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
I can see it on the floor as I sit at my desk. One Hershey hug-someone must have dropped it. For a moment I forget that I don’t “do that anymore” I think-are there more? Would I eat that off the floor? Its wrapped…but still.
I have this two second flash of when seeing that candy and denying myself it would have led to me buying $20 worth of hugs and chewing and spitting the whole bag out, never swallowing it. I would probably have picked up that hug and chewed it and spat it out right there. That one instant may have caused me to spiral out of control with food into the all too familiar negative cycle but not anymore!
I do not take the candy. I do not even think about it for more than that mere momentary flash. Instead I recognize the thought, have a yogurt, and get back to work. I do not give it another thought until I am enjoying my daily treat- some m&m candies- when I get home. If you had asked me ten years ago if I could react the way I did today I would have said NO! I had NO self control. I was so unaware of my mind body connection, and unable to listen to what my body actually needs that I would have had no self control and no chance at not having a binge. Now when I start to crave sugary foods, I recognize that I am hungry and then I do something amazing…I eat!
Learning to listen to your body and your hunger cues is essential for overcoming food addiction. Having regular meals and snacks will help keep blood sugar stable so that when you get a craving or an urge for sugar/binge you can stop the cycle. Learning to take care of yourself, including eating well, being mindful, and managing stress will go a long way to you being free of your addiction.
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!
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Topics include: Basics of healthy eating, eating for energy, snacks vs. treats, reading and understanding food labels, mindful eating, balancing a busy schedule, exercise, dining out, sweets and treats, budgeting and shopping, and how to keep weight off!
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Many people confuse snacks with treats but they are very different!
Snacks should be eaten regularly to help you get in your daily nutrition
Treats are part of a healthy, well balanced diet but should be consumed less frequently than snacks- eaten in moderation
Ideally you should start each day with breakfast, then have a snack, eat lunch, have a snack, eat dinner, and have a snack.
Benefits of snacking
There are many nutrition and health related benefits associated with snacking. Snacking benefits adults as well as children. Some great benefits of snacking include:
Eat more to weight less:Eating small, frequent meals will help you eat less throughout the day which helps promote a healthy weight
Eat every 2-3 hours: Eating every few hours helps keep blood sugar stable which helps you avoid extreme hunger and helps you stay in control so you can make healthy choices and avoid sugar cravings from getting too hungry
Increase energy: If you are eating every 2-3 hours you are also keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Stable blood sugar means your energy level will stay steady. If you don’t eat your energy level falls and you get tired, snacking helps keep you energized
Increase nutrition: Snacking is a great opportunity to get more essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrition into your diet! Since you are eating more often you can include a greater variety of healthy foods into your diet
Improved concentration: Snacking between meals improves concentration, focus, and performance at work and at school.
What is a healthy snack?
A healthy snack should ideally consist of a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat. Don’t be afraid of eating fat! Fat is what helps us feel full and satisfied after eating so we are less likely to overeat. You do want to choose healthy fats such as those found in olive oil, fish, nuts, and low fat dairy products. Choose a snack that is about 100 to 200 calories (depending on your specific needs) and aim to eat it between bigger meals.
What are some examples of healthy snacks?
Low fat cottage cheese (protein and fat source) with cubed melon (carbohydrate source)
Peanut butter (protein and fat source) on whole wheat crackers (carbohydrate source) or a sliced apple (carbohydrate source)
Low fat Greek yogurt (protein and fat source) with high fiber cereal (carbohydrate source) sprinkled in
Mixed berries (carbohydrate source) with sliced almonds (protein and fat source)
The bottom line:
Snacking improves overall nutrition status, energy levels and concentration, and helps you eat less!
The ideal snack should be about 150 calories (depending on your individual needs) and composed of a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat!