservation.” The Journal of clinical investigation 127, no. 5 (2017): 1944-1959.|
|↑5||Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (10. Appendix B: Additional Requirements for Nutrient Content Claims). U.S. Food & Drug Administration.|
|↑6||Rebello, Candida J., William D. Johnson, Corby K. Martin, Hongmei Han, Yi-Fang Chu, Nicolas Bordenave, B. Jan Willem van Klinken, Marianne O’Shea, and Frank L. Greenway. “Instant oatmeal increases satiety and reduces energy intake compared to a ready-to-eat oat-based breakfast cereal: a randomized crossover trial.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 35, no. 1 (2016): 41-49.|
|↑7||Kirkmeyer, S. V., and R. D. Mattes. “Effects of food attributes on hunger and food intake.” International journal of obesity 24, no. 9 (2000): 1167.|
|↑8||Basic Report: 16398, Peanut butter, smooth style, without salt. United States Department of Agriculture.|