How many times have we found ourselves overcome with hunger during the workday? And how many times have we wondered why that happens? After all, you had a satisfying and nutritious breakfast and equally satisfying and nutritious lunch. So why is that by 3 p.m. you’re hungry and low on energy?
Quitting time isn’t for another three hours and you know won’t last that long, so you go to the vending machine and pick out chips or a candy bar in hopes of sating your hunger… only to be hungry again! Why does that happen? Because you’re choosing snacks filled with empty calories that won’t help curb your appetite! This list of seven snacks will help you make better snacking choices, preventing that late afternoon hunger and energy burnout.
Avocados are one of the most versatile foods available. They can be mashed and made into dips and spreads, blended into smoothies, sliced up into sandwiches or salads, or eaten whole. Some people even remove the pit and squeeze honey on it for a sweet treat! They can also be eaten as a savory treat by sprinkling them with salt and pepper and a little squeeze of lime. You can do so much with avocados and the best part is, they help stave off hunger!
Their creamy texture comes from healthy monounsaturated fats, a healthy fat that our bodies take a long time to digest. This means they can help suppress your appetite. Avocados are a source of soluble fiber, which forms into a gel-like substance when mixed with water. This means that as it travels through the gut, digestion will be slowed down, staving off hunger for a longer amount of time.
Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Cottage cheese has a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein. Its fat content is lower than the fat content of other cheeses. And it’s a good source of the protein casein, which can suppress the appetite.
Fresh fruit helps add in fiber. So toss in some berries, pears, pineapple, or melon for a well-balanced snack. And if you’re looking to make your cottage cheese savory, add in some freshly cracked black pepper. Black pepper has a variety of health properties to it, as well as antioxidant benefits, improving digestive health and lowering blood pressure, just to name a few.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Studies have proven that dark chocolate is one of the healthiest snacks to satisfy midday hunger. Unlike it’s milk chocolate counterpart, dark chocolate has less added sugar and is higher in antioxidants because of its cocoa content. Dark chocolate also helps decrease blood pressure, reducing the risk of death due to a heart attack.
So eat a single square or even eat two because it’s good for you! Combine it with cashews for a sweet and savory protein-filled treat. And if anyone remarks on your chocolate consumption, just tell them you’re eating it for your health. No one can argue with that!
Flaxseed doesn’t take up much stomach space, but it can help suppress your appetite. Rich in fiber, with healthy omega-3 fats, and a great source of protein, these seeds can help you feel fuller without eating a lot of them.
Their hard shells aren’t digestible, so grinding them up is the best way to get the full benefits of flaxseed. Store in a freezer to preserve the omega-3 fats and add a tablespoon to your smoothies or yogurt. It can also be sprinkled onto a salad for added texture and to add a delicious nutty flavor.
Hummus with Sliced Vegetables
The healthier alternative to chips and salsa, hummus and sliced vegetables make a dynamic duo. Hummus is a spread made from chickpeas, a legume filled with fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats.
Some vegetables that pair well with hummus include bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. These vegetables add good nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber to help fill your belly. So keeping a small container of hummus and one of these vegetables on hand while at work will help keep you full until it’s time to clock out!
Soup as an appetizer or snack can help you control your portion sizes. With so many soup options out there, you are sure to find one that will leaving you full and satisfied in every way. A bowl of chicken rice soup can help you feel fuller and eat fewer calories during your next big meal.
For weight loss, broth-based soups loaded with chunky vegetables will be enormously helpful and effective. Vegetables contain fiber, which helps fill your belly and stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day. Minestrone or bean soup can give additional protein when having soup as a meal. Adding in meat and a starch like barley, noodles, or rice will satisfy your additional protein needs.
But the true trick to soup is the way you eat it. By eating a soup you can chew, you’re tricking your body into feeling fuller for a longer period of time. So give soup a try next time you want a meal and see how you feel afterwards.
A mixture of nuts, dried fruit, and other delicious healthy snacks, trail mix is a simple and filling treat that you can throw together at home and keep with you throughout the day. There are seemingly endless combinations of nuts, dried fruits, and other healthy snacks you can toss together to make trail mix. It all depends on personal preference and preferred calorie intake. Here’s a breakdown of the components needed for trail mix and what they bring to the mix.
Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts are all full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. If you’re looking to minimize calories, choose dry roasted or raw nuts. The hunger-reducing effects of nuts can take about half an hour to feel, so eating them before reaching the point of extreme hunger is best. Shelled nuts can also be added to help prevent overeating or eating the trail mix too quickly.
Dried fruits like apricots, cranberries, and raisins are a good addition to trail mix. Mixing dried apricots with almonds keeps the digestive system moving, thanks to the fiber. The healthy unsaturated fats from the almonds will help keep your heart in good health. But you don’t need to limit yourself to just dried fruit and nuts! Adding in whole wheat pretzels, granola, coconut flakes, and dark chocolate chips can add other healthy benefits to the mixture, as well as give it some added texture. There is no right or wrong combination for trail mix, so just go with what you feel works best for you!
These are just seven of the snacks that can help stave off hunger while giving you added health benefits. Just choose a snack that has some vital vitamins and minerals to keep you satiated and energetic. So next time you’re feeling hungry, forget those cookies and chips! Grab a healthy snack and enjoy the full feeling it gives you.