You know what this feels like, right? The grumble in the belly, the kind of spaced-out mental fog, the drop in energy. You’re running low on fuel. Time for a snack.
These hungry periods, for me at least, tend to happen around 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., after the previous meal has worn off and well before it’s time to eat another one.
If you’re cutting calories, you may be tempted to do one of two things: 1) sluggishly slog through until lunch or dinner, or 2) gulp a diet soda to get that caffeine jolt. Both are bad ideas. Your body and brain need sustenance to function well, and that caffeine hit will quickly wear off, leaving your body craving the sugar it thought it was getting but didn’t (that’s one peril of artificial sweeteners).
A better solution? Learn to snack smart. Here’s a list of 10 healthy, satisfying snacks that come in between 100 and 150 calories per serving.
- 1/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese with 1/2 apple
- Two tablespoons hummus with oe cup raw vegetables or four whole-grain crackers
- One peach or apple with one piece lowfat string cheese
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt mixed with minced fresh herbs and cracked pepper, with two cups raw veggies for dipping
- Three cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with salt-free seasoning
- One carton nonfat Greek or Icelandic-style vanilla yogurt
- One hard-boiled egg and one piece lowfat string cheese
- Two cups frozen seedless grapes
- 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup melon chunks
- Two tablespoons fresh goat cheese with one cup raw vegetables
Snacking doesn’t just fill our bellies, it fuels our minds — which explains that late-afternoon mental fog we often experience during the workday. For both snacks and lunch at work, choose brain-powering foods like whole grains, nuts, and fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants like blueberries, plums, strawberries, walnuts, artichokes, kale and spinach.
One note: Before you reach for a snack, drink two glasses of water (or 1 16-ounce bottle). Dehydration often makes us feel hungry rather than thirsty. (In fact, you should drink plenty of water all day, as a matter of course, to keep your body and brain fully hydrated.)
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