See, the reason to snack in general is that it'll keep you from over-indulging come meal time. The ideal diet would consist of about 6 tiny meals eaten throughout the day, but no one can keep that kind of schedule, which is why three solid meals and two small snacks is a good way to go. The reason to snack SMART is to keep yourself full and energized consistently throughout the day-which also keeps you from stuffing your face when it's time for dinner.
These 12 simple snacks are super easy to whip up, and will keep your belly filled with hunger-squashing protein and fiber.
Warm Toasted Nuts
Toss a combination of nuts—pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashews—with chili powder, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Roast in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes, until warm and toasty.
Ants on a Log
Slather celery with smooth or chunky peanut butter. Dot with raisins.
Boil a few cups of frozen edamame until tender. Drain and toss with a light coasting of sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt.
Homemade Trail Mix
Combine 1 cup almonds, walnuts, or cashews (or a mix of all three) with 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and 1 1/2 cups dried fruit: raisins, apricots, apples, prunes, and/or banana chips.
Spread the inside of a pita half with plenty of hummus and top with sliced tomato, onion, and lettuce.
Stuff cherry peppers or bottled Peppadew peppers with soft goat cheese or mini balls of fresh mozzarella.
Lay a slice of swiss cheese on a cutting board. Top with a slice of deli turkey and a spoonful of hummus or guacamole. Wrap like a jelly roll and eat.
Cut fresh mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Skewer on toothpicks with pitted green olives and sundried tomatoes.
Pop a bag of popcorn. While it's still hot, toss the popcorn with a half cup grated Parmesan and a good amount of chopped fresh rosemary.
Zesty Tuna Salad
Combine a can of tuna with your favorite salsa. Use Triscuits for scooping.
Pop a bag of popcorn. While it's still hot, toss with a tablespoon of melted butter, then 2 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Upgraded Elvis Sandwich
Pave a slice of toasted wheat bread with peanut butter and banana slices. Top with a drizzle of honey.