When you go grocery shopping with a list, it is easier to stay on task, right? You know what your plan is, and you stick to it, for the most part. One strategy that is common for people who struggle with overeating is to determine a plan for what to eat when tempted to eat too much.
Many people have a time of day that is harder than other times, whether it is the afternoon, after work, or before bed. It is helpful to make a list of foods that are “allowed” during this time, and stick to it. Include choices that are whole and fresh, and eat foods that help you stick to one serving. Devise a list that works for you, or try following this “go-to” list of foods to help resolve hunger, and provide some satisfaction as well.
Jill Koegel is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer based in Omaha. She blogs every Wednesday. Read more from Jill.
10 almonds and a stick of low-fat cheese:
This snack should be measured out ahead of time, so that when hunger strikes, the bag of almonds doesn't call you back for more. Adding a piece of cheese to your half-ounce portion of almonds will provide extra satisfaction.
Whole wheat toast with natural nut butter:
I prefer sprouted wheat bread for even better blood sugar response, but the healthy fats in nut butters will help with blood sugar control, too. Choose a natural version to avoid hydrogenated oils and trans fat. My favorite is Trader Joe's Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread with Jif Natural Peanut Butter.
Low-fat cottage cheese with pumpkin or sunflower seeds:
A tasty and filling snack, this will help satisfy the salty, crunchy snack craving! Lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber will help energy levels and can help steer the body to burn more fat.
Fresh veggies with 2 to 4 tablespoons of hummus:
Lots of fiber and healthy fat from hummus will help satisfy the stomach, while encouraging good digestive health.
Try one whole egg and a few extra egg whites. One yolk per day is the recommended amount. Add a serving of berries, and you will have a carb and protein balanced snack packed with nutrients and fiber.
I like to make plain oats on the stove top or in the microwave, and add almond milk and a teaspoon of flavored whey protein powder at the end. There are also varieties of instant oatmeal, such as Quaker Weight Control that provide extra protein to help keep you full.
DIY trail mix:
Two tablespoons of nuts of your choice, 2 tablespoons dried fruit of your choice, and half an ounce of pretzel twists. This makes a nice sized snack. You can vary this type of mixture with different types of nuts and dried fruit. Or, instead of pretzels, try light popcorn or dry whole grain cereal such as Cheerios or Chex.