Hello, Fit With Cassandra Family member!
I am honored to announce that I was asked to contribute to an article for the Florida Today about five healthy snacks that keep us feeling full and satisfied. I’m not sure yet when and where this will appear but figured you all deserved the inside track. Here is what I wrote (plus some elaboration since I don’t have a word count here) 🙂
My background: During my six years as an undergraduate I majored in Exercise Science and Alternative Medicine and minored in Nutrition. I have completed numerous courses in health, wellness, nutrition, exercise, outdoor recreation, and many other courses of near relation. I completed the three day intensive workshop for personal trainers with the American College of Sports Medicine and passed their rigorous exam with flying colors 3 years ago now. Since then, I’ve continued to soak up every possible bit of information regarding the healthy building and maintenance of the human body and to put it to as best use as possible to my personal training and group fitness clients.
My food philosophy: I feel strongly that the best nutrition comes from whole, real foods and that the best diet strategy is to make small and sustainable changes in our eating habits. I also encourage a realistic approach to food since no one is going to be perfect all of the time (there will always be family holidays, birthdays, and parties to throw us off). I highly recommend the 80/20 approach to eating (or some maintainable variation thereof), which states that you eat exactly what you should 80% of the time and give yourself a break with the other 20%. That translates to one ‘cheat day’ every week or one small ‘cheat’ meal every day.
A few words about filling foods: Foods that satisfy hunger are often high in protein, fiber, fat, and/or water content. These foods digest slowly to keep you fuller for longer and send messages to your brain that you’re full (by chemical means or by activating stretch receptors in your stomach). That being said, here are my five recommended snacks that help keep us feeling full and satisfied:
1) Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt contains double the protein and half the sugar of other yogurts so you get more satiety for your caloric buck. Add in raspberries for extra fiber or sliced almonds for extra fiber, healthy fat, and protein. Not only will you feel full, but you’ll maintain bone density and get healthy probiotics, vitamins, and minerals in your diet. Numerous studies show that one of the constants in people that lose weight and keep it off is the presence of yogurt in their diet.
2) Eggs – Few foods stack up to the nutritional concentration of eggs. Not only are they full of vitamins and minerals, but the balanced protein and fat in eggs helps you feel full and satisfied. Resist the temptation to throw out the yolk since that’s where most of the nutrition is! Because exposing the yolk to high heat denatures some of the protein content, try not to always eat them scrambled but opt for hard boiled or poached preparations.
3) Bean or Lentil Soup – Rich in protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, beans and lentils are nutritional superstars. Plus, they keep you feeling full, are easy on the wallet, and are very versatile. Select a clear broth-based, lower sodium bean or lentil soup to stay full for hours.
4) Apples – Chewing sends satiation signals to your brain, helping you feel fuller while eating less. Foods like apples require more chewing and slow down your eating, allowing your stomach time to feel full. Plus they’re high in fiber and contain pectin which slows digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness. Not to mention that an apple a day has now been proven to keep the statins away!
5) Water – This one may seem surprising, but dehydration is often misinterpreted as hunger. Drinking water also activates stretch receptors in the stomach that signal it is full. I recommend drinking a glass of water before each meal and sipping on it throughout the day to stay fuller as well as reap the many benefits of staying hydrated.
I hope enjoyed today’s post! As ever, please contact me any time, whoever you are if you have any questions or comments and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook! 🙂