That grumbling feeling you get in your tummy at 4pm is familiar to most; it’s also the time you’re most likely to give in to a craving and reach for a snack. But snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it can help control hunger and reign in portion sizes at mealtimes.
The trick is to snack smart and pick something that’s reasonably nutritious and in the 100-200 calorie range. Roz Alexander, master trainer and nutrition coach at Revolution Fitness, has some suggestions for those midafternoon or late-night rumblings.
1. Instead of one slice of kaya toast (318 calories)
Swop it with one thick slice of fruit toast with a low-calorie spread and sugar-free jam (160 calories) lowers the sugar and fat content.
2. Instead of one chocolate chip cookie (168 calories)
Swop it with bananas (116 calories each) have high levels of potassium, essential for maintaining blood pressure and heart function.
3. Instead of five squares of milk chocolate (185 calories)
Swop it with three squares of dark chocolate – minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids – and three almonds (102 calories) also saves you 7.4g of fat. Dark chocolate includes heart-healthy antioxidants and flavonoids, and almonds provide essential fats.
4. Instead of chicken pau (292 calories)
Swop it with half a bagel with non-fat cream cheese (170 calories) gives a huge reduction in saturated fat.
5. Instead of beef curry puff (240 calories)
Swop it with Vietnamese rolls (120 calories for two) are packed with four times the protein and half the carbohydrates – not to mention, way less fat.
6. Instead of one small packet of chips (320 calories)
Swop it with one cup of edamame (180 calories) is rich in fibre, iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Soya bean protein satiates you better than a carbohydrate snack and your system absorbs it slowly so you won’t have energy swings.
7. Instead of one cup of coff ee with milk and sugar (70 calories)
Swop it with one cup of green tea (0 calories) may also boost fat-burning, and is packed with the polyphenol EGCG, which helps prevent cancer.
8. Instead of one scoop of vanilla ice cream (230 calories)
Swop it with: Freeze one cup of non-fat yogurt, sweetened with artificial sweetener and a couple of drops of vanilla essence (90 calories). With reduced fat and carbohydrates, this is also packed with gut-healthy probiotics.
9. Instead of one slice of cake (250 calories)
Swop it with one low-carb protein bar (200 calories) is generally like a ‘healthy’ candy bar, but it has essential amino acids and a good dose of protein, to stop your blood sugar from crashing later.
10. Instead of one grilled cheese sandwich (300 calories)
Swop it with two low-fat Mozzarella sticks and a handful of small pretzels (160 calories) deliver sustained energy as the cheese has calcium and protein to reduce the blood sugar impact of the pretzels, which provide the energy you need.
This article was originally published in Simply Her February 2012.