Will protein help me to stop feeling hungry and snacking between meals?
Everyone says protein will stop me from snacking between meals and make me feel full versus other snacks. I have also heard this would stop me from being so hungry at regular meal times (lunch and dinner). I have tried all types of protein items (tuna, protein bars, protein powder, etc.) between meals, but I remain hungry. I don’t feel any fuller when eating more protein. -
– Am I doing something wrong?
– Does this not work for everyone?
– Is there a certain type of protein that I should be using?
– Is this just not true?
I use healthy meal replacement shakes for breakfast and lunch, but I need low calorie snacks to consume between meals to keep me from seeking unhealthy snacks; or from being so hungry at dinner that I consume everything I can get my hands on, which far exceeds my daily calorie allowance. -RJ
The truth of the matter, RJ, is that if you’re hunger isn’t satisfied by dinnertime, you simply aren’t eating enough of the right calories when you need them—which is in the morning. I’ve seen this pattern hundreds of times and responded to plenty of similar inquiries.
A healthy meal replacement drink could mean anything, but I’d bet it probably isn’t over 300 calories with at least 8 grams of fiber. To reset your hunger, save the shake for dinner and fix up one of these grand low-sugar breakfasts:
- A 6-egg white omelet with as many veggies as you can muster. Serve with salsa and avocado slices with a glass of milk.
- King parfait: layer 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup berries and ¼ cup bran cereal, 2 Tbsp nuts, then repeat.
- A cup of oatmeal with booster*, vanilla and cinnamon. On the side 2 soy or turkey sausage patties/links, and ½ grapefruit. *booster = wheat germ, flax seed, chia seed, hemp seed, or buckwheat groats
Once you’re fueled for the day, the protein snacks will help keep your blood sugar stable to prevent hunger swings. Options in addition to those you mentioned include hard cooked eggs, cottage cheese, string cheese, jerky, and almonds. Pair with a fresh fruit or vegetable for volume and you’ve got a winning combination for staving off hunger between meals!
- Debbie J., MS, RD
Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?