© Getty Images
# more health

These foods will save you when hunger strikes

Nutritionist Dr. Lebar gives us the low-down on what foods to eat to feel satisfied all day long.

We’ve all been there: it’s 4 p.m., you’re at work and you’re starving. You grab your water bottle and take a big sip in an attempt to quell the hunger but before you know it you find yourself in front of the vending machine. Next time, instead of pushing the button for a sugary treat, put something protein-filled into your bag - it’ll tide you over until dinner time.

Protein snacks pack a punch

To gain insight on what foods curb hunger best, we spoke with Dr. Lebar, a French nutritionist and sports medicine doctor. She recommends regularly adding foods to your diet that are good sources of complex carbohydrates and vegetable protein like rice, bulgur and pasta. When it’s snack time Dr. Lebar says that proteins are your best bet - while a piece of fruit or carrot sticks are great healthy options to munch on, they won’t fill you up. She explained that protein is the only food group that can truly suppress your appetite and that researchers in Lyon, France determined that when someone eats something with protein in it the brain thinks they’re still full, even hours after the food is already digested. Below are some great snack ideas:

Homemade trail mix: Break up a few squares of dark chocolate, and then mix it together with some dried fruit, almonds, cashews and walnuts. Prepare it over the weekend and then portion it into little baggies or containers to enjoy throughout the week. It’s like it’s your own ‘anti-aging’ protein-filled snack thanks to the dark chocolate and nuts in it!

Peanut butter and fruit: Two tablespoons of peanut butter is all you need – it’s under 200 calories and contains 8 grams of protein, and is a great source of Vitamin E, B12, and zinc to keep your skin firm and healthy. Bananas and apples are best to pair with it, but you can also enjoy it with celery or carrot sticks.

Hummus: Chickpeas, the major component of hummus, are high in antioxidants. Just a quarter cup of it has 5 grams of protein and goes great with vegetable sticks or rice cakes.

Edamame: Edamame are known to help strengthen the immune system and are typically served at Japanese restaurants – however you can find them in many Asian grocery stores (or even your local supermarket depending on where you live). Just a half cup contains 8 grams of protein and can be enjoyed hot or cold. And the best part about them? They’re really fun to eat.

Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is great for your gut and your skin, has twice the protein than regular yogurt and half the sugar. What makes it even better is the thick texture that gives you the impression that it’s a treat, rather than just a snack. However it can be a bland by itself, so add a teaspoon of honey for a bit of sweetness and a few crushed up nuts sprinkled on top for even more protein power.

Thanks to protein, snack time just got a whole lot more interesting and filling!