Snacks shouldn't make you feel sluggish. In fact, a balanced snack should leave you feeling full, satisfied, and keep the “hanger” at bay.
The right blend of macronutrients will keep you full and fueled throughout the day. Follow this simple snack formula to get you started on the path to snacking bliss.
Do I Need To snack?
Whether you include snacks or not depends on you and your body. The un-sexy truth is that we all respond differently to different styles of eating.
But if you get hangry like me, a snack between meals satisfies hunger and keeps your momentum going. Snacking can also be a healthy habit because they:
- Help with satiety
- Stabilize blood sugar and boost energy
- Add nutrients and fiber to your diet
How To Make A Balanced Snack
A perfectly balanced snack has three key features: fiber, protein, and fat - or a at least two out of the three. These nutrients are satiating, meaning they fill you up and help you stay full.
Our bodies metabolize protein at a slower rate than carbohydrates. That's why a snack of purely carbs doesn't keep you full for long. To stay full and boost your energy, pair the two macronutrients together.
Carbs provide fuel, but those lacking fiber won't keep you going for long. Fiber helps with satiety and digestion. Aim for carbs with at least 3 grams of fiber to pair with a protein or fat. Easily add more fiber with these 5-minute fiber filled snacks.
Fat is your friend. It provides flavor and fullness with minimal effort. Yes, they're higher in calories, but they offer important nutrients and a little goes a long way!
7 Healthy Snack Ideas
Creating a healthy, balanced snack is easier than you think. Here are some of my favorites!
Greek Yogurt + Berries + Granola
Even plant-based yogurts can be a good source of protein, plus the fiber and antioxidants in berries add the perfect amount of sweetness. Mix in granola for an extra crunch.
Fruit + Nut Butters
Stick with your classic apples and peanut butter or switch it up with Chocolate Hazelnut or Almond Butter with bananas.
Dressed Up Rice Cakes
Talk about too many options.. Whatever your mood, whatever your flavor, there's a rice cake for you.
- Rice Cakes + Guacamole + Mangos
- Rice Cakes + Sliced Mozzarella + Tomatoes + Basil
- Rice Cakes + Cream Cheese + Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Rice Cakes + Almond Butter + Strawberries
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
A simple blend of chia seeds, avocado, and cocoa powder make a delicious Chocolate Avocado Pudding. Not only are chia seeds loaded with fiber and protein, but they're natural thickening agents. Mix everything together, refrigerate overnight, and voila - a thick chocolatey pudding.
This high-fiber whole grain is the ultimate snack. It's inexpensive, easy to prepare, and nutritious! A 3-cup serving has about 100 calories and 4g of fiber, which means you get a lot of bang for your buck. Try these delicious seasonings to dress up your popcorn:
- Savory: Olive Oil + Everything Bagel Seasoning + Garlic Powder
- Cheesy: Grated Parmesan (or Nutritional Yeast for a vegan substitute)
- Sweet: Coconut Oil + Honey + Cinnamon
- Spicy: Canola Oil + Paprika + Cayenne Pepper + Garlic Powder
Freeze Dried Fruit + Nuts
It's like a DIY trail mix but better. Try mixing a bag of Crispy Fruit with a handful of almonds or walnuts. Toss in some chocolate covered chickpeas for some chocolatey goodness.
Roasted Veggies + Whole Wheat Pita Wedges + Hummus
Like peanut butter, hummus is a good source of protein. As an added bonus, it's lower in calories and contains fiber. Fill the pita wedge with hummus and veggies (raw or roasted) for a quick snack.