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Chloe Blows, 21, from London, gets some expert help with her cravings
‘After successfully losing weight, I’m trying to shift a final few pounds for summer – but snacks are my downfall. I’m always in a rush in the morning, so I skip breakfast. But then I’m ravenous at around 11 o’clock, when I’ll eat crackers and salted nuts. In the afternoon, it’s all about sweet treats. Working at a busy PR firm, I often feel under pressure, which is when I tend to mindlessly graze – even though I know I shouldn’t. How can I control my unhealthy snacking?’
Vicky Pennington says: ‘Not eating breakfast could be behind your snacking. Research shows that young women who have a protein-rich start to the day have fewer cravings for sweet and savoury foods, compared with breakfast-skippers. So eat something filling and nutritious, such as an omelette or porridge, to help curb hunger until lunch. Ditch the afternoon cupcakes and graze on guilt-free carrot and cucumber sticks. For a sweet hit, try apple slices with a smear of peanut butter.’ Find more diet no-nos at BootsWebMD.com/diet-mistakes
Christy Fergusson says: ‘Try to override the temptation to snack by keeping your distance! So make sure any unhealthy foods are impossible to absentmindedly reach for – a study has shown that the more effort involved in getting an unhealthy snack, the less likely you are to bother. And have healthy options nearby (in your desk drawer or your handbag) in case you do get the urge.’
Steve Tansey* says: ‘Start a weekly exercise regime†, even if it’s just two 20-minute cardio sessions in the beginning. In my experience, people who make fitness part of their lives tend to be more conscious of what they eat. Although there can be a stigma attached to the word “snacking”, healthy options are important for the body to function and exercise.’
†If you have a medical condition, consult your GP before undertaking a new exercise regime, and stop exercising if you feel uncomfortable.
*Steve Tansey is training and education co-ordinator at Les Mills