I cannot say it enough but snacks are so important to help keep away the hunger pangs. Small meals and snacks (at least two per day) a day will help you get to your goal weight. Snacks keep your blood sugar at moderate levels to maintain satiety and ward off fat uptake.
Below is a simple graph I made to show you the flow of blood sugar during the day. The blue line represents someone that only eats three meals a day, whereas the orange line represents someone that incorporate snacks throughout the day to keep the blood sugars at moderate flow.
You can see that about mid morning and afternoon the blood sugar comes crashing down, leaving the person feeling hunger. What happens when someone is extremely hungry? Hmm . . . hello vending machine, drive-thru, Starbucks, etc. This is when you can get in trouble because your body is saying, “I am hungry, give me food now! Anything, I want it all!” At this time you grab the candy bar or order a large caramel mocha Frappuccino and a cookie. This is also the time when eating healthy foods is not a priority.
Every time you see the blue line go up there are three major things happening in your body:
1) blood sugar increases 2) hunger level increase 3) fat uptake
So, how about snacking often and take control of your blood sugar, hunger level and fat burning mode. Hey, look at it this way, you are eating every three hours or so, I love it!
Here are some of my favorite snacks that I want to share.
At our lovely Farmer’s Market outing I bought this WHOLE bag of pepper for only $3! I love these mild/sweet peppers, now what to do with them all!
First cut out the seeds and stem. Fill it with a small teaspoon of garden vegetable cream cheese.
Next, put a thin slice of low-sodium turkey on top of the cream cheese.
Add a half teaspoon of cream cheese. I make a couple of these ahead each day and stick them in the frig. This really helps having something ready to eat when I am hungry. If you didn’t get as lucky as me with this large bag of peppers, you can also find a bag of small sweet peppers at the grocery store.
Nuts! Snack on some nuts! I use my scale to make sure I am getting the exact amount. I place a small bowl on my scale and tare it. Then I add a mix of almonds and cashews (use whatever you like) that weight 0.85 ounces. I add some raisins to make it an even 1.00 ounces. The raisins add the perfect amount of sweetness with the nuts. I weigh out two bowls each day and put in my cupboard for a go-to snack! I do not leave them on my counter because I would eat them up when I am not hungry. Keep them out of sight and out of mind. The purpose of the nuts are to help when you really hungry! Or put them in little snack baggies for work!
Ok, are you ready for my absolute favorite snack! Chocolate peanut butter protein bar, oh my goodness! I cannot keep up making these because I eat them right after I make them, ahhh!
I have been weighing each ingredient to get the most precise measurement, aka, calorie content. I know this may be a pain to weigh each ingredient but its is very important to get the calories right.
Be careful, these are dangerous! Sooooooooo delicious, absolutely heaven with a cup of coffee, ahh!
This is one serving below in picture! I just cut the bar up into mini squares so I could enjoy them longer. They do melt fast but sometimes I eat them right away with a spoon. It reminds of eating cookie dough!
Nutrition Facts: 169 calories; 11g fat; 15 g protein; 2 g fiber; 7 g carbohydrate
Wonderful amount of protein and a great serving of healthy fat!