Looking for healthy and satisfying ways to curb those midday hunger pangs?
I have some suggestions!
First of all, let’s tackle some common snacks to avoid:
- Non-fat or low-fat yogurt (especially the sugary kind!)
- Anything made with bread
- Artificially sweetened snacks
- Artificially sweetened beverages
- Granola bars (The second ingredient listed for your average Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar is sugar; the third is canola oil. Just one bar contains more sugar and less fiber than a bowl of Fruit Loops! Granola is always marketed as healthy, but beware…)
- Energy bars (Similar to granola bars, energy bars are often packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. The first ingredient listed for a Crunchy Peanut Butter CLIF bar is “organic brown rice syrup,” and the third is “organic cane syrup.” Don’t be fooled by the word “organic” or those sneaky names for sugar; regardless of the names, the bar contains 19g of sugar. That’s almost double the sugar content of a bowl of Fruit Loops!)
Trust me, I know! Most of the above are crave-worthy and delicious! However, the sad reality is that none of the above should be eaten on the regular. The reason is this: All of the above are likely to cause increased hunger, which is exactly the opposite of what you’re aiming for with a midday snack. Processed carbs, sugar, and even artificial sweeteners all cause your brain to send a message to your body saying, “I’m hungry! Eat more!”
(An additional, disturbing note on those artificial sweeteners: According to an article by TIME, “Sugar-free sodas contain substances that sweeten up soda at 200-600 times the sweetness of sugar.” Our bodies react to all types of sugar–real or fake–in the same manner: poorly. So, fake sugar is as much to blame for health issues as real sugar is. Avoid all sugar at all costs!)
Now, for the good stuff: Smart Snacks!
When you’re hitting that end-of-day wall, these are the grab-n-go snacks you should reach for:
- Dill pickles
- Nuts (especially pistachios, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and macadamia nuts)
- Pre-cut veggies (chop up an assortment of veggies on Sunday night so that they’re grab-n-go ready all week!)
- Low-sugar fruit (especially berries and citrus)
- Full-fat cheese cubes
- A spoonful of almond or coconut butter
- A square (or two!) of 85%+ cacao dark chocolate
- A hard-boiled egg
- Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
- Grass-fed meat sticks (these are my favorites!)
- Half of an avocado sprinkled with salt, pepper, and olive oil
- A scoop of pre-made tuna or chicken salad (again, you could prep this on Sunday night!)
- Seaweed snacks (these are delicious!)
All of the above are sure to kill–rather than create–those hunger pangs, and they’re healthy at the same time! As mentioned, the trick is to do any prep before the work week begins to make all healthy snacks accessible; don’t forget to pack them alongside your lunch! When hunger hits, it’s tempting to grab the easiest, most available thing nearby. Think ahead and make it a smart snack!
What are your go-to smart snacks? Please share!
In each blog post, I aim to bring you food for thought (pun intended. Note: my day job is teaching English), but don’t take my word for it! Click on and read all of the links above to become your own expert on this topic; knowledge is power. The more you know and understand the “why” behind each biohack, the easier it will be to stick to it and realize you can’t live without it!
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