Snack Attack

Stop The Afternoon Snack Attack

If you’re all too familiar with 3 pm cravings that invariably lead you to the kitchen or vending machine in search of something to munch, then these six tips are just what you need to stop the afternoon snack attack!

1. Top Up On Magnesium

If chocolate is your go-to when you’ve got the afternoon munchies, you’re not alone. A University of Pennsylvania survey ranked chocolate as the most craved food, with over 50% of respondents saying it was their favorite snack.

However, it may not be your sweet tooth that’s responsible for these cravings but rather a lack of magnesium in your body.

2. Do An Office Workout

According to experts at the National University of Singapore, a midday office workout could be the key to beating the afternoon snack attack. Clench your muscles to reap the benefits of craving control.

The research found that when people experiencing cravings clenched and tightened their muscles, such as pulling in their abs or clenching their buttocks, they were more likely to turn down tempting foods. The researchers theorized that this technique was successful as people with tighter muscles generally have improved levels of willpower, and clenching served to mimic this effect.

3. Spice Up Your Lunch

Just as adding some spice to your food can help to cure a hangover without resorting to ruining your diet with greasy fried food full of bad fats, it can also boost weight loss by helping to stop afternoon cravings.

Researchers have discovered that spicy foods like cayenne pepper can subdue hunger cravings because they interact with the trigeminal nerve, producing a thermogenic heating effect that simultaneously boosts metabolism and suppresses hunger.

4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Not only is chewing gum a way to burn calories without trying, research at the University of Rhode Island has also found that chewing gum in the morning can result in you eating around 67 fewer calories at lunch, while simultaneously reducing hunger levels in the afternoon.

The study’s authors identified a link between chewing gum and the nerves in the jaw that tell your brain when you’re full. Stimulating these nerves in the morning sends signals that indicate that eating more in the afternoon isn’t necessary. Just make sure the gum is sugar-free so that you don’t consume empty calories by chewing on sugar-loaded varieties of gum.

5. Pinch Your Hunger-Fighting Pressure Points

In addition to these ways to lose weight without diet and exercise, acupressurists have long claimed that pinching your nose and earlobes can banish cravings for unhealthy foods, and now a team of researchers from Portland and Arizona has found this to be true.

The researchers observed patients aiming to lose weight and found that those who used acupressure techniques to supplement their weight loss lost more weight than patients who relied on diet and exercise alone.

6. Go For A Complex Combo At Lunch

While breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, it can be difficult to eat more than a piece of fruit when you’re pressed for time in the morning.

However, make sure that you avoid mindless snacking in the afternoon by taking a little extra time on your lunch, remembering to move away from your desk, and giving your food the attention it deserves.

With some forward planning, it’s possible to eat a filling lunch that will keep you feeling full all afternoon.

The key is to combine complex carbs such as brown rice or whole grain pasta, lots of vegetables, and a source of protein such as an omelet, lean meat, or oily fish.

Complex carbs are full of fiber, which is fantastic for appetite control because it slows down the speed at which your body absorbs nutrients and keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Combine that fiber with protein and healthy fats, and this lunchtime combination will help you say goodbye to afternoon snacking for good.

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