Hi Hungry Girl,
I'm always hungry a few hours before dinner, but I don't want to spoil my appetite or overdo it in the calorie department. Any smart snacking ideas?
Searching for Snacks
I hear you! I'm a snacker, so I like to leave myself a calorie budget for late-morning and late-afternoon snacks. Depending on your daily calorie goals and the size of your meals, aim for an afternoon snack with 100 - 250 calories... mostly from protein and/or fiber, nutrients that are known to keep you full and satisfied. Here are some of my top picks for pre-dinner snacks... Mix 'n match!
Jerky, Turkey, Tuna & More
Foods like these are usually placed in the dinner category, but they're also great snacks! They're practically pure protein, so they're really satisfying. I love jerky because it's shelf-stable, portable, and delicious. Vermont Smoke & Cure
are two of my favorites. Also good? Sliced turkey breast (try it wrapped around pickles or cucumber slices), single-serve tuna pouches (like the kinds by StarKist
, which come in amazing flavors), and grilled chicken breast (I love Tru Grill
Yogurt and Cheese
Fat-free Greek yogurt is my top choice: A 6-oz. serving (about 3/4 cup) of the plain kind has around 100 calories and 17.5g protein. Low-fat cottage cheese is also fantastic. Stir in a little no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia) if you don't like the plain taste. As for cheese, you can’t go wrong with a stick of light string cheese -- low in calories with built-in portion control. For those same reasons, I love Mini Babybel wheels
-- less than 75 calories each, and they've got that red wax to play with after you peel 'em!
High-Fiber Fruits and Vegetables
When it comes to fruit, raspberries are the most fiber dense... 8 grams in each 65-calorie cup! Strawberries, pears, oranges, and apples are also high in fiber. (Fuji apples are my favorite.) In the veggie department, some of your best bets are sugar snap peas (try them lightly steamed and then chilled), broccoli, carrots, and jicama. I always recommend keeping ready-to-eat veggies in the fridge. Dip ‘em in salsa or low-calorie dressing. The yogurt dressings by Bolthouse Farms
They're not just for breakfast! I almost always have hard-boiled egg whites in my fridge -- less than 20 calories each, plus 3.5g protein. And once you scoop out the yolks, you have perfect little vehicles for filling: salsa, hummus... even avocado and bacon
! Another protein-packed way to get an afternoon egg fix? Hungry Girl egg mugs. They're made in the microwave, so you can whip one up anywhere there's a fridge and a microwave. Click for recipes
You probably think of soup as just a meal starter, but it's also an excellent snack. Between the hot liquid (which takes a looong time to consume) and the fiber from the veggies, it's insanely satisfying. Look for broth-based soups, and remember to pay attention to portion size... standard cans have two servings, not one. Click here for product picks
, and click here for recipes
... The Hungry Chick Chunky Soup is a favorite!
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