Following a healthy diet means eating balanced meals and snacks. Eating a fiber- and protein-filled snack in the afternoon can help keep you full until dinner and cut down on mindless grazing and sugar cravings. Here are 10 easy recipes for a burst of energy during that afternoon lull!
Whole Wheat Toast and Avocado
This snack gives you a significant dose of fiber paired with healthy fats to keep you full all afternoon. Whole wheat toast has slightly more calories than white bread, but the added fiber (and less refined sugar) will stabilize your blood sugar far better. Avocado provides healthy fats and delicious flavor. Sprinkle chili flakes or freshly ground sea salt on top for an extra pop. Using a small piece of toast and 1/4 avocado will land you around 150-200 calories.
Greek Yogurt with Protein Granola and Berries
For a creamy treat, pair plain Greek-style yogurt with high-protein granola and berries of your choice. Stay away from flavored yogurts—they add unnecessary sugars and calories since the granola and berries will balance the tart yogurt flavor. Granola is packed with fiber, and the added protein gives your snack a boost. Use the granola sparingly (1/8 cup is enough), and choose a low-fat yogurt. This snack comes in right around 150 calories and will keep you satisfied until dinner.
Pita Chips and Tuna
Tuna salad is a protein-packed option to pair with pita chips for a healthier twist on chips and dip. Make tuna salad yourself (here’s a great low-calorie recipe), or buy pre-flavored tuna pouches to make prepping this snack even simpler. Pita chips will give you the crunch you crave without adding empty calories to your day. A serving of tuna and a handful of pita chips comes in right around 200 calories.
Veggies and Hummus
Veggies and hummus are an excellent option for the snacker who loves to eat lots of small bites. You can sit with a bowl of mixed raw vegetables and a dish of hummus and happily dip all afternoon! Vegetables not only come packed with vitamins, but they’re high in fiber to keep you feeling full longer. Try carrot sticks, raw broccoli, jicama, snap peas, and bell peppers for various flavors and textures. Hummus is an excellent source of protein and complex carbohydrates, but don’t go crazy! Just three tablespoons of hummus are enough for a snack-sized serving of about 100 calories.
Caprese Salad Skewers
If you’d like a snack that feels elevated and decadent, make caprese salad skewers. They’re easier than you think! Choose part-skim mozzarella cheese and cut small chunks to pair with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Alternate pieces on a kebob skewer and drizzle everything with balsamic vinegar. This low-calorie option gives you protein and fat from the cheese along with a dose of vitamins from the tomatoes. Eat two skewers for about 200 calories.
Hardboiled Eggs and Edamame
One of the best snacks to prep ahead of time and grab on the go, hardboiled eggs are packed with protein and easily portable! To add some crunch to this snack, pair your egg with a handful of cooked edamame (also sprinkled with salt!). You’ll need the carbohydrates from this veggie to help give you afternoon energy. One hardboiled egg and a cup of edamame is about 150 calories.
Banana and Nut Butter
If you’re usually tempted by a scoop of peanut butter in the afternoon, swap it instead for natural nut butter (like almond) that has less sugar. Paired with a banana, this snack gives you fiber, vitamins, healthy fats, and protein for a productive afternoon. A large banana and one tablespoon of nut butter come in around 200 calories.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs
Combining sweet and savory, this snack is a luxurious option when you need something filling and low-calorie. Figs are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, while goat cheese adds protein and healthy fats to the mix. Make a batch of these ahead of time for snacking all week. One serving is about 150 calories.
Chicken Salad on Cucumber
Another great protein and veggie pairing, low-calorie chicken salad will keep you full all afternoon. Plus, using cucumbers instead of bread adds some crunch to the mix without extra calories. This recipe is delicious and easy to make ahead of time, plus the nuts add heart-healthy fats without many extra calories. A 3/4 cup serving is just under 200 calories.
Mini Frittata Muffins
For a fun, poppable snack, try making frittatas in a mini muffin pan! Combining egg, cheese, optional meat, and whatever veggies you have on hand makes for a delicious and nutritious option for a quick bite. This recipe adds protein-filled quinoa to the mix for an even more filling bite, and each muffin is only 50 calories!
Add these low-calorie snacks to your rotation today!