The science is clear: Eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day is the best way to curb cravings, limit hunger, and avoid overeating come meal time.
There’s no perfect formula, but many experts are now saying that in addition to three healthy meals, each of us should enjoy a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon as well. After dinner, either a small dessert or late-evening snack also makes sense to round out the day’s menu. The goal is to never go three waking hours without having a small bite to eat.
We’ve came up with 20 snacks that are yummy, easily available, and deliver just the right number of calories (125 or under) and nutrients to keep hunger away until your next meal.
Here it goes –
1. Hard-boiled egg. Packed with protein, this favourite will stave off even the worst hunger pangs and give you energy to get through to dinner. Yet one boiled egg is just 78 calories! If you need a little more to nosh, supplement with cut-up vegetables.
2. Peanut butter. Spread 1 tablespoon on a regular-sized rice cake for a texture combination that satisfies.
3. Hummus and pita. Low in fat and calories, hummus provides a wallop of protein, flavour, and fibre. Spread 2 tablespoons on half a pita and call it a lifesaver.
4. Tangerines. Two of these luscious fruits are 20 fewer calories than an 8 ounce glass of orange juice! Plus their high fibre content makes you feel fuller.
5. Raisins. They’re sweet, healthy, and packed with vitamins and nutrients, and about 3 tablespoons (roughly 75 raisins) will help you get through the day even better.
6. Brownie. One 2-inch square fills the bill, believe it or not!
7. Sorbet. One half cup of a fruity sorbet on a steamy, hot afternoon will cool you down…and at just 120 calories, will keep you nicely satisfied until dinner.
8. Pistachios. Reach into that bowl and grab 30 of these delectable nuts—they’re one of the 5 healthiest nuts you can eat. Make them unsalted if you possibly can.
9. Fig bars. Everyone loves figs, and why not? They’re delicious, filling snacks packed with nutrients. Two of them count as a full snack.
10. Fresh avocado. Spread one-half of a small avocado on a rice cake, and watch your hunger pangs disappear.
11. Small baked potato. With a half cup of salsa and 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? It’s not. Salsa is very low in calories, and if you stick to a small potato, you’ll be eating a filling snack that you’ll truly love.
12. Frozen yogurt. If you have a sweet tooth, this snack is for you. Serving should be ½ cup. Add a small clementine for extra flavour and fibre.
13. Baked apple. Top it with 1 tablespoon low fat yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and you’ll be surprised at how delicious calorie counting can be.
14. Chestnuts. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are a sure way to quell hunger pangs before dinner. Peel and eat five whole chestnuts for roughly 120 calories worth of pleasure.
15. Lean roast beef. If you love meat, there’s no reason why you can’t have it as a snack, in smaller portions. Roll 2 ounces worth around cucumber slices dipped in fat-free sour cream. That single slice packs in 19 grams of protein.
16. Cherry tomatoes. These babies are so low in calories that you can eat as many as you want. Go ahead: Put a pint on your desk and nosh away!
17. Grilled tomato slices. Place two slices on aluminium foil, sprinkle with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, and run them under the grill. Yummy!
18. Edamame. These delicious soybeans are packed to the brim with flavour, protein, and tons of fibre. Eat about ½ cup of beans for a 120-calorie snack (that’s a little over a full cup of pods, if you prefer to buy them unshelled).
19. Fresh fruit salad. Take advantage of beautiful, seasonal fresh fruit, and gobble two to three cups of a blend of cut-up pieces and berries to your heart’s delight. Stick with the most filling fruits you can eat to keep you satisfied until your next meal.
20. Rye wafer. Spread one with a tablespoon of hummus and top with sliced, raw red bell pepper.