As a Registered Dietitian, I am always teaching my clients about the importance of sustainable snacking. Without arming ourselves with the right foods, it’s easy to fall prey to cravings; the hungrier we are, the worse eating decisions we make – both in terms of quantity and quality. Most people feel hungry between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. Everyday 4pm comes around and many of us are looking for a nosh. So I’m here to share some ideas for making the best choices we can. After all, who wants to go through the day hungry?
Sustainable snacking is one of the most important keys to losing weight and keeping it off. By eating one or two snacks (with about 200 calories) throughout the day between meals, you can stay focused, energized and satiated. And when we are full, we are less likely to run to the vending machine, deli, bakery shop or cafeteria. The days of eating 3 square meals are over – keep your metabolism going strong the entire day by eating 3 smaller mini meals and 1-2 snacks.
But what are the best things we can eat? With so many food choices available to us, it can be overwhelming. Just remember: the key to selecting easy healthy snack ideas is to find one with protein, fat and carbohydrate. PFC. Stick with that rule and you’re good to go. Here are some of my favorite easy healthy snack ideas: 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and a medium-sized banana provides a sweet snack to hold you over until your next meal and is rich in healthy fats. Or a 6oz cup of Greek yogurt and 14 almonds is a tasty mid-morning snack that will keep you energized far better than that donut or muffin. Mixing a ½-cup of low-fat cottage cheese with a ½-cup of raspberries is a refreshing, creamy treat that will give you that energy to keep you going in the late afternoon without weighing you down.
Always remember: the mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates is key. In the 1980s, fat was the “F” word, and the past ten years have made carb a 4-letter word. There is no reason we shouldn’t be eating foods from all food groups. We just need to be more mindful about how much of and what we are eating. Well-balanced snacks will provide your body the energy it needs to run and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Other examples of easy healthy snack ideas:
- 1 medium apple and 1 low fat string cheese
- 1 orange, apple or banana and 14 almonds
- 1 slice 100% whole wheat bread with 2 tbsp smashed avocado and cracked black pepper
- 1 slice 100% whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp almond butter and ½-cup pear slices
- 2 cups of sliced peppers with 3 tbsp hummus
So experiment and have fun! There are so many easy healthy snack ideas, so eat what you love and love what you eat. I guarantee you will enjoy your food and feel better immediately.
Megan Wolf is a New York City based Registered Dietitian and the owner of Megan Wolf Nutrition, a nutrition counseling and consulting private practice. She holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and is an avid cook who teaches cooking and baking classes. She writes for her blog, The Domesticated Wolf www.thedomesticatedwolf.com. You can follow her for more health and recipe inspiration on Twitter , Instagram and Facebook .