Ditch the Snacking: These 7 Small Food Swaps Will Radically Improve Your Health
Are you insanely busy right now? We feel you. Our to-do list continues to grow despite us checking things off every day, and our e-calendar couldn't be more colorful, thanks to all the back-to-back meetings. Of course, keeping busy is a healthy part of any successful career (okay, we're slightly addicted to it), and there's nothing more motivating than a looming deadline, but it doesn't leave much time to eat outside the designated breakfast, lunch, and dinner slots.
But what if we told you there are ingredients that keep you fuller for longer so you can power through your day with the nutrition you need? It sounds too good to be true, but according to Carly Brawner—holistic nutritionist, health coach, and founder of Frolic and Flow—these foods do exist. And not only do they keep your stomach growls at bay between meals, they also keep blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing (which is when we reach for the sugar-loaded junk food). Ahead, Brawner shares her seven favorite foods that keep you full for longer, along with the ingredients to swap out (and what to swap in) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep snacking to a minimum.
Don't Forget Macros
Before you ask, we'd never heard of macros either, but Brawner assures us they're super important, and, in fact, we should have a healthy balance of them on every plate. "Macros refers to macronutrients, which are protein, fat, and carbohydrates," she said. "Incorporating lots of healthy fats, high-quality protein, and vegetable-based carbs at each meal will stabilize blood sugar. Stable blood sugar is key to satiety as well as energy, focus, and maintaining a healthy weight."
Remember the Macro Ratio
Now that you know all about the importance of macros in your diet, the question is how many should we eat? "I have a general macro ratio starting point I like clients to experiment with, but I ask them to keep in mind that there isn't one optimum macro ratio that is best for every single person," she said.
"The starting point I recommend emphasizes a combination that includes around five ounces of protein, two to three servings of fat, two to three cups of non-starchy veggies, and half a cup of starchy vegetables at each meal." Ratios can vary quite a bit depending on a person’s goals, how active they are, how they feel. "Some people need more fat, some need less protein, and many need a few more carbs," said Brawner.
While there are certain foods we can add to every meal in order to stay fuller longer, Brawner says sticking to the macro philosophy will ensure a varied diet. "We don't want to eat the same exact foods over and over because [having] a variety of foods in our diet is the best way to get a plethora of vitamins and minerals into the body," she stressed. "However, there are general types of foods that we should add to each meal to stay fuller longer." Which brings us to our next step.
Add These 7 Ingredients
To stay full from meal to meal, Brawner says protein and fat are the "most important" because they're blood sugar stabilizers. "They act as buffers to carbs because they slow down the speed sugar is absorbed (which is what carbs turn into in the body) into the bloodstream," she said. "This keeps blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing."
Ready to start adding them to your daily diet? Brawner says incorporating the below ingredients to your plate will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you energized and craving-free until your next meal.
2. Organic chicken
3. Olives and olive oil
4. Fatty fish (low-mercury types)
5. Pastured eggs
6. Activated nut butter
7. Coconut yogurt and coconut oil
Swap These Foods at Every Meal
"Swap out oatmeal for two to three protein-filled egg muffins. For a more blood sugar–stabilizing version of honey and granola on top of fat-free yogurt, try coconut yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder and topped with activated nuts and seeds."
"Instead of sugar and vegetable oil–filled dressings on your salad, ask for a side of olive oil and balsamic to up the healthy fat your salad contains. On your lunch break, sub white rice-based sushi for cauliflower rice-based sushi (these are available at many Whole Foods these days)."
"Instead of pasta-heavy lasagna, make a zoodle version that won't send your blood sugar skyrocketing. Add more vegetables than you think you need to your plate at dinner. Instead of sides of bread and grains, incorporate salads, roasted root veggies, and green stir-fry as side dishes."
Would you consider these food swaps? What ingredients do you eat to curb the cravings?