By Christine Dominguez
Could you survive without morning or afternoon tea? While reaching out for the chocolate bar or muffin is a common occurrence in offices around the country, there are ways to feel fuller for longer and avoid the 3.30pm always hungry stage of the day.
In fact, according to Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, President of the Glycemic Index Foundation, if you’re eating a healthy, balanced breakfast and lunch, and you’re a typical sedentary office worker, you don’t actually need morning and afternoon snacks.
“The key is to stabilise blood sugar levels with a balanced intake of protein, low GI carbs and good fats at breakfast and lunch,” says Professor Brand-Miller.
Unfortunately, many of us run on fast-release, high GI carbs such as those found in most breakfast cereals, bread and rice which don’t trigger the satiety hormones that leave us feeling full – part of why you could be feeling tired, lethargic and irritable by mid-afternoon.
“Higher protein meals help control your appetite, low GI carbohydrates will ensure you won’t be going through a sugar rollercoaster throughout the day, and good fats will keep you feeling satiated,” says Professor Brand-Miller. Here's how to conquer cravings for good.
What to eat for breakfast and lunch so you won’t get 3.30itis:
|Bread & Cereals||40g high-fibre cereal (e.g. All Bran or muesli)|
|Dairy||1 cup low-fat milk or 175g low-fat yoghurt|
|Fruit||1 medium piece fruit (e.g. banana)|
|Bread & Cereals||2 slices wholegrain low GI Bread|
|Fats & Healthy Oils||1 teaspoon avocado|
|Meat & Protein||50g cooked chicken breast|
|Vegetables||1 cup salad|
Healthy snack ideas
Still feeling peckish? Here’s some healthy snacks you can munch on:
- A handful of nuts
- An apple with a tablespoon of nut butter
- Chopped up non-starchy vegies such as carrot, cucumber and celery with hummus
- Clear homemade soups
“Poor food choices made earlier in the day isn’t the only factor that could be affecting your hunger or waistline - stress and not enough sleep increases the stress hormone cortisol which can stimulate hunger, causing us to eat more.
“Part of the stress response is to increase appetite for your body to prepare for a ‘fight or flight’ response,” says Professor Brand-Miller.
“Ensuring you have a good sleep routine and managing your stress levels is also important to keep your hunger hormones in check.”
As for the sweet treat you have to eat after a meal? If you’re trying to lose weight, it might be helpful to take on board what Professor Brand-Miller suggests: “Morning and afternoon tea was designed at a time when people expended a lot more energy throughout the day. They were much more active, there were no washing machines, no cars, and people had to walk to places. These days we spend most of the time fixed to a chair. Instead of a tea break, go for a scheduled 15 minute walk around the block to clear your head.”