We've all been there before - reaching for a box of crackers or a bag of chips during the afternoon to tide yourself over until dinner. Before you know it, half of the box of crackers might be gone and you still aren't satisfied. It's easy to plow through a box of crackers in just 1-2 sittings, because most of them don't have the proper balance of macronutrients. You know what though? The same thing applies when you eat fruits or vegetables solo for snacks too. The satiety factor just isn't there if you don't pair your carbohydrates with fat and protein (or at minimum, one or the other). Eating properly balanced meals and snacks throughout the day is a great way to minimize spikes in blood sugar (and subsequently insulin) and eliminate "hanger" and the mood changes that go along with it, if you know what I mean. Below I'm going to list 5 snacks I've been all about lately to curb hunger and cravings and still satisfy your sweet tooth if you've got one.
1. Celery with Nut Butter and Chocolate Chips
Plain celery just isn’t going to cut it for most people from a taste or satiety standpoint. While this kind of reminds me of eating “ants on a log” with raisins and peanut butter in Kindergarten, there is something addicting and satisfying about throwing a few dark chocolate chips onto your celery and nut butter log. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt to up the flavor intensity even more. The fat and protein from the nut butter makes this snack quite satisfying and the bit of carbs from a few chocolate chips isn’t enough to cause any major blood sugar imbalances for most.
2. Banana with Nut Butter (and optional cinnamon sprinkle)
This is one of my all time favorite snacks. Spread some natural peanut butter over banana slices and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. This is SO much more satisfying than just eating the banana by itself. Always listen to your body, but many people are satisfied with 1/2 of a large banana or 1 small banana when you add on the fat and protein from the nut butter. If you use only 1/2 of the banana, save the other half to throw into the freezer for a smoothie on a later date. This also could make a great travel snack if you buy portable nut butter packets.
3. Rx Bars
I’ve tried many bars, and these are one of the only ones that actually keep me full for at least 3 hours or so. Fair warning, some people take issue with the super chewy texture and you might have to look in the mirror to check your teeth before engaging in a conversation with anyone after eating one. Other than that, I actually love the taste of these, but I know they are hit or miss for some people.
4. Raw Nuts with Berries, Cinnamon, and Milk
Instead of eating a bowl of cereal, try eating a bowl of raw nuts with some berries (which are low glycemic index compared to many other fruits) and a few chocolate chips if desired. Pour milk of choice (plant-based or dairy) on top. My favorite combo is blanched almonds with blueberries, strawberries, a few chocolate chips, cinnamon, and sometimes a drizzle of natural peanut butter on top too. Eat with a spoon like cereal.
5. Siggis 2% or Full-Fat Yogurt (or Full-Fat Greek Yogurt)
If you tolerate dairy, Siggis yogurt should totally become your new jam. The macro content is hard to beat from a balance standpoint and you also get gut-healthy probiotics from it. Go for the 2% or full-fat variety because it will be more satisfying than eating low-fat yogurt. Optional toppings include slivered almonds or berries if you want to jazz it up a bit.
There you have it! Comment below if you try any of these or if you have a favorite balanced snack idea you’d like to share! If you like these ideas and want more, you can download my Free 2-3 Macro Snack handout by subscribing to my email list on my home page.