We all want to curb the sugar cravings and avoid the unnecessary snacking – but when the tummy starts rumbling for the 3rd time that day, reaching for the chips is sometimes justified! So how can you eat throughout the day to make sure you are staying full for as long as possible? Or if you do get hungry, what snacks do you take that will keep you going until your next meal? Four easy steps await:
ONE: Include Protein
Protein is the hardest thing (meaning it takes the most energy) for our digestive systems to digest – which is one of the reasons you may have heard of the ‘meatless Monday’ trend circulating social media platforms: to give your digestive system a little breather! However, it is for this reason that protein does a wonderful job at keeping you full for a long time as it takes longer than other things to go through the process of breaking down.
Try to include protein at every meal (especially breakfast) to keep your energy, concentration and tummy stable throughout the morning, and ensure it is lean and of high quality – that does mean limit the bacon.. Sorry! Lean meats, eggs, poultry, seafood, yoghurt and other plant based proteins are your best option. So switch it up, get creative, and enjoy the feeling of fullness!
TWO: Include Fibre
This may be something you have heard before, but let’s explain: fibre are the indigestible parts of fruit, vegetables and grains which cannot be broken down or digested by the body. There are two types of fibre:
1. Soluble fibre
2. Insoluble fibre
Because soluble fibre absorbs water as it moves through the digestive tract, it actually slows down the digestive process meaning you stay fuller for longer, reducing mindless snacking and grabbing food that isn’t good for you because you’re hungry straight after lunch. How good! (For more information on the benefits of fibre, read our post…)
Great sources of fibre that you can include in your meals or as snacks include:
• Nuts and seeds
• Wheat brain & whole grains
• Fruits and vegetables (especially the skins)
• Psyllium husk
• Oats and barley
THREE: Include Healthy Fat
Healthy fat concludes the last member of the healthy trio that helps you feel fuller for longer. Healthy fats help contribute to the regulation of hormones, including the hormone ghrelin which is known as the ‘hunger hormone’. Regulation of this hormone means that your body will signal that it’s hungry when it’s actually hungry, and tells you to stop eating when you’re full – amazing!
So what are some healthy fats that you can include in your daily diet?
• Greek yoghurt
• Drizzle extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil on your salads or meals
• Nuts (conveniently, nuts are a source of protein and fibre too! Hint hint..)
• Eggs (take boiled to work for a great snack option – high quality protein source as well)
FOUR: Avoid The Highly Processed
As tasty as they may be, unfortunately the benefits of processed foods which are high in simple carbohydrates stops at our taste buds. Foods such as chocolates, pastries, biscuits (including the savoury ones – put that box of ‘Shapes’ back on the shelf!) chips/crisps and commercial breakfast cereals are all high in energy, but very low in nutrients. This means that they will spike your blood sugar giving you a surge of energy, but the energy is not able to be sustained, and will consequently drop within the hour-or-so post consumption, leading you to feel as though you need another pick-me-up.
This cycle is the one you need to break. Beginning your day with the above mentioned trio, will keep your blood sugar levels sustained and will reduce the cravings and need for high energy foods. Plus, following this routine will inadvertently help you to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs by consuming whole foods, and avoid eating the foods that won’t benefit your body or your waistline as well – it’s a win-win!