Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13, celiac disease a year later, and fibromyalgia in 2014. Ginger provides great insights into life with multiple chronic illnesses, including how to make the most of your life despite your health setbacks.
An important part of maintaining or losing weight comes down to properly fueling your metabolism. Going too long between meals (more than four hours) will inevitably tell your metabolism to slow down and conserve energy and body fat.
By incorporating a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, you will not only keep your metabolism burning, but you'll also curb your appetite by the time you get home for dinner.
Your snack should contain some healthy protein and some fat to give you the sustainable fuel you need in the middle of the day. Remember, you can subtract dietary fiber from the total carb count because fiber is not digested into glucose like other carbohydrates.
Here are three of my favorite low-carb snacks containing 300 calories (or fewer):
1. Apple with two sticks of string cheese
This snack adds up to approximately 280 calories and 15 grams of carbs. By pairing string cheese with your fruit choice, you'll get plenty of protein and some healthy fat, which will take longer to digest and therefore sustain your appetite and your metabolism longer compared to eating only the fruit.
2. Plain yogurt with berries and walnuts
Properly proportioned, this snack gives you a total of 300 calories and 14 grams of carbs. Choose a plain Greek yogurt containing seven grams of carbs and 100 calories or fewer—by choosing plain yogurt, you'll skip the sugar-laden fruit jelly that often contains high-fructose corn syrup. Add some flavor with a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen berries for 50 more calories and seven grams of carbs, then sprinkle a less-than-full 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts for about 150 more calories and healthy, energy-sustaining fat!
3. Hummus with veggies and almonds
For a total of 300 calories, create a finger-food snack with four tablespoons of hummus containing 140 calories and six grams of carbs, 15 baby carrots for 10 grams of carbs and 50 calories, and 15 almonds for a remaining 100 calories and healthy fat.
Keep a good supply of the items above in your fridge at home or at work to perk up your mid-afternoon energy. If you get tired of apples, you can easily substitute a different type of fruit, a different type of veggie instead of carrots, or a different type of nut instead of walnuts or almo