When people are trying out new eating habits or following a new diet, it can be quite daunting for them to battle the initial hunger. Whether you are dieting for health reasons or managing your weight by keeping track of calorie intake, stomach growls and hunger pangs can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing to deal with most of the time. The best way to fend off these unwanted hunger pangs is to snack on foods that will keep you full for a lot longer. However, people should keep in mind that the size of the snack should be kept small because the purpose is only to take the edge off a little bit and not have another meal.
Here are some healthy snacks that can keep you from gorging on food and ruining your efforts by staving off the hunger:
- Low-Density Snacks
There are a greater number of calories per gram in high-density snacks. In contrast, there is a lower amount of calories per gram in low-density snacks. For instance, there are about 535 calories in about 100 grams of potato chips whereas there are 47.5 calories in 100 grams of apples. This means that people can have 11 more servings of apples for the same amount of calories as opposed to a single serving of chips. This density of calories helps people in feeling full for a longer period of time. When low-density snacks are being consumed, it means that people aren’t eating calories, but filling up on nutrients and water. These foods include fruits and vegetables, leafy grains and broth soups.
- Fiber Snacks
As compared to processed foods and carbohydrates, fiber also contains very little calories in every gram. Levels of blood sugar and hormones in the brain that incite food cravings are also controlled and regulated with high-fiber snacks. Lentils, fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans and whole grains are foods that are high in fiber.
- Protein Snacks
Another effective way of dealing with hunger is to consume a proper amount of protein during the day. People can balance their metabolism and feel full for a longer time by eating protein-laden foods such as seafood, chicken, legumes, meats and lentils. As opposed to fats and carbohydrates, protein has proven to be more beneficial in promoting satiety i.e. fullness.
- Nut Snacks
One of the most commonly recommended snacks for prolonging satiety are nuts because they contain lots of fiber and protein. However, people should keep in mind that seeds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews and almonds shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts because they have a high calorie density. One serving is equal to one handful, which should be sufficient to ward off the hunger pangs that people usually experience between meals.
- Watery Snacks
Foods that are full of water can also be consumed because they don’t have any calories, but expand and fill the stomach. Moreover, they take longer to digest so people will not feel hungry quickly. Apples, celery, melons, watermelons, tomatoes, lettuce and grapes are some good options in this category.