Whenever a craving hits it’s said you should grab a cold glass of water. Yeah – that’s not going to cut it on cold winter days. Try these tips to help you cut down on the winter snacks…
#1 – Fill up on fibre
Extensive research has shown that people with fibre-rich diets tend to carry less fat and have a lower body mass index. This is because fibrous foods take longer to chew, they digest slower and take up more space in the stomach, which makes you feel full for longer. This will help to curb those hunger pangs between meals.
#2 – Eat small meals more often
Many dietitians and nutritionists recommend eating every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolic rate high and sustain energy levels. Fuelling your body with smaller, more balanced meals throughout the day can also help you to avoid binge eating and food cravings.
However, portion control and eating the correct foods are essential for losing weight and fat on a four-to-six-meal-a-day eating plan, otherwise you risk gaining weight.
#3 – Cut out processed carbs
Although processed carbohydrates often taste good, they are hard for the body to digest and they spike blood sugar levels, which is then followed by a drop in blood sugar. This sugar level ‘see-saw’ can create extreme cravings and hunger, which often leads to overeating and weight gain.
Avoid: Baked goods containing white flour, white pasta and sweets and sodas loaded with sugar are all examples of processed carbs that are best avoided.
Get more: Sweet potato, whole grain rice and natural unprocessed foods.
#4 – Pack in more protein
Proteins also take longer and require more kilojoules to digest, which means you burn more energy to process them. Furthermore, protein-rich foods keep you feeling full for longer and help stabilise your blood sugar, preventing dips in energy, hunger and cravings.
#5 – Eat mindfully
When we eat under stress or time pressure it can afect our food choices, and often leads to constant snacking. Distractions while eating can may mean that your body fails to recognise what it should be digesting, and does not absorb nutrients optimally.
This can lead to addional snacking, despite having eaten a entire meal. A great tip is to slow down, breathe and be aware of your feelings before and while eating. Be cognisant of how hungry you are and be mindful of the food choices you make. Chew slowly, savour the taste, flavours and textures of what you are eating and notice how satiated you feel with each bite.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.