It goes a little something like this:
Start with a great breakfast, chase kids ’til lunch, grab something quick to eat, kids again through til 4 when hunger over takes and you grab some biscuits or a cake.
Then by the time dinner hits, you’re too hungry to cook, so have takeaways or the contents of the fridge.
Does this sound a bit like you?
If so, you are not alone. We start out with great intentions but the biggest killer of the healthy diet is lack of time and organisation.
It would be great if we could stop every 2 hours and turn the kids off for a relaxed break, a wee walk and a healthy snack?
Yep it sure would, but meanwhile, back in the real world let’s take a look at ways to beat the munchies!
The trick is to plan plan plan…. Making sure we make food choices that give us sustained energy and make sure we eat often enough to avoid ever reaching the point where we have to grab whatever is in front of us.
Satiety refers to how full you feel, or satisfied, and for how long you feel full after eating.
How much a food satisfies you and for how long is not always related to how many calories are in it, so going for a healthy diet does not necessarily mean being hungry all the time, if smart choices are made.
There is an old gem of wisdom that I like to trot out at this point:
It’s the “Don’t shop on an empty stomach” trick. I’d like to put a twist on it and suggest you don’t EAT on an empty stomach. It takes about 20 minutes for our brain to register that our tummies are full. Chances are that if you are ravenous you will have eaten a whole lot more than you need to in the time it takes your brain to say STOP! So instead of waiting until you are grumpy and hungry before eating keep snacks nearby in your bag or cupboard to grab in a hurry.
MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES
Carbohydrate gets a bad rap these days in many circles. To be fair, a diet high in refined carbs such as white flours and processed foods is not ideal as they release a quick burst of ‘energy’ followed by the ‘slumps’. However carbohydrates such as whole grains provide sustained energy that will prevent the munchies.
Protein is known to make us feel full for longer so a regular intake of small amounts of protein containing food is an essential part of a healthy diet.
Of equal importance in palatability. A bag full of healthy food is of no use whatsoever if it consists of warm yoghurt, bruised bananas and crumbly crackers. Make sure your easily grabbed snacks are ones you’ll do more than toss in the bin on the way to the dairy.
Fast food doesn’t have to be junk food; the supermarket is full of healthy single serve snacks that are perfect for the time poor. Just make sure you read the labels!
What about trying…
Muesli bars (the baked ones with the fruit in the middle)
Mini packs of raisons
Almonds (about 10 is a serving)
Rice crackers (and dip)
Fresh fruit (whole or sliced)
Chopped vegies (carrots and celery work well together)
Pot of low fat yoghurt