5 foolproof tips to help you curb snacking
As the stresses of lockdown rise, many of us are turning to the snack cupboard which can result in consuming unneeded calories.
We spoke to a registered dietitian, Mbali Mapholi of Mbali Mapholi Inc to share with us tips on how we can curb snacking during this period, and below is what she said.
Stick to a routine
It is important to stick to the routine. If you are a breakfast person, stick to eating breakfast every day. The idea is to try to keep the same meal pattern as you would during normal out-of-the-house working days. Keeping normal eating routines allows blood sugar levels to remain stable, which helps reduce cravings and improve mood and energy levels.
Most people drink water when they see water, which is normally at the gym, the water fountain at the office, or just by seeing colleagues around us at work do it. It is important to stay hydrated as thirst can be confused for hunger resulting in excessive snacking.
Keep a water bottle close by at your home working station and place a jug of water in sight elsewhere in the house, and make sure that the water dispenser in the fridge is always refilled so that you are reminded to drink water. Low-sugar beverages such as caffeine-free tea, milk and low-sugar juices are other healthy beverage options to keep you hydrated.
It is easy to stay up late during lockdown because we know there is nowhere we need to be urgently in the morning. However, most people still wake up early to attend to their children, fur friends or whatever else and end up functioning in lack-of-sleep mode. A loss of sleep can affect moods and result in increased cravings, leading us to compensate by nibbling away.
It is important to get at least six to eight hours of sleep to help maintain the normal functioning of the immune system, to support your mental health and overall well-being. Life should not stop, and the pursuit of good health should not end either now that we are on lockdown. People find it difficult to do it on their own, so getting assistance from experts such as dietitians is crucial
Ensure adequate good protein sources at mealtimes
We often prioritize high carbohydrate sources at main meals (breakfast, lunch or supper) and ignore protein sources and vegetables. All food groups are important and have a vital role to play in our health.
Protein helps with satiety among other functions – feeling full for longer is important as it reduces many trips to the fridge or pantry to scavenge for snacks. Basically, it helps a great deal to ensure that your main meals are complete with all food groups in the right quantities and good quality. Typical meals should have whole grains (source of carbs), lean protein, plenty of vegetables and or fruits and healthy fats to bind everything.
Say now, you are snacking. It is very important to sit-down. Avoid snacking while busy moving around, grab a bowl – plate out the snack if it needs to be plated or grab a snack and sit to fully enjoy it. Being present and avoiding distractions while snacking helps reduce excessive snacking. Be more mindful and choose snacks that you enjoy.