Growl… Like a little thorn in the lion’s paw, no one likes to have their eating plan thrown sideways by a simple hunger pang. Even the most well-planned meals and snacks can be set off course if your body needs more energy that day. When your belly is sending messages you can hear, it’s time to listen up! Hunger can quickly turn into reckless appetite, and if you let hunger signals go unabated for too long you may overeat later.
How to keep your calories down then? Try these lower glycemic index foods that promote satiety with their volume or nutrient density: (Serving sizes suggested below are approx. 150 calories.)
AVOCADO – Top pick to solve tummy rumbles. The fat from this fruit is heart-healthy, plus you get a good amount of fiber, Vitamin K and potassium with each ½ avocado.
Tip: Rub cut avocado half with lime juice to keep from browning.
NUTS – These little gems are chock full of unsaturated fat with a decent amount fiber per one ounce serving. They require a bit of chewing which slows your eating pace, plus their density is sure to stick to your ribs.
EGG – A harmonious balance of complete protein, fat, and vitamins gives eggs the ability to stand alone as a snack. Just 2 hard-cooked eggs have more protein than does a ¼ cup of tuna salad.
Tip: Repurpose a rinsed to-go drink cup with a lid to hold a couple shell-on eggs. Place your peelings inside to discard stink-free.
FRESH POPCORN – Not to be confused with anything yellow from a bag, freshly popped corn kernels with a sprinkle of salt and spray of butter-flavored oil is light and refreshingly warm & crisp. A three-cup serving of this finger food distracts for minutes, plus it’s a good source of fiber.
BROTH BASED SOUP – Watery liquids satisfy thirst which can often be mistaken for hunger. Soups are generally low-calorie, especially if vegetable based. An ample bowl of savory chicken noodle, minestrone or cucumber gazpacho is a good choice to forestall creeping appetite.
HEARTY SALAD – A chopped vegetable salad (small amount of lettuce okay) topped with quinoa, sliced almonds, chickpeas or corn plus a drizzle of oil-based dressing make for a tummy-filling solution. The chewing factor that slows your eating doesn’t hurt!
GREEK YOGURT or COTTAGE CHEESE – These protein-rich dairy choices also solve the hankering for something cool or creamy without reaching for ice cream. A one cup serving of plain plus a couple tablespoons diced fruit provides an excellent amount of calcium.