Weight loss: Snack smarter and cut cravings by adding fibre to your diet
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Snacking can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle if done right. Some snacks make you crave more food, which leads to weight gain, while others leave you feeling full and give your body the nutrients it needs.
Expert nutritionist from fitness company F45 Training, Kim Bowman, has shared her tips on how to snack smarter throughout the day and cut cravings.
She recommended swapping carbohydrate snacks for foods that are high in both protein and fibre.
Kim said: “Avoiding processed snacks is key when it comes to cutting down on cravings.
“We all experience cravings for sugary or salty snacks, but prepping your own high-protein, fibre-rich snacks is a great way to curb these cravings and stick to a healthy eating routine.”
Kim explained that processed snacks such as crisps and pretzels “lack nutritional value” and can lead to “blood sugar imbalance”.
She continued: “Instead of satisfying hunger, these foods often leave us feeling hungrier, which often leads to increased intake of these empty-calorie foods.”
To add more protein and fibre to your diet, both of which cut cravings but also curb your appetite, Kim recommended doing so by eating them for breakfast or as a morning snack.
The nutritionist said: “Balancing blood sugar first thing in the morning is essential to keeping sugar cravings at bay throughout the day.
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“Both protein and fibre increase satiety by adding nutrient density to a morning meal.
“This means that any sweet snacks you might indulge in later on won’t send blood sugar skyrocketing, instead allowing you to enjoy them in moderation.”
Kim advised eating scrambled egg whites with sautéed spinach and sweet potato as a large breakfast.
Or, if you would prefer something smaller, rolled oats with a dollop of plain Greek yoghurt and topped with berries, nuts, and seeds is a perfect choice.
Kim explained that consuming sweets first thing in the morning without any added protein or fibre is “problematic” due to the fact that sugar is high-glycemic.
She said: “Foods lacking protein and fibre, such as cookies, cakes, and pastries, are rapidly digested within the body, inducing a peak in both blood glucose and insulin.
“This not only triggers sweet cravings, but makes it extremely difficult to resist temptation as we start to feel hungry shortly after consumption.”
Another way to curb your appetite throughout the day, enabling you to stick to a healthy diet, is to keep active and drink water regularly.
Kim explained: “Active movement is a key component to staying accountable.
“Even just 15 to 20 minutes of daily exercise can help boost metabolism and lessen the temptation to continuously snack on sugary foods.”
As for water, Kim recommended drinking at least two to three litres of water a day, which will prevent dehydration.
“When we’re thirsty, we’ve already reached a state of dehydration, which is a common trigger for sugar cravings,” Kim said.
Another way to enjoy healthy snacks is to make your own.
Kim advised baking treats made of natural sugar sources, such as raw manuka honey, dates, or fruit.
If you want to add chocolate to the mix, dark chocolate is best as it is a richer source of cocoa and contains more antioxidants than milk chocolate.
As for flour, opt for a nutrient-dense alternative to white flour, such as almond, coconut, or buckwheat flour.
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