Losing weight, Getting started - Week 4

You’re four weeks into your journey –keep going! This week we’ll be tackling food cravings and snack temptation.

If you’ve increased your activity levels, you may feel like a snack or two to keep you going between meals. There’s actually nothing wrong with snacking if you’re hungry but avoid grazing.

A healthier snack will help you beat your cravings and keep your energy levels up between meals. Our 100-calorie healthier snacks will help you keep on top of your calories and keep temptation at bay.
Your actions
for Week 4

To avoid temptation, plan your snacks for each day of the week. If you work, take a day’s portion along with you

• Don’t forget your daily calorie intake – 1,400kcal for women and 1,900kcal for men

• Keep moving! If you didn’t manage 150 minutes last week, try to achieve it this week

• Look for easy ways to burn calories as part of your daily routine.

Workplace diet traps

We spend on average about a third of our day at work,
so it makes sense to give what we eat during working
hours some careful consideration.
All too often our workload, stress, tiredness, lack of time and temptation combine to derail our best intentions.

With a bit of planning, you can use snacks and lunch to keep your diet on track, your energy levels up and even save a bit of money.

Here are 10 tips to make workplace eating healthier for you:

Eat breakfast
This should be your mantra. A healthier breakfast will set you up for the day and stop you becoming hungry before lunch. If you’re not hungry before leaving home, have breakfast at work.

Bring your own
Home-cooked food is often lower in calories and fat and cheaper than food bought on the high street. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, you could cook extra in the evenings and take the leftovers to work, saving you money.

Drink water
Drinking water regularly may help keep hunger pangs in check. You should aim to drink about six to eight glasses (1.2 litres) of fluid every day.

Plan your snacks
Keep a healthier snack within reach, such as fruit, veg (e.g. carrot sticks and reduced-fat hummus dip) or homemade popcorn (without fat, sugar or salt).

Go for wholegrain
When making sandwiches, go for wholegrain bread, which is more filling than white bread, and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Wholemeal pitta bread and bagels are alternatives to brown loaf bread.

Go ‘low mayo’
Mayonnaise is about 80% fat, and a just few dollops will turn a healthier meal into an unhealthy one. Try lowerfat mayo, reduced-fat hummus, tzatziki or tomato salsa.

Work on your 5 A DAY
A snack is a good opportunity to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables. To count towards your 5 A DAY, each portion of fruit or veg should be 80g.

Swap crisps
If you have a bag of crisps at lunch, go for oven-baked crisps, which can contain up to 70% less fat than regular crisps, or a plain rice cake.

Go lean
Instead of fatty sarnie fillings such as sausages or bacon, go for lean meats, such as turkey or chicken, tuna and salmon or a hard-boiled egg. 
Remember to go easy on the mayo!

Make soup
Lower-calorie vegetable-based soups are a great way of filling you up and boosting your 5 A DAY intake. Make a batch on the weekend for use during the week.


Try these 100kcal snacks; round
figures are simple to track:

• 3 rye crispbreads with 1 tablespoon
of reduced-fat soft cheese

• 8 tbsp of salsa and carrot sticks

• 3 tbsp reduced-fat hummus and
celery sticks

• 5 tbsp tzatziki and cucumber

• 3 cups air-popped plain popcorn

• 1 thin slice wholemeal toast with
1 teaspoon of peanut butter

• 1 cup of low-calorie instant hot

Food cravings 
However good our intentions, when a food 
craving strikes it can be a real test of our willpower. 
There is debate about why we have cravings. They can be caused by our emotions and by such things as such as stress, boredom, habit or insecurity. Use these tricks to help combat cravings:

Don’t go hungry 
Hunger can make cravings worse. Keep your energy levels topped up with some healthier high-fibre snacks.

Drink water 
Some people find water helps to calm cravings. Because water is filling, it can trick your body into thinking it’s satisfied. Hot drinks can work too.

Find a distraction 
Find an activity to take your mind off your craving. Go for a walk, have a bath, call a friend, listen to music. 

Chew some gum 
Some people find chewing sugar-free gum curbs their appetite. But don’t overdo it as chewing more than 20 sticks of gum over a day can make you ill.

Brush your teeth 
Brush your teeth with toothpaste. Once your mouth is minty clean and fresh, some people find it helps to get rid of a craving.

Reduce temptation 
You’re less likely crave unhealthy foods if they’re not readily available – so avoid buying them!

Set a time limit 
Cravings are fleeting. Try holding off for 30 minutes and find something to distract you in the meantime. Chances are, your urge will pass once the time’s up.

Have a small portion 
If the desire just won’t go away, give in, but do it the smart way: have a small portion and reduce your calorie intake later to stay on track.

source: nhs.uk
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