I surely can’t be the only one who is starving by the time 3:00 pm rolls around. After a long day of class, studying, and trying to cross off everything on my to-do list, I’m pretty hungry. Hunger tends to take over my brain and I just want whatever source of carbs I can find. It’s easy to see why I want to stuff my face with chips, animal crackers, or a candy bar because carbs are a quick energy source. But, I know that if I down a candy bar or some animal crackers, I’m going to be hungry again in about 30 minutes.
I refuse to keep any unhealthy food items in my room 99% of time because I have zero self-control around junk food. So, if it’s not here, I can’t eat it. When I’m looking for snack items, I’m focusing on macronutrient content – fats, carbs, and protein. Snacking on food higher in protein and fat keeps me fuller for longer and reduces my urges to snack for hours at a time.
Even though I don’t succumb to my cravings completely, I listen to what my body wants. If I’m craving chips or animal crackers, typically I’m just eating that because of the crunchiness. To solve that, I’ll look for foods that give that same crunch. If I’m wanting a candy bar or something full of sugar, I know that I just want sweetness and I’ll focus on foods that have natural sugars instead of high fructose corn syrup and other refined sugars. A big part of choosing a healthy snack is focusing on what your body wants (like sugar or that crunch) and finding it in a healthier alternative!
Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter & Honey
My fellow staff members give me the hardest time for eating this, but I swear, I could live off of rice cakes and peanut butter for the rest of my life.
You can go for any flavor of rice cakes, however, I prefer the lightly salted because they’re like a massive chip and they’re only 35 calories. For peanut butter, make sure you’re selecting something natural with a low amount of sugar. You’d be surprised at how much sugar companies are shoving into peanut butters!
If you’re looking for a little extra sweetness or want to make this more of a dessert, a little bit of honey drizzled on top is the perfect complement to this already delicious snack.
Cucumbers, Carrots, & Hummus
I always, always, always have cucumbers and carrots cut up in my fridge because they’re so convenient to just grab and go. They satisfy that crunch and they’re delicious! They’re perfect to mindlessly snack on because they’re both super low in calories and they’re highly micronutrient dense. Plus, you’ll be eating your daily serving vegetables before you know it!
If you’re looking something a little more filling, try adding some hummus! Hummus is a great, healthy addition to vegetables. You can easily and inexpensively make your own hummus like in this recipe or you can pick some up from your local grocery store!
Craving something sweet? Fruit is just what you need! I always always always have apples on hand because they last for forever. Plus it’s so easy to just grab one and go. Don’t like apples? There are a ton of different varieties that vary in sweetness, texture, and flavor so there’s got to be one you’ll love. Next time you’re at the store try a couple of different varieties and see which one you like best! Fujis and Galas are some of my favorites.
At my university, you can get fruit to go at most dining locations. Grabbing an apple or banana on the way out is a great way to keep your dorm stocked with food.
Turkey & String Cheese
This snack is full of protein and fats so it’s guaranteed to keep you full for a while. One serving of turkey (about four slices) and a string cheese is only 150ish calories and it’s a great alternative to a candy bar or something along those lines.
String cheese on it’s own makes a delicious snack. I can take upwards of 15 minutes just to eat one stick because I love pulling it apart so it’s super stringy. Is anyone else like that? No?
Greek Yogurt & Honey
Greek yogurt is amazing, delicious, and nutritious. But, be careful because companies love to load yogurts with so much sugar. Some yogurts have upwards of 23 grams of sugar in it… Last time I checked, that’s way too much for one tiny 100ish calorie snack. I always stick to Greek yogurt because it’s higher in protein than regular yogurt, and when you’re trying to build muscle like I am right now, protein is very important.
You can always opt for plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it yourself with honey, Agave syrup, fresh fruit, or granola. I love the Oikos Triple Zero because it has 15 grams of protein and it has no fat, no added sugar, and no artificial sweeteners. I recently picked up the Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt and it’s not bad either! You really can’t go wrong when choosing a yogurt – just make sure the protein content and carbohydrate content are about even.
I eat these snack on a daily basis myself, and even with a tight college budget I’m able to keep these in stock. Make sure to shop the outside of the grocery store for your snacks. That’ll keep them lower in calories and higher in nutritional value!
What are some of your favorite snacks to keep stocked in your room?