How do you handle hunger pangs in the middle of the day? Are you the sort of person who can grin and bear it, or do you tend to snack off to the break room to grab a donut or something from the vending machine? Here’s the truth: NEITHER is the right option. Instead, you should consider having a small snack to keep you full and your energy reserves topped up, but it should be a healthy one. Here are a few low calorie snacks to keep you full and happy:
Banana and Peanut Butter
A single banana makes for one heck of a snack! It contains 100 calories, a lot of potassium, just enough sugar to satiate your sweet tooth, and enough fiber to fill you up. Add in a spoonful of peanut butter, and you’ve got some healthy fat and proteins to prevent hunger pangs from creeping back in. It’s around 200 calories, but it’s a snack that’s guaranteed to fill you up.
Apple and Cheese
Apples are a great source of sugar and fiber, especially the metabolism-boosting form of fiber known as pectin. A bit of cheese delivers a high dose of fat to keep you full, but also protein to give you a pick-me-up. It’s the perfect combination, and you can keep it fairly light: just 100 calories from the apple, so stick with 100 calories’ worth of cheese.
Cream Cheese Bagel
A cream cheese bagel may be a bit higher in calories, but it’s the perfect mid-afternoon snack for those days you’ve skipped lunch. A whole wheat bagel contains 200-300 calories, and a serving of cream cheese can contain around 100 calories. Have this snack an hour before hitting the gym in the late afternoon, and you’ll have plenty of energy for your workout.
Eggs and Avocadoes
This may sound like a weird snack, but the idea is that it delivers A LOT of healthy fat, protein, and fiber. Eggs are loaded with amino acids for muscle building, and they can boost your metabolism and keep you full for hours. Add in the healthy fat and high fiber content of half an avocado, and you’ll banish those hunger pangs until your next meal. Just one hard-boiled egg and half an avocado contain 200 calories, but it’s a beautifully filling snack!
Nuts and Berries
Nuts are a beautiful snack food, as they’re rich in fatty acids, fiber, proteins, and minerals. Heck, there are even some antioxidants (polyphenols) thrown in for good measure, along with Omega-3 fatty acids. A small handful is all you need to fill up, and you’ll get about 100 calories from the nuts. Round out your snack with a cup of fresh berries (another 100 calories) to satiate your sweet tooth, increase your fiber intake, and consume more antioxidants.
Banana and Dark Chocolate
Remember how the banana is super filling and can satiate your sweet tooth? Well, for those who need a bit more sweet in their life, it’s time to pair a small piece of dark chocolate with your banana. It’s not a “filling” snack, but it will shut down your appetite and cater to your body’s sugar cravings. Make sure its 70 to 80% cacao, and you have an amazingly healthy source of antioxidants.
String Cheese and Whole Wheat Crackers
If you need a quick energy boost, a small packet of whole wheat crackers will give you carbs your body can burn for fuel. Mix in a packet of string cheese, and you round out your snack with protein. It’s quick, filling, and fairly balanced!