Stopping snacking is by far one of the hardest thing any of us has to do when we start to think about managing our diets. Hunger, even the tiniest inclination, can drive us quickly towards the biscuit tin, so here are some top tips to help break that habit:
Find a breakfast that keeps you full for longer, and stops you snacking. Muesli or cereal doesn’t do it for me, and I invariably find myself looking for a top-up mid-morning. My go-to breakfast is eggs, normally boiled, but may be scambled at the weekend, with a couple of pitta breads. The science says it’s the protein in the eggs that fill you up and in principle you can get the same effect by having nuts and seeds with your muesli, so maybe worth a try if you don’t get on with the eggs option.
Cut the bread – I’m not convinced yet that the extreme no-carb diets are a good option for the vast majority of us. I think they have a place when a crash diet may be an option and for certain metabolisms, but for the rest of us we need carbs to perform. So the question is what carbs to eat or, more importantly, what carbs to avoid. The issue for me is ‘normal’ bread, whether it’s sliced white or baker’s wholegrain, it always leaves me feeling a little bit to ‘full’, so I try to use unlevened bread like pittas and wraps, or sour dough bread at a push.
Go-to snacks shouldn’t be biscuits. You’re going to get hungry, especially as we start changing the way we eat, so you will need snacks. There are two types in my mind, one that fills you up and one that gives you a taste hit. The problem is that eating enough of the latter to fulfill the former invariably isn’t a good idea. Bananas are my go-to filler, but any fruit is ideal, as long as it’s in its raw state – so grapes are fine, but sultanas aren’t. Taste-wise I’m a sucker for dry-roasted peanuts or pistachios – the latter are better, if only because it takes so much effort to get them out of their shells.
Adding chilli to anything will up the taste and make even the plainest egg so much nicer. I’m sure that there’s also some science to be done around chilli suppressing appetite, but I could be completely wrong.