Eating frequently throughout the day is a one of the keys to weight loss.
- It reduces the strain on your pancreas, preventing a large insulin response (read more about insulin and weight here)
- It decreases the chance that you will overindulge at your next meal
- It can prevent excessive night-time snacking (we’ve all been there)
- It prevents you from feeling deprived
- Snacking is another opportunity to add in extra nutrients to fuel your body
- It keeps your energy levels up – so you actually do have energy for physical activity after work!
Now, we have to make sure we snack smart. Snacks should have the right balance of macro nutrients to provide us with fuel and satiety, without leading to an energy ‘crash’ and more cravings an hour later.
That all sounds good but…
The issue is that we are busy. So we don’t always have the right snacks on hand.
Okay, no more of that excuse – let me give you some easy-to-make, satisfying snacks that you can bring with you to school/work/life. These snacks are hunger-cutting, nutritionally-balanced and overall awesome.
- Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt with Fruit
A great source of lean protein that is satiating and is neutral in flavor that it acts as a vessel for nature’s candy: fruit. Go for lower-sugar fruits such as berries or apples, which also pack a fibre punch! Try to avoid the fruit filled and sweetened versions and simply add a bit of natural sweetness to it, perhaps a teaspoon of honey or some stevia, if the fruit is not enough for you.
2. Veggies and Hummus
Fiber galore! Hunger has no chance with the fibre and the protein hit from this delicious snack. Not only is it filling but its also quick to put together and run out the door if you are short on time. If you have 5-10 minutes to spare, whiz up your own hummus simply by combining a can of chickpeas, your favourite spices and a touch of olive oil to get it running. Customize it by adding ingredients like herbs, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic or an Italian classic, sundried tomato. If you need to pick one up, watch the sodium levels, as many brands tend to add a lot of unnecessary sodium and keep the ingredient list short.
3. Turkey Roll Ups
Easy to throw together, a great source of protein and a dose of vegetables make this snack a wonderful go-to when you are in a rush. Better yet, for all the parents out there, kids also love this fun snack! For the meat, avoid the heavily processed and smoked deli meats and go for the lean, preservative-free and all natural roasted meat sources.
4. Lettuce Boats
Lettuce makes a great vessel for a number of toppings! Grab a can of tuna, some avocado and a few romaine leaves and voila, tuna salad boats. Have leftover chicken from last night’s dinner? Throw that in your ‘boat’ and you have an easy, handheld snack that is perfect to hold you over until you eat your next meal.
Got a few minutes in the morning or have a breakfast smoothie for breakfast? Make a bit extra so that you can have a cup when your tummy starts to grumble during that mid-afternoon slump. Just ensure your smoothie has lots of hunger-fighting ingredients including a source of fat, like nut butter or maybe coconut oil, protein, which could come from unsweetened greek yogurt or your favourite protein powder, and fiber, like greens, chia or flax meal.
6. Energy Balls
These energy balls are a great snack to make for your kids and the adults in your life! There are many different variations of this snack – with my favorite being with almond butter, oats and apples. A few of these in the afternoon helps me deal with that mid-afternoon slump like a champ! You literally need only 10 minutes to make these – no baking involved! Just simply mix the ingredients together, roll and enjoy!
Recipe: That Clean Life
7. Roasted Chickpeas
Don’t have time to roast your own? Then grab a pre-portioned bag at the grocery store. These are quite popular these days and come in a variety of different flavours. Kids love them because they are crunchy and can be eaten with their fingers while you will love them because they are filled with fiber, protein and are allergen friendly.
8. Kale Chips
A bit on the pricier side but this crunchy snack has certainly caught the attention of many people. It’s a great way to get some dark leafy greens into not only your diet, but your kids too if you have them and they come in a variety of flavours. Be mindful of the sodium content, but otherwise, snack away!
9. Fruit and Nut Butter
Stores often carry single serving packets of nut butter that are perfect for grabbing on the go. You get some great fiber and vitamins from the fruit, which apples go great with nut butters like peanut and almond, and a good dose of filling, healthy fats from the butter. Ensure you are grabbing natural nut butters and not the processed kinds that contain hydrogenated oils, sugars and chemicals.
Snack ideas by Chelsea Cross, BASc(C)