Avoid Unnecessary Snacking

Choosing foods that take a long time for your body to burn keeps you fuller longer, and helps you avoid unnecessary snacking.

Following calorie-limiting schedules to get rid of those unwanted kilos is all well and good, but what do you do when the hunger pangs hit? The answer is to choose foods that fit with your calorie-counting plan, but also keep you feeling full. Including healthy and non-fattening foods will keep you satisfied enough to keep you from indulging in unnecessary snacking during the day. Here are some tips on foods that help you get through the day and suppress those tough-to-ignore hunger pangs.

filling food

Oatmeal is one of the best complex carbohydrate options that keep you feeling full well after the meal. The complex fibre in the oatmeal takes much longer to digest and keeps your system occupied until the next meal. It also regulates insulin levels, keeping you from craving a sugar fix. Cook it with a little skimmed milk and add some chopped almonds or some seasonal fruits to make it more appetising. This need not be restricted to the mornings; you can make it a midday meal too. Low in calories, oatmeal can be the perfect choice that keeps you from reaching for that pack of chips. Adding some low-fat yoghurt to your oatmeal can also be a good option.  

filling food

Eggs are the perfect breakfast. Not only are they loaded with protein, but they also take a long time to digest, which keeps you satisfied until lunch. Boiled or scrambled - take your pick. A few slices of whole grain bread and your meal is complete. The combination of protein and carbohydrate keeps your digestive system busy for a long time. You might even want to skip your elevenses!

It’s always best to reach for whole grain breads with your meals. Brown or multi-grain breads are healthier than their white counterparts. Rotis made from multi-grain flour are an excellent option. The complex carbohydrates in these breads slowly release glucose, keeping sugar levels constant for a long time. And no dip in sugar levels means no sudden cravings for something sweet!  

filling food

Yoghurt or even plain low-fat curd by itself can be a good round-the-clock snack. Available in many fruit flavours, yoghurt is appetising to the palate while providing the much needed calcium to the body and a dose of healthy bacteria to aid digestion. If milk-based products are not your idea of a satisfying snack, try munching on a fruit, especially something in the citrus family.

Fruits such as guavas and grapes are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a lot of fibre, which keeps the intestines busy for a longer time. The high vitamin C content speeds up the body’s metabolic rate, ensuring that the metabolic processes are kept busy, thus reducing the hunger pangs. Also, citrus fruits have high water content, so it’s two birds with one stone - keeps you hydrated and keeps you full.  

filling food

Green vegetables have a lot of soluble and insoluble fibre which take a long time to digest. And with your body busy trying to break these down, you’ll only feel hungry much later. Green veggies need not appear on the menu only as a part of the salad. Try some vegetable soup instead. A big bowl of soup with a whole lot of vegetables can be equivalent to a two-course meal. Adding some condiments to spice it up a bit can keep you satiated for a few hours. The water content in the soup adds a feeling of fullness. If you have a long day ahead, a bowl of soup at midday can keep you satisfied and energised without getting drowsy.

Including the right foods to keep you full can make sure that you eat healthy and keep your metabolic process busy for a long time. Remember that breaking down complex foods burns more calories, too. So, by eating foods which make you eat less, you will reach your fitness goals sooner, and increase your productivity in no time.     

- Pallavi