One strategy to help us manage hunger, and thus, prevent hunger-driven overeating at meals, is to incorporate snacks throughout the day. But then the question becomes, “what exactly do I snack on?”
The list of answers to the question is really endless, which can make figuring out what to have all the more difficult, but here is a simple equation to help make it a little easier.
Equation for Building a Balanced Snack
Fruit/Vegetable or Starchy Vegetable/Grain + Protein = Balanced Snack
When to use this equation?
You are in need of some fuel but not so hungry that you need a full meal, or it’s in between meals and you just need to take the edge off until your next meal.
Why this combination of foods?
It gives your body a boost of filling protein and fiber, and typically a little carbohydrate, to meet fuel needs, balance out appetite hormones, stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent extreme hunger from setting in.
10 Simple, Balanced and Satisfying Snack Ideas
*Added Bonus* – you’ll also learn how to make one of Green Mountain at Fox Run’s most beloved snacks – the Green Mountain Truffle!
- Greek yogurt (protein) + Banana (carbohydrate & fiber)
- Cheese stick (protein) + Apple (carbohydrate & fiber)
- Carrots & celery sticks (fiber) + Hummus (carbohydrate & protein)
- Trail mix of Almonds (protein & fiber) + Whole grain cereal (carbohydrate & fiber) + Dried fruit (carbohydrate & fiber)
- Whole grain cereal (carbohydrate & fiber) + milk (protein)
- Whole grain bread (carbohydrate & fiber) + peanut butter (protein)
- Cottage cheese (protein) + Grapes (carbohydrate & fiber)
- Ants on a log: Celery sticks (fiber) + Peanut butter (protein) + raisins/dried cranberries (carbohydrate & fiber)
- Hard-boiled egg (protein) + pretzels (carbohydrate)
- Green Mountain Truffle (Protein, carbohydrate & fiber)
Is there ever a time you shouldn’t use this equation?
Yes. If you’ve made the decision to eat, but recognize you really aren’t physically hungry, then you should eat whatever is going to be the most satisfying, regardless of nutrient balance.
That’s because, in this case, you aren’t eating to satisfying any physical need, but rather a psychological need, and the balanced snack may not actually satisfy that need.
For example, let’s say you aren’t physically hungry but you really just feel like having a chocolate chip cookie.
If you have a yogurt and banana because you are feeling like you “should” have a balanced snack instead, you are probably still going to want the cookie when you are finished. And chances are good that you are probably still going to have the cookie.
And, when all’s said and done, you will end up having eaten more than you would, had you just eaten what you wanted to begin with. Do you see the difference?
What’s the take-away?
Incorporating a couple of simple and balanced snacks into the day can really help to manage physical hunger and as a result, reduce overeating.
However, it’s important to understand why we are choosing to eat to begin with in order to make a food selection that is going to best meet our needs in that moment.
Green Mountain Truffle
Yield: 14 truffles
¾ cup peanut butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional)
1 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 to 1½ cup Rice Krispies cereal® (partially ground or crushed)
¼ cup raisins
7 apples, cut in half, cored
- In a large mixing bowl combine peanut butter, honey or maple syrup (if using), and powdered milk.
- Stir in the cereal and raisins.
- Divide mixture among apple halves and spread to cover cut side of apple entirely.
For best results, enjoy within 3 days. Wrap uneaten apples tightly with plastic wrap.
Interested in learning about nutrition and the culinary experience at Green Mountain at Fox Run?
At Green Mountain we believe that the only sustainable approach to breaking free from diets and healing our relationship with food includes, not only, making sure we are giving ourselves enough food, but also allowing ourselves to enjoy the food we eat again.
‘Diet food’ has no place at our retreat and that’s why our culinary program is committed to serving beautifully presented, delicious and satisfying meals that are also balanced and health-supportive. Furthermore, we even serve real dessert.
Food allergies? Intolerances? Dietary restrictions? You don’t have to worry, because we will work with you to customize your eating plan to make sure your unique dietary needs are met during your stay.
Contact us for more information or to enroll!