Snack before you eat and control overeating
Looking to improve your nutrition or change unhealthy eating habits? Try snacking before a meal, which can decrease hunger and help control caloric intake throughout the day. Individuals who plan balanced snacks between meals are likely to avoid the symptoms of low blood sugar, are better able to fuel and recover from exercise and appear more alert and productive at work, compared to those who go long hours without eating.
Eating a 50- to 80-calorie snack before your next meal will set you up for a portion, calorie and craving-controlled meal. An optimal snack should include healthy fats, low-fat or lean protein and whole grains, in addition to fibrous fruits and veggies. As you snack on these nourishing foods, you'll find yourself eating and ordering more consciously and will feel better about what you put into your body.
Most, if not all, active individuals will quickly feel the positive effects of consuming a healthy snack, rich in slow-digesting carbs and low-fat protein, two to three hours before a meal. If you are a person who overeats at meals, struggles with meal planning and preparation or often experiences the symptoms of fluctuating blood sugar levels, you may additionally benefit from a small nutrient-rich snack 15- to 30-minutes before meal time.
Try these pre-meal snacks to curb your cravings and keep your stomach happy before meal time:
Snack #1 for crunchy cravings:
1/2 tbsp Hummus w/ small handful of baby carrots
½ tbsp peanut butter w/ 1-2 large Celery sticks
Snack #2 for salty cravings:
1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese w/ 1 tbsp sliced almonds
½ ounce trail mix w/ small apple
Snack #3 for savory cravings:
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips w/ small pear
3 ounces plain 0% Greek yogurt w/ small handful of fresh blueberries