If you're trying to lose weight or simply watching what you eat, you might find yourself struggling with cravings in the hours before dinnertime. Maybe lunch wasn't as satisfying as you had hoped or maybe your afternoon snack was something not-so-healthy from the office vending machine and you were hungry just a short while later. (Hey, it happens to the best of us!)
What really matters when you're starving and dinner is right around the corner is choosing a snack that's well-balanced with a mix of wholesome carbohydrates, satisfying protein, and a little fat, but one that's not too high in calories. You want to eat something that holds you over to your next meal, but doesn't count as a full meal.
Here are 5 snacks that fight hunger pangs without ruining your dinner.
Simple egg salad on Melba toast crackers
Eggs are always a super satisfying snack, especially when combined with some carbohydrates. To make this quick and easy snack, add 1/2 teaspoon of mayo (or Greek yogurt) to a hard-boiled egg along with some salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Then, spread the egg salad on Melba toast crackers or use them to scoop up the mixture. Simple as that!
Rice cake with cheese spread and cucumber slices
This treat combines creamy, crunchy, and cheesy for a low-calorie, fill-you-up snack. Here's how to make it: Choose your favorite flavor of rice cake and then spread a wedge of low-calorie cheese, like The Laughing Cow (I love Light Creamy Swiss), and top with sliced cucumbers and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Greek yogurt with high-fiber cereal
When you want a seriously satisfying snack, you can't go wrong with low-fat Greek yogurt. All of that protein is guaranteed to fill you up and hold off your hunger until dinnertime. Just mix together plain or flavored Greek yogurt with a few spoonfuls of high-fiber cereal (I like Trader Joe's High Fiber Cereal).
Peanut butter + banana smoothie
A smoothie is a great way to snack in a light and healthy way, so you don't end up ruining your dinner later on. Try this simple peanut butter and banana smoothie for a delicious pre-dinner treat: Combine 1 small banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1.25 cups of almond milk in a blender and mix until smooth.
Baby carrots with flavored hummus
Thanks to lots of fiber and some protein, hummus and raw veggies is an awesome snack to keep you satisfied. I love the convenience of baby carrots, but feel free to get creative with the veggies that you decide to dip. I also love roasted veggies and hummus as a healthy snack!
Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.