I struggle to feel full during the day. To help curb my appetite I always make sure to have some carbs and protein. This combination helps slow down the absorption of food so I feel fuller longer and am less likely to snack between meals.
My “go-to” food is Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (both packed with protein) with 1/2 cup high fiber cereal mixed in. It is very satisfying! Try these other foods to help fill you up for less calories:
Eggs (about 70 calories each) : Eggs are packed with high quality protein and healthy fat to help you feel full so you eat less
Greek Yogurt (about 100- 140calories each): Greek yogurt is high in protein, low in fat and added sugar and is a great mid-morning snack ii. To make it healthier get 0% fat plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit
Go for Dark Chocolate (about 160 calories per 1 ounce):We all need something sweet now and again. Dark chocolate helps slow digestion to help you feel fuller longer and generally 1 piece (about 1 ounce) is satisfying so you won’t overdo on calories
Cottage cheese (about 80 calories per serving). Opt for low fat and fat free to help you feel full and get some additional protein and calcium
Skim Milk (about 80 calories per 8oz serving) i. Skim milk will help you meet your calcium and protein needs without the fat and calories of whole milk
Fruits and Veggies: Choose fruits and veggies that have the peel/skin intact. This is where the fiber is, you need the fiber to help you feel full (and fiber helps you manage a healthy weight). Fruits and veggies are also a lower calorie food so you can enjoy it without feeling any guilt!
Remember to eat every 3 hours to curb sugar cravings!
So many of my clients tell me they eat well all day and then they get home and they can’t stop eating. Does this sound like you? If you are like so many of us, eating lunch and then have nothing to eat until you get home from work-listen up!
The recommendation is to eat every 3 hours to keep sugar cravings away and help you eat less. So think about this….if you eat lunch at noon and nothing until after work you are going about 5 or 6 (or more) hours without eating. This is too long! Now your body/brain is so hungry that it wants to eat anything it can and it doesn’t want a little piece- it wants the whole cake…meaning you will have little to no willpower to make a healthy choice. This is when you will be cravings sweets, and treats, and be more likely to eat the leftover pie than the leftover salad and you are more likely to overeat and consume excess calories.
How can you stay in control of your eating and cravings?
Aim to eat every 3 hours during the day, this means having a morning and afternoon snack
Plan to have your afternoon snack (between lunch and dinner) around 3pm
Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated
What should you eat for a snack?
Ideally you want to eat something with protein and carbohydrates to help you feel fuller longer, give you energy and prevent sugar cravings. (Note: If push comes to shove, eating something with just protein or just carbohydrates is fine!)
What are some good afternoon snacks? (Tip: Bring snacks to work and have on hand in your office for emergency hunger situations!)
String cheese and an apple or orange
Fat free Greek Yogurt with ½ cup high fiber cereal mixed in
1/2 cup cereal with skim milk
A banana or piece of fruit with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (slice the banana lengthwise, add the peanut butter and put it back together and eat it as you would a normal banana)
Save half your sandwich from lunch and eat it at 3pm
Share a bag of popcorn with a coworker (don’t add butter or salt to it)
Hummus with celery or carrot sticks
½ cup low fat cottage cheese with sliced apple or on a piece of whole wheat toast (or crackers)
What else can I do to minimize overeating when I get home?
Keep some granola bars, nuts, cereal, or fruit in your car (I recommend keeping granola bars in your trunk and grabbing 1 as you get in the car). When you leave work, eat the snack as you drive home. This way, by the time you get home you will not be quite as hungry and can either wait for dinner or will be more apt to make a healthy option
Plan ahead: If you like to eat right when you get home, keep fruit salad, vegetable salad, or healthy leftovers in the refrigerator and PLAN to eat it when you get home.
Put it on a plate: Never stand in front of a cabinet or the refrigerator or eat directly out of a package/bag…always put your food on a plate, in a dish, or bowl and sit down to eat it!
Drink a glass of water when you get home-this will help fill you up so you are not as likely to overeat. Often times we are actually thirsty when we think we are hungry-drinking water first will help you determine if you were thirsty or if you are hungry and can save you calories!
Late night snacking
If you find you are snacking a lot in the evening, take control and plan to have a snack after dinner. Opt for diet hot chocolate, a bowl of high fiber cereal with skim milk, a bag of popcorn, or Greek yogurt.
Tip: Try fat free plain Greek yogurt, mix in 1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar free pudding (try cheesecake, chocolate, or French vanilla) and enjoy a guilt free high protein, low fat, low calorie dessert!
If you do nothing else this holiday season, eat breakfast. If you can eat breakfast and then eat every 3 hours you can curb hunger, stabilize blood sugar, and decrease your sugar cravings and overeating. You don’t have to eat large meals, just try to have a carbohydrate and a protein source at each meal and snack to help you feel full and satisfied. If you know you will be eating a big lunch, make your breakfast and morning snack smaller but don’t skip them!
Don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning?
Have something small and light! You can have a glass of 100% orange juice, skim milk, a piece of fruit, left over pizza, a granola bar, a handful of nuts or cereal, or a Greek yogurt. Any of these foods will jumpstart your metabolism.
Get into a routine of eating every 3 hours. Your daily meal times could look like this:
7 am: Breakfast
10 am: Snack
1:00 pm: Lunch
3:00 pm: Snack
6:00 pm: Dinner
8:00 pm Snack
Eat carbs and protein at all meals and snacks. Some ideas can include:
1/2 cup cottage cheese (protein) with 1 cup of high fiber cereal (carbs) *Tip: Mix 1/2 cup high fiber cereal with 1/2 cup cheerios or other cereal to make it tastier
2 slices of whole wheat toast (carbs) with egg whites (protein) and veggie sausage (protein)
2 Tbsp Hummus (protein) with carrot, cucumber, or celery sticks (carbs)
8 oz Greek Yogurt (protein) with berries (carbs) or cereal (carbs) mixed in
Short on time in the morning? Trying to follow a healthy diet and get good nutrition despite your busy schedule? Try this delicious, and quick breakfast idea:
1 Egg (or egg substitute)
1 slice fat-free or low fat cheese
1 whole wheat English muffin
1. In microwave safe bowl add egg or egg substitute, cover with a sheet of wax paper. Heat for 1 minute (note: you may need to stop and stir egg with a fork). Egg is done when it has formed a solid patty.
2. Toast English muffin in toaster oven while egg is cooking
3. Once the English muffin is toasted, add the egg patty, and slice of cheese (add a little mustard or butter the toast for flavor), add a dash of pepper
Grab a piece of fruit (banana, grapes, berries, apple, peach) and Go!
This is a great low calorie breakfast idea that will give you great protein, fiber, and energy to fuel your morning. No excuses, you can make this in 5 minutes!
Help keep your energy levels up by eating breakfast and then eating small, frequent meals every 3 hours. Aim to have some protein and carbohydrates at each snack and meal and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Try one of these ideas for a high protein, energy packed small meal:
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese on a slice of whole wheat toast or mixed into 1/2 cup high fiber cereal
1/4 cup tuna salad made with light mayo on whole wheat bread/whole wheat pita and a piece of fruit, or add tuna to a green leafy salad with your favorite veggies and balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup egg salad made with light mayo with whole grain crackers and carrot and celery sticks
4 oz sliced turkey and low fat cheese rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla with mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato and a piece of fruit on the side
PB&J on whole wheat bread: Nuts are a great way to get added protein- add a piece of fruit or greek yogurt to complete this delicious meal
Choose a whole wheat bagel or multi-grain English muffin with 2 tablespoons peanut butter or light cream cheese and smoked salmon
Oatmeal made with low fat milk and a tablespoon of peanut butter mixed in (or try sliced almonds) with fresh berries or sliced banana
Having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack helps you stay focused and energized, not to mention it helps prevent overeating when you get home from work.Try these delicious snacks to keep energy up all day:
Greek yogurt with 1/3c trail mix (dried fruit and nuts)
1/2c almonds with a string cheese and fruit
Peanut butter spread on an apple and a yogurt
Hummus with vegetable sticks/whole grain crackers and a string cheese
High fiber cereal (such as raisin bran, shredded wheat or grape nuts) with low fat milk and fruit
Low fat cottage cheese with sliced fruit
Try a fruit smoothie made with 1 cup fruit (try strawberries, banana, blueberries, or mango) 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, skim or low fat milk, and 1 cup ice, blend and enjoy!
I hope these suggestions have been helpful, please let me know if I can help you further or if you have other questions. Good luck!