Photos and Words by Samantha Wood
Being hungry is not fun. The grumbling noises that only happen during class when the room is silent, the pain that has you almost doubled over and ready to eat your own hand, the fatigue that accompanies a lack of blood sugar... We’ve all been there. Maybe when you left your apartment or dorm room this morning, you didn’t realize you would not be back until dinner. That is a long time to go without food. Even when you’re home, eating three meals a day does not cut it for most people. Speaking from experience, my stomach can start to grumble again less than two hours after eating.
According to an article by Spark People, you should eat within an hour of noticing that you are hungry. If you miss that mark, you will throw off your body’s normal eating patterns, which can lead to overeating and metabolism malfunctions.
As I mentioned in a previous Health Bytes article, three meals a day is important, but some people like to eat six smaller meals instead–either way works. The question is what works best for you. If you’re one to overeat when snacking, you should stick with the three meal option. If you feel you would do better with smaller meals eaten throughout the day, that works too.
Snacks, however, are not something that should be avoided for fear of gaining weight. The trick is finding the snacks that will not overload you with unneeded calories, but will be enough to hold you off until your next meal.
I have included some of my favorite snacks below. Feel free to mix and match or come up with your own. If you have some of your own suggestions, share them with us below! I’m sure everyone would appreciate more options to choose from.
You’re not yourself when you’re hungry, but satiate your hunger with something healthy instead of a candy bar. Then you’ll not only be yourself, but a healthier version of you.
Pre-Dinner Appetizer: Hummus Plate Total time: 1 minute, serves 1
Ingredients baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and hummus of your choosing
Directions Dip carrots and baby tomatoes in hummus for a protein-filled snack that will hold you off until dinner.
Mid-Morning Snack: Apple with Peanut Butter Total time: 2 minutes, serves 1
Ingredients an apple and peanut butter (try a fresh, crisp McIntosh apple from an orchard during fall!)
Directions Slice an apple and dip or slather slices with peanut butter. The protein-filled peanut butter and fiber-rich apple will fill you up before you can think about reaching for the Snickers bar.
Early Afternoon Pick-Me-Up: Ladybugs on a Raft Total time: 5 minutes, serves 1
Ingredients Graham crackers, peanut butter and dried cranberries
Directions Spread peanut butter on graham crackers. Top with dried cranberries.
On-the-Go Take-Along: Bumblebee Trail Mix Total time: 1 minute, serves 1
Ingredients Peanuts, raisins and golden raisins.
Directions Mix together all ingredients and store in a plastic bag in a backpack or bag so that you have it when you need a little something while in class or out on the town.
DISCLAIMER: I am not and do not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Therefore, the advice you see on this website has been researched, but does not come from someone with professional experience.