We all get that afternoon slump where we’d pretty much eat anything that’s deep-friend and covered in cinnamon, but what about the all-day slump? If you continuously find yourself with an attack of the munchies, there might be a very simple reason, says dietician Susie Burrell. She created the popular online weight-management plan Shapeme and sees this with a lot of her clients, so we asked her to break it down for us. Where are we going wrong?
Your brekkie isn’t balanced
“A breakfast too high in carbs (think big acai bowls and fruit smoothies) or too low in protein (cereals, plain toast, bagels and fruit yoghurt) is likely to see your blood glucose levels plummet two or three hours after breakfast, leaving you craving cakes, banana bread and raisin toast at 11am. Starting the day with 20g of protein via milk, whey, eggs, salmon or Greek yoghurt and at least one serve of carbs via grain bread, fruit, sweet potato or a wrap will help to see you satisfied until late morning just in time for lunch.”
You’re eating too often
“The more we eat, specifically the more sweet food we consume, the more we are going to crave. This explains the scenario that sees us polishing off an entire block of chocolate or packet of biscuits. Well-balanced meals will keep you satisfied for at least three or four hours and if you are eating sweet foods including milk coffees in between this, it could be driving your appetite.”
There’s not enough bulk in your diet
“Simple meals – a plain ham sandwich, an egg on toast or a salad with two or three ingredients does not contain the bulk of foods required to fill the stomach, slow digestion and satisfy you for an extended period of time. Bulk up your meals by adding low calorie salads and vegetables every time you eat. Mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes or a vegetable juice work well at breakfast; always add a salad or soup to lunch and aim for at least two cups of vegetables with dinner.”
Your carbs are too low
“While some specific dietary regimes require a particularly low carb approach, in generally we need at least 100-120g of carbs to give the muscles and the brain adequate fuel. Amounts lower than this (for example when we consume few grains and cereals and fruit and rely only on vegetables for our carbs) will see you lose weight initially but over time if you are burning far more carbohydrates than this your hunger will eventually kick in and lead to the ravenous hunger that often results in binge eating.”
To see more from Susie Burrell, check out her recipe for Overnight Almond Chia Pudding.