Healthy nibbles can help to curb your hunger and reduce the amount you eat at mealtimes. Here’s how to have your snack and eat it, too!
1. Go bananas!
If you have a bunch of tired-looking bananas in the fruit bowl, just pop them in the freezer. Then use them to sweeten snacks, such as yoghurt or cereal, or mix them with skim milk for a smoothie. And on warm days, make an instant ice-cream by putting frozen pieces in a blender and blend until smooth. Bananarama!
2. Make it fiddly
A handful of pistachios is a great snack. Buy them in their shells as they take longer to eat (and the empty shells help you to keep track of how much you’re eating). They’re also a great source of B vitamins and fibre.
3. Say yo to low-fat yoghurt
This treat is relatively low in kilojoules, has protein to fill you, and calcium to keep your bones strong. Keep small tubs in the fridge or mix fruit into a Greek-style yoghurt and freeze to make a sorbet.
4. Be trigger happy!
If you know you’re prone to raiding the fridge as soon as you get home after a long day at work, you’ll need to plan ahead. It’s so easy to simply snack instead of preparing a meal but, you often end up eating more food without feeling satisfied.
To stop you emptying the bickie barrel, cook in bulk and freeze meal portions for those lazy days. And keep your fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with healthy basics, such as frozen vegies, canned tomatoes, low-fat ricotta and eggs. This way, you know you can make a healthy meal in minutes as well as keep the snacking at bay.
5. Have a drink
Before you have a snack or go back for seconds, make sure you aren’t thirsty rather than hungry – it’s surprisingly easy to confuse the two. Drink a glass of water and wait for about 10 minutes. Then, if you’re still feeling hungry, have something to eat.
6. Stash the seeds and beans
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds and edamame beans are packed with protein to help you feel fuller for longer and make a tasty change to regular nuts. Better still, try a mix – just remember to keep your portions to about 2 tablespoons (30g). Or, grab a small snack pack from the supermarket.
7. Make a freezer fix
Bags or small containers of frozen fruit (berries are ideal) make an affordable frozen snack. Eat them straight from the bag for pops of icy goodness, or for extra flavour, add a dollop of yoghurt. You can even heat them in the microwave and sprinkle muesli over the top for a quick, crunchy crumble.
8. Take stock
Make sure you always have a healthy snack on hand in case you get stuck when you’re out and about. Keep individual snack packs of dried fruit and nuts or a small muesli bar in your handbag, so you’ll be less tempted to reach for the chocolate bar at the supermarket counter.
9. Savour the flavour
Treat your snack as you would a meal – put it on a plate, sit down at the table and enjoy it. If you eat this way, you’re more likely to feel satisfied afterwards and less likely to want to go back for a second round before your next meal.
10. Opt to downsize
If you know you’re likely to polish off whatever chocolate’s around, then banish family blocks from the house. When you really want a piece of chocolate, simply buy a kiddie-sized bar – and make sure you enjoy it!