PistachiosAugust 12, 2015

Let’s say you eat lunch around noon, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. That’s a long stretch to go without eating.

Add in the stressors of work, combined with the availability of a vending machine or nearby convenience store, and it’s no surprise if you end up eating a bag or two of chips in the late afternoon.

“What you snack on shouldn’t be a surprise,” says Christina Schumann, a registered dietitian who works at Genesys Athletic Club. “Planning ahead is very important. When you pack your lunch or set aside money for eating out, you should be thinking about your snacks at the same time.”

Schumann opts for healthier, smarter snacks to get her through the day. In fact, some of her favorites include:

  • NUTS. Pecans, walnuts, almonds – you name it. “It’s my first go-to snack because you don’t even have to refrigerate them,” says Schumann, noting that pistachios are especially good as removing their shells can act as a sort of stress reliever. Not sure you’ll be able to get by on nuts alone? Combine ¼ cup nuts, ¼ dried fruit and ¼ c high-fiber cereal for a trail mix that’s sure to curb your hunger pains.
  • HUMMUS. Swap out your dipping crackers or chips with your favorite vegetable. “If you’re cutting up vegetables for a stirfry or salad, set aside some from your snack the next day. That way, you’re not creating any more work. It’s about planning ahead.”
  • GREEK YOGURT. Pair plain Greek yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey. As Schumann explains, it has more protein than regular yogurt and the creamy texture will feel more decadent – perfect for when you’re tempted to eat something sweet.
  • PEANUT BUTTER WITH APPLE SLICES OR CELERY. This is ideal for someone without access to a refrigerator and especially for “someone who plans work out right after work,” she says.

Whatever snack you choose, Schumann stresses the importance of picking something with fiber. “Not only do most Americans fall short of their recommended fiber intake, it also helps slow down digestion, which keeps you satisfied for longer,” she says.