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How to avoid overeating by snacking smartly
Published on: Saturday, May 25, 2024
By: Indra Balaratnam, FMT
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While it’s always tempting to reach for junk food, it’s possible to snack sensibly without foregoing flavour or satisfaction. (Envato Elements pic)
Hit by hunger pangs between meals? It’s a familiar sensation, one that potentially leaves you feeling lethargic, moody, and on edge. And when you finally dive into a meal, everything seems irresistible, which often leads to overeating.

To avoid overdoing things, there’s a simple solution: snacking smartly.

Snacking isn’t about indulging in heavy, calorie-laden treats that could pass as a second meal. Instead, it’s an opportunity to fuel your body wisely, keeping your energy levels steady and your mood uplifted.

Here’s how you can snack sensibly without sacrificing flavour or satisfaction.

Embrace whole foods

Trade typical snack fare for nutrient-rich whole foods like grains, fresh fruits, nuts, beans, and veggies. These not only nourish your body but also help you stay within your daily calorie goals.

Try these snack ideas:
  • a sandwich on wholegrain bread with fillings such as tuna, cheese, egg, or natural peanut butter;
  • a small serving of wholegrain cereal with milk or overnight oats;
  • a handful of mixed nuts and dried fruits;
  • creamy yoghurt with some fresh fruit;
  • steamed sweet potato or corn on the cob;
  • traditional favourites like tau fu fah (soya bean pudding), bubur kacang or red bean pau;
  • hummus dip with cut vegetable sticks or crackers;
  • wholegrain crackers with cheese or a thin spread of natural peanut butter;
  • a refreshing smoothie.

Control your portions

Opt for smaller plates or bowls to prevent overeating. A good rule of thumb is to choose snacks that fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, ensuring you enjoy just the right amount to satisfy your hunger.

Read labels

When grabbing packaged snacks, pay attention to serving sizes on the nutrition label. Stick to the recommended portions to avoid mindless munching and unnecessary calorie intake.

Snack on the go

For busy days, prepare easy-to-grab snacks in advance. Keep them in handy containers or individual packs to ward off hunger wherever you are.

Here are some on-the-go snack ideas:
  • Pack milk or an unsweetened soya bean drink and a wholegrain cereal bar for a pre- or post-workout boost.
  • If you’re craving chocolate, indulge in an iced chocolate milk for a treat that won’t derail your healthy-eating goals.
  • Create a protein-packed mix of wholegrain cereal, nuts, dried fruits, and mini pretzels for a savoury snack on the move.

1. Don’t fall for marketing

Beware of deals that tempt you to buy what you don’t need. Petrol stations and supermarket cashier counters are notorious for promos on all sorts of tidbits. Stick to your intentions and resist the urge to overindulge just because it seems like a bargain.

2. Make it easy

If portion control is a challenge, keep snacks out of sight and reach. Portion out what you need and leave the rest in the kitchen or office pantry.

3. Avoid distractions

Focus on enjoying your snack mindfully without multitasking. Being present allows you to savour each bite and helps your brain register that the snack has satisfied your hunger.

By making thoughtful snack choices and being mindful of portion sizes, you can nourish your body throughout the day, keeping hunger at bay and energy levels high. So, snack well and feel your best every step of the way!

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