Culture

Afternoon hunger pangs are real—here's how to keep them in check

It’s always mind over matter

If you find yourself craving something sweet, salty or crunchy between 3:30 pm to 5 pm, you’re one of the many people experiencing something called the ‘universal carbohydrate craving’. While the reasons for this are debatable, our p.m. temptations are not. We all know and understand that snacking isn’t the culprit; it’s what you eat. Bangalore-based nutritionist, Anupama Menon explains how to do snacking right:

ELLE: What are some common snacking mistakes professionals make?

Anupama Menon: One of the major issues I see with working professionals is that their timings are all over the place. They don’t eat breakfast, their lunches are at 3:30-4, and there are no snacks in between. Having tea and coffee all the time, indulging in cookies at meetings, quick bites like vada pavs and limiting their water intake, are other major mistakes.

ELLE: How does one reduce their evening tea/coffee intake?

AM: Nature of habit. Most of the time, your tea and coffee cravings go up because you are hungry. The mistake that many people make, to lose weight or kill their appetite, is that they replace eating with tea or coffee. It is important to remember that when you are hungry, your body is like a sponge, ready to soak in whatever you give it. Having a fruit gives the body a chance to absorb micro nutrients where as if you have tea, your body absorbs the caffeine.

ELLE: Can you give me a few snack options for 4 pm cravings?

AM:Foxnuts (makhana) toasted in a little bit of ghee is one thing that works beautifully for people who want a salty crunch. You can have salad sticks with guacamole or peanut butter with celery sticks and carrot sticks. A few other things that are easy to carry are whole-wheat toast pieces, whole fruits, wheat crackers, and rice crackers, popcorn made from fresh kernels, hard boiled eggs or even some sukha bhel with vegetables. Buttermilk works for people who don’t want to eat and are just looking to fill their stomach.

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