We all know we’re supposed to eat three balanced meals a day, exercise regularly and limit our alcohol intake, but how many of us actually do it? UK government statistics reveal that by 2050 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children will be officially obese – but by becoming more aware of what you’re putting into your body, you can avoid becoming one of these shocking statistics.
One major factor in the obesity crisis is snacking!
Cakes brought into the office to celebrate a colleague’s birthday, a packet of crisps whilst watching Eastenders or even a handful of biscuits with a cuppa at 11am – all those extra calories add up and can result in weight gain. However, you don’t have to stick to three meals a day to be the ‘perfect’ size and shape: snacking can be good for you, as long as you snack on the right foods.
Fruit – as well as counting towards your five-a-day, high-fibre fruit (like bananas) is great for filling you up and releasing energy slowly.
Cereal – enjoying a bowl of whole-grain cereals isn’t just the perfect way to start the day, it’s also the perfect way to keep hunger pains at bay. Swap whole milk for semi-skimmed or skimmed milk to keep your calorie intake under control.
Veg ‘n’ Dip – not just a fancy party nibble, raw veggies are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fibre, whilst a protein based dip (such as hummus) gives you energy. Chop up carrots, pepper, cucumber and celery as soon as you have bought it and leave it in the fridge to avoid the hassle of chopping it up every time you want a quick fix.
Dried Fruit – a great source of fibre and energy, but beware, the sugar in them is concentrated so do your teeth a favour and only snack on a handful once a day.
Nuts – overall a great source of protein, omega-3 and other such nutrients. Do try to limit your intake of salted nuts though.
Dairy – a slice of cheese, a glass of milk or a low-fat yoghurt are great ways to give your body much needed, bone-essential calcium.
By planning your snacks just like you plan your meals, you’ll avoid the common pitfalls of a dieting and maintain a healthy weight long-term.
Remember: to maintain a healthy weight, women should eat around 2,000 calories a day, whilst men should enjoy 2,500. However, if you have a manual job or are generally very active throughout the day, you’ll need more.
Happy Hump Day!
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