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High Protein Snacks to Keep You Full

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Needing help finding healthy snacks to keep you feeling full longer?  Protein is a dieter’s best friend.  It is an essential ingredient for losing weight and keeping it off because it’s a potent calorie burner that plays a role in nearly every body function, from building shapely biceps to regulating sleep and boosting immunity.

High-protein foods take more work to chew and longer to leave your stomach, so you take more time eating (and have more time to register that you’re full). They also slow down the release of carbs and fat into your bloodstream. You feel full sooner and stay satisfied longer.

Thing is, eating a steak or a piece of chicken in your car or at your desk at work isn’t always realistic, so most of the foods we choose for easy consumption are highly processed and lacking in this essential nutrient. Here are 7 grab-and-go proteins to take with you for a midday snack.

1.) Turkey Jerky
I don’t use this one very often, but its a nice change up and quick fix.  Jerky (turkey) makes a great snack because it’s low in fat, lean and savory, and high in the chewiness factor (look for lower-sodium varieties if you’re concerned about the salt).  Jerky packs 10 g of protein and about 100 calories per ounce.

2.) Natural Almonds or other nut varieties
Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are great.  When the body is nutrient-depleted, it sends out hunger signals to the brain telling you to eat.  Nutrient-rich foods such as almonds properly nourish the body, therefore stopping these signals from being sent and preventing the overeating caused by nutrient-deficient, processed food.  Other claims benefits of almonds include enhanced complexion, improved regularity and protection against many types of cancer.  Cashews contain a large amount of healthy fat to keep you feeling full and satisfied without packing on the pounds.  Just don’t overindulge too much.

 

3.) Cheese packs
Not just for kids’ lunch boxes, string cheese and other portioned cheeses such as The Laughing Cow Wedges or Mini Babybels are the perfect complements to an apple, pear, or bunch of grapes. These low-calorie protein packs are satisfying enough to carry you through to your next meal.  I also like the sharp cheddar variety. 

4.) Protein bars
They are the perfect filling, portable snack to save you from a desperate trip to the vending machine or drive-thru. Pick up bars that are about 200 calories each, such as Pure protein bars (200 calories, 20 g of protein), to stash in your purse or work bag.

5.) Hard-cooked eggs
Eggs really are one of nature’s most perfect portable foods. Packed with protein and antioxidants, they satisfy your hunger and improve your health. Try Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled eggs for a no-muss, no-fuss snack or meal. Along with the usual protein punch, these edible orbs also deliver 10 times more vitamin E and two times more omega-3 fatty acids than other eggs.

 

6.) Fat-free or low-fat milk
It’s the perfect pre- or post-exercise snack. You can stock up on small containers of shelf-stable milk (such as Horizon’s 8-ounce cartons); they don’t even need to be refrigerated. Two cups deliver more than 16 g of high-quality, filling protein that will satisfy your hunger and help keep you hydrated. In one study, women who had 18 g of protein 20 minutes before strength-training torched almost 9% more calories at rest 24 hours later than if they didn’t drink the pre-workout milk.  I also suggest almond milk (unsweetened), which is a great alternative to regular milk and comes in small containers that are easy for travel and snacking.

 

7.) Greek Yogurt

Studies show that low-fat yogurt can help promote weight loss.  The bacteria in yogurt is also extremely helpful in digestion.  Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier which helps with fullness and contains twice the protein as regular yogurt.  I like to mix mine with chopped walnuts and 1 tbsp of agave nector.


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