How to Stop Hunger with Calories-Per-Crunch

Illustration of Hand Reaching for Popcorn

While dieting it's common to still be hungry after a meal. How you handle that crucial period between starving and satiated can be the difference between losing weight or gaining weight. So how do you stop hunger?

A slow to eat meal of celery and lean protein is a great option. However, sometimes you're craving something tastier and crunchier. Using the concept of calories-per-crunch allows you to enjoy something crunchy and helps you curb hunger.

What is Calories-Per-Crunch?

Calories-Per-Crunch is simply a rough estimate of how many calories are in each bite of food you take.

If a food has high calories-per-crunch, each bite you take will have a lot calories. You'll likely still be hungry if you eat foods with high CPC. Conversely, if you eat foods with low CPC, you'll generally be less hungry after a meal.

How does Calories-Per-Crunch work?

One of the reasons you're hungry after a meal is because it takes your brain anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to signal that it's full. If you finish your meal before that time has elapsed, you'll likely still crave something extra. Calories-Per-Crunch works by making your meal slow enough that by the time you're done you'll be less hungry.

What are some examples of foods with low Calories-Per-Crunch that I should try to eat?

Common diet staples like lean protein and vegetables all have low calories-per-crunch. For example, 300 calories of chicken will take much longer to eat than 300 calories of rice. And celery might be the epitome of calories-per-crunch. Celery actually burns more calories than it contains and takes longer to eat than most other food with similar calories.

But what if you're craving something that tastes better than celery? Choosing a snack with low calories-per-crunch can be the difference between gaining weight or losing weight.

What are some examples of tasty, crunch snacks with low Calories-Per-Crunch?

We think Corn Nuts are a really underrated, healthier snack option. On a per-calorie basis, the same amount of corn nuts can last you anywhere from 5-15 minutes longer than the same amount of potato chips, cookies, pretzels, or chocolate. And they taste a lot better than no-calorie "snacks" like celery with flavors like ranch, chile picante, and original. Oh, and they're also very reasonably priced. Anywhere from $10-$20 can buy you months of snacks.

Another great option is popcorn. Without any added oil or butter, popcorn is actually a very low calorie food. And even with a little added oil or butter, popcorn is still a relatively low calorie option that takes much longer to eat than potato chips or candy. It's also very versatile. You can make your own popcorn with regular white kernels or purple, blue, and red kernels. Or you can save time with delicious, lower-calorie snacks like White Cheddar SkinnyPop. Or you can try a hybrid approach with Quinn Popcorn, which mixes the convenience of microwave popcorn with the health benefits of DIY popcorn. Popcorn is also extremely affordable, too. $5-$10 worth of kernels can buy you months of snacking.

Harvest Snaps are another snack that's tasty and enjoyable for more than a minute or two. A single bag contains anywhere from 300-400 calories and usually takes about 5-10 minutes to finish. They're also gluten-free and made from black beans, peas, or lentils instead of wheat flour. What possibly differentiates them the most are their interesting, delicious flavors. Some of our favorites include Mango Chile Lime Black Bean, Onion Thyme Lentil, and Caesar Snapea.

What are some examples of foods with high Calories-Per-Crunch that I should avoid if I'm looking to enjoy a longer meal or snack?

Disclaimer: These are not foods to always avoid. Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts can absolutely be part of a healthy diet. You just have to be very careful about only eating a small quantity of them. If you eat almonds for 10-15 minutes, you're probably going to gain weight.

  • Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, Walnuts
  • Bread
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Potato Chips, Corn Chips
  • Pretzels
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