Whether you're trying to lose fat or build muscle, proper nutrition is absolutely key.
Unfortunately, making “proper” decisions when you're hungry is not always an easy thing to do. All too often, the only snack foods that are readily available when you're really famished aren't exactly... desirable. Really, what you need to hold you over between meals is something that's high in protein and low in simple carbohydrates.
This macro profile will help you feel full longer and prevent any dramatic crashes in blood sugar which could sap your energy and increase your cravings for less-than-ideal foods.
So, what should you be snacking on? Here are a few ideas for high protein snacks to get you from one meal to the next.
Okay, so this one probably seems pretty obvious. And that's because it is, by far, the simplest solution. A well-made whey or casein protein powder, like those produced by Naked Nutrition, will give you all the protein you need with no extra sugar or unhealthy additives.
These powders can be pretty easily carried around with you during the day, waiting to be mix up into a shake when you need them. Or, you can spend a little more time to add fruit and other ingredients into the mix for something a little more substantial.
Another easy-to-transport snack, nuts like almonds or peanuts are a fairly high protein snack that can help get you through the day. Just be careful with these, since they pack a surprising amount of calories – particularly from fat.
Fortunately, all that protein and fiber means that you won't need a lot of nuts to feel full and satisfied.
Unlike standard yogurt, the Greek variety is strained – producing a snack that is much higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates. If you prefer, you can also opt for the low-fat versions.
Keep in mind, though, that while Greek yogurt is nutritionally spectacular, companies sometimes add lots of things – like fruit and syrups – that completely undo all of that good.
If you're looking for some added flavor, buy plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit, berries and nuts. Remember, though: Yogurt will take some planning since it requires refrigeration.
Packed with protein, jerky doesn't really require any special considerations if you decide to use it as your protein snack. Plus, there are plenty of varieties and flavors available. Just keep be mindful of the ingredients.
Although jerky really doesn't need it, companies tend to add tons of additives and preservatives to their products to achieve a desired look, influence the flavor and increase the shelf life.
Of course, jerky will also be off limits to the vegans and vegetarians out there.
Although some people struggle with the flavor or texture of this simple, high-protein cheese, it can be an extremely useful dietary tool if you know how to use it.
Like yogurt, you may want to add fruit or berries to make things more interesting. Also like yogurt, remember that you'll have to plan ahead to keep your cottage cheese refrigerated during the day.