Just like skipping breakfast can be a dietary demon, going for long periods of time without eating is a bad idea too. Hunger, like alcohol, lowers your inhibitions and can have the same effect as “beer goggles,” leading you to jump into bed with the first unsavory food choice that comes along.
Many diets suggest five small meals rather than three average sized ones. I think just eating consistently throughout the day is the best approach. The amount of times you eat will be different for everyone depending on the size of the snack and the amount of calories you want to consume a day.
I like to have a small breakfast, lunch, and dinner (200-300 calories) and supplement it with small snacks (50-200 calories) every couple of hours. Here are some of my favorite fast and filling bites:
- Carrots and Hummus: 10 baby carrots (35 calories) dipped into 1 tablespoon of Athenos Original Humus (25) = 60 calories
- Carrots and Guacamole: 10 baby carrots (35 calories) dipped into 1/4 avocado (80 calories) mashed with a splash of lemon juice, dash of garlic, dollop of salsa (~0 calories) = 115 calories
- Banana and Peanut Butter: 1 small banana (6-7 “, 90 calories) cut into slices with 1 tablespoon natural peanut or almond butter (about 100 calories) spread on top = 190 calories
- Healthy Trail Mix: 14 raw almonds (80 calories), 1/2 oz Just Tomatoes Just Blueberries (50 calories), 1/2 oz Just Tomatoes dried cherries (50 calories) = 180 calories
- Blueberry Smoothie*: 1 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Milk (45 calories) blended with 1/2 cup blueberries (40 calories). 1/2 banana, and a handful of ice = 130 calories
*Substitute any fruit you like or add more fruits and more milk for a larger smoothie. You can also add a scoop of protein powder (usually about 100 calories) to make it into a complete meal if you’d like to have it for breakfast.
Keep in mind when snacking, it’s best to incorporate a balanced mix of carbs, fat, and protein. An apple or another piece of fruit is always a good choice but mixing it with a protein or a fat source is going to make your body digest it slower, helping you stay fuller longer.