How snacking adds up
Just one slice of cake, chocolate bar or packet of crisps can cost you an extra 200 cals and £2 a day – that’s 12lb and £520 a year. So why can’t we just say no?
“Most cravings have an emotional element,” says registered dietitian Fiona Hunter. “Fatty and sugary foods taste good and make us feel better, at least temporarily.” It’s also thought that they are a reflection of the foods we were given as treats when we were young or associate with comfort and security.
10 ways to beat temptation
Fortunately, there are some practical ways to temper your desire for unhealthy food.
Though strong longings are rarely driven solely by hunger, they are more likely to strike when our eating habits are erratic. Spacing regular meals throughout the day will keep your blood sugar from dipping.
Chose water or a cup of tea instead of giving in to food. It can fill your stomach for a while and take the edge off your hunger.
Choose Lower GI
Slower release carbs like pulses, wholegrain bread, wholewheat pasta and porridge help smooth blood sugar fluctuations, leaving you less prone to crisis eating.
This could mean clearing your cupboard of chocolate, always taking a packed lunch, or choosing a different route so you don’t pass the cake shop
Team Carbs with Proteins
Having lean meat, fish and Quorn as part of a meal keep blood sugar even and reduces hunger.
Avoid Family Bumper Pack
If you do buy crisps or chocolate bars, make it one at a time.
Keep a Food and Feelings Diary
List everything that you eat and make a note of your mood at the time. It will help you identify when your cravings strike and to be aware of the emotions driving them (for example, anger, boredom, low self esteem and so on). You can use the food triggers functions in your Woman’s Own Diets food diary to manage this.
Get Some Sleep
Not getting enough shut eye has been linked with weight gain. This is probably because your body craves sugars in an attempt to overcome tiredness.
Read the Labels
Researchers at America’s Cornell University found that people who were eating a lot of comfort food because they felt unhappy dramatically reduced their consumption when they actually understood the nutritional content of what they were eating. Another great reason to make sure you keep your Woman’s Own Diets food diary up to date!
Hang in There
If you are desperate for a piece of favourite food but you know you really aren’t – or shouldn’t be – hungry, wait before eating because the urge will pass. If after 20 minutes you are still peckish then go ahead and have something to eat.