Whether you’re shedding a few pounds, hungry between meals, are diabetic, or want a before-workout snack, consuming a carb-protein balance is key.
Nutritionists say it’s important to eat a combination of protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates every three hours to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
That balance is essential to stabilizing blood sugar, which in turn contributes to consistent energy levels, stabilizes moods and equals — no cravings.
Weight loss? Here’s the ticket. Eat protein, fat and carbs every three hours!
Why? The fat burning hormone, glucagon, cannot get to work if insulin, the fat storing hormone, is working. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels. If you’re not regulating blood sugar levels by eating balanced meals and snacks, you’re probably not shredding the pounds you want.
What to do? Eat protein, fat and carbs every three hours!
While the choices are endless… here are a few ideas to get you started in the right direction.
Less Than 5 Grams of Carb
- 15 almonds
- 3 celery sticks + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- 5 baby carrots
- 5 cherry tomatoes + 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 1 cup cucumber slices + 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
- ¼ cup of fresh blueberries
- 1 cup of salad greens + 1/2 cup of diced cucumber + drizzle of vinegar and oil
- 1 frozen sugar-free popsicle
- 1 cup of light popcorn
- 2 saltine crackers
- 10 goldfish crackers
- ½ cup sugar-free gelatin
- 1 piece of string cheese stick
- 8 green olives
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin or sesame seeds
- ¼ of a whole avocado (~4 g.)
READ MORE: 5 Healthy Snacks Under 5 Carb Grams
About 10-20 Grams of Carb
- ¼ cup dried fruit and nut mix
- 1 cup chicken noodle soup,
- tomato soup (made with water), or vegetable soup
- 1 small apple or orange
- 3 cups light popcorn
- 1/3 cup hummus + 1 cup raw fresh cut veggies (green peppers, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, celery, cauliflower or a combination of these)
- ¼ cup cottage cheese + ½ cup canned or fresh fruit
- 1 cheese quesadilla (made with one 6-inch corn or whole wheat tortilla + 1 oz shredded cheese) + ¼ cup salsa
- 2 rice cakes (with a 4-inch diameter) + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- 5 whole wheat crackers (or ¾ oz) + 1 piece of string cheese ½ turkey sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread + 2 oz turkey + mustard) ½ cup tuna salad + 4 saltines – See more at:
- ½ turkey sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread + 2 oz turkey + mustard)
- ½ cup tuna salad + 4 saltines
- Tuna Salad Crisps (2 oz drained water-packed light tuna + 1 tsp light mayonnaise + 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard + 2 rye crisps)
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese + berries + 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
About 30 Grams of Carb (before workout snacks)
- ½ peanut butter sandwich (1 slice whole wheat bread + 1 tablespoon peanut butter) + 1 cup milk
- whole wheat toast + sliced banana + cinnamon
- 6 oz light yogurt + ¾ cup berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a combination of these)
- Greek yogurt and trail mix
- 1 English muffin + 1 teaspoon low-fat tub margarine
- 3/4 cup whole grain, ready-to-eat cereal + ½ cup fat-free milk
- oatmeal + fresh fruit
- 1 medium banana + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- apple wedges + almond butter