Health What type of snacker are you?

Match your habits with one of the sam­ples be­low, then see how to snack smarter.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Front Page -

GRAZER “When I work from home at night, there are no dis­trac­tions – ex­cept for all the junk food I keep,” says Amy Sch­linger, 27, a writer. Sam­ple day Break­fast Bagel with cream cheese. Lunch Noth­ing. Af­ter­noon snacks 5 baked cin­na­mon sticks, hand­ful of sun­flower seeds, a 1 674kj bag of pop­corn. Sup­per Spaghetti with tomato, grilled cala­mari and zuc­chini. Evening snacks Tomato and cu­cum­ber salad, 3 mini peanut but­ter choco­late cups, 2 bis­cuits, sun­flower seeds. Snack to­tals 8 255kj, 90g fat, 71g sugar

The prob­lem Amy’s bagel break­fast is the equiv­a­lent of nearly five pieces of bread, and has lit­tle sa­ti­at­ing pro­tein or fi­bre, set­ting her up to be hun­gry all day, says di­eti­tian Stephanie Mid­dle­berg. “She’s get­ting a sugar high, crash­ing, then reach­ing for sug­ary snacks to boost her en­ergy lev­els.”

The fix Graz­ers think that skip­ping meals saves kilo­joules, but Stephanie says that they’re more likely to binge-eat later. Amy could’ve had a sat­is­fy­ing bur­rito bowl ( brown rice, beans, steak, veg­gies, salsa and cheese) for lunch, and a ba­nana with Nutella as her snack, and still saved 4 720kj.

MEAL REPLACER “I hate pre­par­ing food,” says Michelle Malashock, 32, a com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager. “I only have a real sup­per if my hus­band cooks.”

Sam­ple day Break­fast Peanut but­ter meal-re­place­ment bar. Lunch Saucy chicken en­chi­ladas with sweet potato chips. Sup­per Chicken breast, 2 naartjies. Evening snack Straw­berry nu­tri­tion bar with Greek yo­ghurt coat­ing. Snack to­tals 1 715kj, 12g fat, 32g sugar

The prob­lem The to­tal snack kilo­joules aren’t crazy, but they lack nu­tri­ents. “Michelle grabs what­ever’s con­ve­nient when she’s hun­gry,” ex­plains di­eti­tian Rachel Beller. “Most of what she’s eat­ing is de­void of fill­ing fi­bre. Those bars are pro­cessed junk.” Even Michelle’s sup­per is un­sat­is­fy­ing.

The fix “Michelle doesn’t have to cook,” says Rachel. “She just needs to make bet­ter choices that are equally con­ve­nient.” If she eats a good break­fast, like peanut but­ter on whole­wheat bread with a ba­nana, she can have a lighter lunch. And at night, she could swap the bar for easy, pre-cut veg­eta­bles.

NIBBLER “I’m ad­dicted to string cheese and home­made oat bars,” says Su­san Patch, 33, an an­i­mal trainer at a zoo.

Sam­ple day Break­fast Oats with milk, brown sugar, wal­nuts and cran­ber­ries; slice of whole­wheat bread with but­ter and honey. Free lunch at work Hot dog, chips, 2 bis­cuits, string cheese, ap­ple, oat bar. Af­ter­noon snack 2 oat bars. Sup­per Roast chicken, Brus­sels sprouts, slice of bread with but­ter and jam. Snack to­tals 3 243kj, 24g fat, 61g sugar

The prob­lem “Be­tween lunch and sup­per, Su­san is guilty of what I call a diet DUI: din­ing un­der the il­lu­sion that what she’s eat­ing is good for her,” ex­plains Rachel. The bars have healthy in­gre­di­ents, like flax seeds, “but three of them add up to 2 510kj, 18g fat and 42g sugar.”

The fix Su­san can en­joy the oc­ca­sional free­bie lunch, but she didn’t have sup­per un­til seven hours later. Of course she needed a snack! If Su­san had planned to eat a sat­is­fy­ing, healthy sup­per sooner, (for ex­am­ple, 100g chicken, 2 cups veg­gies and whole­wheat bread) ad­vises Rachel, she could’ve tided her­self over with one bar.

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