Snacking helps prevent the dips in blood sugar that can make you famished. But in order to avoid overindulging, you need to control cravings. So make sure you are getting all the elements of a satisfying meal: healthy carbs, a touch of lip-smacking fat, and the linchpin — protein. If you switch out snacks (which is fine), don't replace the nuts and dairy with more sugary treats.
Eating a snack between meals helps curb your hunger so that you don't inhale your dinner when you finally sit down to eat a meal. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flip side, grazing all day-particularly on foods with little nutritional value-may result in eating too much. It's a great idea to shop for snacks at the grocery store and pack them for work so you are prepared when hunger strikes. Many of these are also great on-the-go snack options.
Volumetrics is an eating plan championed by Barbara Rolls of Penn State University, and it's based on getting more mileage out of low-density foods. For example, a huge salad—or in this case, nearly 4 cups of popcorn—will leave you more satisfied than a square of chocolate, and for far fewer calories. If you're someone who gets depressed by measly portions, reach for healthy snacks that have a high water content like fruits, veggies—or our favorite crunchy munchie: popcorn. For a pre-popped variety, we love SkinnyPop because it's free of additives and tasty without being too salty.
According to experts, snacking in between meals wards off hunger and aids weight loss by maintaining blood-sugar levels and reducing blood insulin levels. "When your body produces less insulin, you're much less likely to convert dietary calories into body fat," says weight loss expert Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen. "If we feed the body at regular intervals we send a signal to the body that it doesn't have to store calories," he adds.
When hunger strikes, a hardboiled egg is a great grab-and-go snack. It’s high in protein, which will curb your appetite and keep you from reaching for something less-than-healthy. Plus it packs nutrients like vitamins D and B12, but only contains 77 calories. Simply prep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs at once, and store them in the fridge for a quick hunger fix.
Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is exclusively found in animal products (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2016). This vitamin is important for red blood cell formation and metabolic processes. Non-vegan vegetarians may obtain vitamin B12 from eggs, milk, or other dairy products. Vegans may need a dietary supplement to get enough, although breakfast cereals and other products are sometimes fortified with the vitamin.
Bust out your slow cooker and make some chili. A pot of chili will last you all week long and is perfect for any season and for any meal. Vegan chili is super easy; all you need are some spices, a couple cans of beans, and simple vegetables like corn, onion, and tomatoes. Chili is adaptable and tastes super with other ingredients like beer or sweet potatoes. This Three Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is a vegan wonder as you just need to add your ingredients and let them simmer. Same goes for this Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili. Chili also makes for an extraordinary make-ahead meal. For the more adventurous, add some vegan sour cream or cheese for an extra indulgence. To use up those leftover pantry goods, this Frito Chili Pie is an American bar-food staple that definitely suits a lazy vegan lifestyle. For more slow cooker ideas beyond chili, try using protein-packed lentils in stews and soups.
“Crackers do not stave off hunger well,” Culbertson says. Low in fiber and high in sodium, this snack does not provide the energy boost most people are looking for during the afternoon, and you’re not likely to feel satisfied. (However, some crackers are high in fiber and low in sodium; and topping them with low-fat cheese takes them from a bad snack to a healthy one.) And if they’re not single-serving packages, Culbertson says, it's easy to eat too many.