This was not so long ago for me. My breakfast consisted of cornflakes and tea and some fruit. Before I knew it I was hungry again and could not wait for lunch. I’d snack on some baked snacks throughout the day between meals. Sometimes when I was too hungry I’d even reach for the occasional bag of fried potato chips. My ‘light’ snacks were so light that my stomach probably didn’t even register them entering it.
If I think about it now just this snacking probably took care of most of my daily calorie requirement. On a pure calorie basis I may have eaten more empty calories (food that adds calories to the diet without any nutrition) in these fillers than what I ate in my more wholesome meals. And not only did these foods make me hungry, but they also left me feeling unfulfilled on many other levels. They were just not nourishing enough.
Since then I’ve come a long way and I eat completely differently (I’ve also lost about 8 kgs and have dropped 3 sizes). My context of calories has changed and more fulfilling food that keeps me going longer is what I crave.
Though some of the options mentioned below are higher in calories these snacking ideas will take you a long way and on the whole eating these foods will not have you reaching out for that bag of chakris anytime soon.
Seeds and nuts – Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts. These little wholesome bits of energy are packed with protein and other goodness, a good source of protein for vegetarians.
Nut butters- Peanut butter, almond butter (you can make it yourself), again they give you energy and sustenance for longer periods and will not have your thinking about your next meal for awhile. Packed with protein and good fats.
Avocado – This fruit (or is it a vegetable?) for those of us who are lucky enough to lay our hands on it is a rich source of potassium and vitamins A and E. It is also extremely low in sugar content. A few slices of this deliciously creamy fruit and you are good to go for the next few hours.
Black and Green Olives - Olives are packed with iron and copper, and they’re a good source of dietary fiber. They’re also rich in vitamin E – a noted antioxidant – and anti-inflammatory polyphenols and flavonoids. And really, you can’t get much more virgin than the delicate flesh of the whole, un-pressed olive in all its purity. As for the green versus black question, there are no nutritional differences between the two.
Dark chocolate – Ok I admit it. This one is a bit of an indulgence. But really dark chocolate (I’m talking about 85% here) has very low sugar content and sometimes a little piece here and there is not necessarily a bad thing. I’d take it any day over a chocolate biscuit.
Half of a coconut – I don’t think enough has been said about the virtues of coconut and coconut products. For now its enough to say that it is real food and real good. High in healthy fats with decent amount of protein and a low glycemic index this delicious meaty fruit and it’s by products is worth working into your day.
Fresh and dried fruits – Berries are a great option being rich in nutrition and low in sugar. Take advantage while its still strawberry season.
Veggies – celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, most veggies go here.
And last but not the least – paneer is a good source of protein for the vegetarians out there and not to mention, delicious and creamy!