If you find yourself giving in to cravings between meals, you could be undoing some of the good that comes from your otherwise healthy diet (non-subscriber preview)
For all sorts of reasons - scientific research, improved transport, refrigeration, additives, greed - we are taunted and tempted day and night by fatty, sugary, visually enticing foods and drinks. They're everywhere and they can be hard to resist, but if you give yourself healthy alternatives during the day, you can turn your nose up at the sweets, crisps, muffins, cakes, chocolate and biscuits that seem to hit the spot but leave you with a severe case of buyer's remorse. And a funny taste in your mouth.
The Old Coffee-Shop Trick
Coffee shops would be proof of God's benevolence were it not for the fact that along with the beautiful beverage they tend to be heavily stocked with all manner of tasty, fat-filled foods that satisfy our morning cravings but do no good in the long run. Our systems are generally more acidic in the morning, which leads to an unconscious desire for fat and lots of it.
Buy some low-fat yoghurt to have with a banana or nuts and seeds for an energy-boosting range of nutrients. Or you could try one of these...
1. Buy a pot of low-fat fromage frais and throw in some dried apricots with some nuts and seeds. All of these have a low GI (Glycaemic Index), which means they release energy slowly and help prevent hunger pangs. The apricots contain fibre and vitamins, and nuts and seeds are also packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.
Of course, nuts are high in fat and there was a time not too long ago when we were encouraged to run a mile from them. But the truth is that the fat in nuts is mostly of the healthy, unsaturated variety, and nuts are therefore a healthy addition to your diet. Chestnuts are low in fat, but plopping them into your fromage frais or yoghurt is not a terribly appealing idea.
2. Spread low-fat soft cheese on a multigrain bagel and add sliced grapes, which are full of fibre and vitamins. This low-GI option should keep you going until lunchtime. The cheese also offers calcium, protein and vitamins. People often steer clear of dairy products when watching their weight, but a 2009 study from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, found that subjects who increased their daily servings of dairy products from three to five lost more weight than those who did not.