Life is hard and tiring. A mid morning Kitkat definitely makes a Monday more bearable, and there’s nothing wrong with a mid morning Kitkat – I really don’t think there is. The problem is when the mid morning Kitkat escalates into a Kitkat, a bag of crisps, a hummus pot and four chocolate digestives whilst you wait for the kettle to boil. These ‘harmless snacks’ were most likely an unnecessary cost on your ‘balanced’ diet, your bank balance and even your own mentality. Although we think these things make us happy, it’s actually not true. Especially the case with sugary snacks, the high we feel is very short lived, and runs out very quickly, which is why we always want more, and more, and then just a little bit more. Coming from a fellow snack-addict, someone who has on multiple occasions eaten a whole packet of office chocolate hobnobs in just one working day, trust me, snacking won’t make your day any better. It’ll simply ruin your meals, trick you into thinking you have energy (when you don’t) and cost you an extra few quid which could have contributed to a post-work G&T, which you would have totally deserved after long snack-free day.
I’m not a nutritionist, but I do have major experience of fighting the between meal munchies. I get sooooooo hungry and I love chocolate and popcorn and crisps and all these things but I do try and avoid them… So I thought I would share my anti-snacking top tips.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a good way to keep your belly full and your body and brain happy, meaning sugar and salt cravings are less likely to take over. I find a great way to put a snack craving to bed is to have a cup of tea as well – just avoid reaching for the biscuit tin while you wait for it to brew!
- Eat a simply amazing breakfast. It amazes me how many people ‘just don’t eat breakfast’ STILL IN THIS DAY AND AGE! Breakfast is quite clearly the most important meal of the day on so many levels so it’s imperative that you do it right. Get in plenty of carbs, protein and fibre to see you through until lunchtime and keep your head razor sharp throughout those sluggish morning meetings.
- Same goes for lunch. If you’re reaching for the cookie jar mid afternoon, it’s most likely because you had a rubbish lunch. Whaaaaat? Look at what’s in your lunch. Your cheese ploughmans on white bread from Gregg’s is probably not going to sustain you for the rest of the afternoon. I recommend making your lunch at home – quinoa salads with whatever veg are my easy go-to during the week, packed full of protein, nutrients, slow release carbs… yada yada yada.
- On that note… If you are buying lunch out (it’s not the worst sin ever, we all do it!) DON’T look at the calorie label or be won over by I’m super low in fat! labels. Look for higher protein, lower sugar. A 200 calorie sandwich might sound great but it won’t fill you up and will probably leave you more likely to snack afterwards.
- Plan your meals and look forward to them. If you know exactly what you’re having for lunch and dinner (rather than anticipating the aimless wander around M&S food hall) you’re probably going to be looking forward to it and therefore will be thinking about that, and not about how much you fancy a croissant from the bakery downstairs.
- Talking of planning… Snacking is not the worst thing in the world! But if you are trying to lose weight/cut down on sugary foods, snacking is probably the root of your problem. So if you must snack (which, by the way, I do everyday!), plan your snacks! Take a banana with you, have some sugar free energy bars, or something that will actually sustain you. The market is bloody full of great snacks at the moment. You might have to spend 40p more on the ‘better’ option, but it might save you spending £2 on the 5pm whizz to the sweetie shop!