Many people believe that snacking is an important part of their intake; while other people worry that having a snack will cause weight gain. Both are correct. Incorporating snacks can curb cravings, fulfill hunger, and prevent overindulging. On the flip side, calories from snacks can lead to excess total calories throughout the day and may lead to weight gain. The secret is to allow snacks, but to choose them wisely.
Snacks should be filling, yet low in calories, less than 250 calories. For example: for a 2000 calorie diet, breakfast may be 300-500 calories, lunch 500-700, dinner 500-700. On the low side, that leaves room for 3 snacks of 250 calories each. If your meals are larger, you may have room for only 1 snack or none at all. It’s important to make sure your snacks are replacing a portion of the calories you would have consumed at the next meal.
To have a small snack and feel satisfied and content, there is one trick I want to share. Try a snack that is high in fiber and protein. Fiber and protein increase satiety, which means you feel full longer. If you tend to crave chocolate or sweets as a snack, allow yourself to enjoy a small portion but combine it with a fiber or protein.
Some examples of high fiber/ high protein snacks:
• Hardboiled egg
• 1/3 cup of almonds or walnuts
• Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit
• Fruit smoothie with protein powder
• Cottage cheese and fruit
• Oatmeal with fruit and almonds
• String cheese
• 3 Hershey kisses and some nuts
• Steamed edamame (soybeans)
• Hummus and whole wheat pita
• Peanut butter on celery
• Cheese on whole wheat crackers
For a personalized nutrition evaluation and consultation, please contact me at 443-849-8186 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keri Ryniak, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSD
Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition