Probably one of the greatest challenges to attempting the low GI diet, aside from the time required to create successful meals that adhere to your glycemic index guidelines, is finding tasty, convenient, low GI snacks. One of the worst parts of a diet – and as a result, one of the main reasons people fail at them – is when you have to cut out snacking or reduce the amount of food you eat to point where you feel starved. With the low glycemic index diet, however, you should be able to eat whenever you feel hungry, and since your body will eventually be burning calories and fat at a fast rate, you will want to be eating beyond the traditional three meals a day.
The best solution is to develop a list of your favorite “go-to” low glycemic snacks that you can make on a regular basis and that all involve only low glycemic foods (under 60 based on glycemic index tables such as this one). These can range from gourmet, home made “mini-meals” to very basic snacks that take literally seconds to make. So in this article, we’ve collected a few examples of delicious, satisfying low go snacks that you can incorporate into your repertoire and develop a meal and snack plan that fits your life.
There are many snacks you can make that won’t spike your blood sugar
It is a myth that snacking is unhealthy. In fact, if you are practicing a low glycemic index diet, snacking will play a crucial role in how successful you are. This is because generally a low glycemic index meal plan will be accompanied by a pretty aggressive or ramped up exercise schedule. The result is increased hunger, and if you try to stubbornly stick to only three low calories meals per day, you might get to the point where you’ll break down and eat junk food. This will blow up your nutritional efforts and set you back to square one.
So avoid this at all cost. If it means making delicious “mini-meals” as low GI snacks, then go for it. Here are a few examples of low go snacks that taste amazing and will satisfy your hunger until you get to the next meal:
Romain lettuce turkey wraps – Brown a pound of ground turkey, preferably adding some celery and bell peppers. Keep it refrigerated and whenever the hunger strikes, peel off a large leaf of romain lettuce, pack it in there and wrap it up.
Egg white muffins – In a muffin tin, bake egg whites at 350 for 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Add salsa for a delicious snack.
Mini black bean chicken bowl – Take a can of black beans, and some left over chicken from the many chicken based low go recipes that you’re likely making during this diet 🙂 combine with chopped tomatoes or salsa. This will probably produce about 3 snacks, keep the rest refrigerated for later.
Kale almond salad – Take chopped kale, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and fresh squeezed juice from half a lemon. Combine this with sliced apples and/or slivered almonds.
These options are going to enhance your day. Not only will you be satisfied and have the energy to attack your day and execute your exercise plan, but you’ll enjoy some highly yummy flavors throughout the day.
The best low GI Snacks are not only healthy, but easy to make
OK, so these snacks are great, but let’s face it: many of us don’t have the time or resources to make a series of low glycemic snack foods to have on hand, in addition to the meals we’ll likely be preparing. This is totally understandable. If you’re in this position, it’s probably better to come up with a lineup of quick, extremely easy go-to low GI snacks that take next to no time to prepare.
Here are some simple, inexpensive, low GI options for snacking that will not require any time to make:
- Bag of sliced carrots
- Hard boiled egg
- Tablespoon of almond butter
Probably the biggest time suck in the above foods is the grapefruit, which typically demands about 5 minutes to slice before you down it. Other than that, however, these will be extremely easy, and will keep your hunger at bay as you work your way through to the next meal.
Whatever you decide, make sure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs
Whether you have the time to make a large batch of yummy gourmet snacks all at once, or you’re flying by the seat of your pants and your snacks need to be “grab and go” on a regular basis, it is critical to eat frequently enough for your body to have adequate fuel. This means not forcing yourself to starve through that 3:15 – 5:30 stretch where your stomach is screaming at you, and instead accessing a satisfying snack that will keep your energy level where it needs to be while not spiking your blood sugar.
So if you’re always on the go, and find that cooking and meal prepping a large number of low GI snacks is just not an option, then the best bet is probably to make a quick grocery store run and pick up some carrots, apples, and grapefruits. And make sure to take it with you to work, school, or wherever you’ll be away from home for long periods of time. This way you’ll at least have some food on hand and won’t be tempting to turn to the high glycemic foods that constantly surround us at convenience stores and drive throughs.
Have a good array of snack options, and you’ll have another key element for success at the low glycemic index diet.