4pm, and you’re dying for a biscuit and a latte. If you want to beat the dreaded afternoon cravings in a healthier – and more long-lasting way – take notes. This is what London’s top nutritionists eat to avoid the mid-afternoon slump…
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Sophie Dillon, nutritionist at Fresh Fitness Food
“I snack on hummus and veggie crudités snack pot. Chickpeas are a rich and fibrous source of veggie protein, perfect for keeping you satiated whilst on the go. Hummus is a great accompanied with a colourful variety of vegetables helping to ensure you’re fuelling yourself on the move with an array of essential vitamins and minerals to keep you focused and energised with the right foods all day long. You can make a batch at home, or find a grab-and-go pot from the likes of M&S, Waitrose and Pret.
You could also grab a handful of nuts. They’re a great source of healthy fats and are energy dense. They are also packed with soluble fibre, which increases food transit time between the stomach and the small intestine. This process slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer (or at least until dinner time rolls around) and also promotes more stable blood sugar levels.”
Fiona Lawson, nutritionist for Gosh! Food
“If I find my energy flagging mid-afternoon, I know a balanced snack will perk me up again. I typically go for apple slices with peanut butter, or another favourite is Gosh!’s Mediterranean Falafels with hummus. The combination of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats keeps me satisfied—and allows me to focus once more.”
Henrietta Norton, nutritional therapist & founder of Wild Nutrition
“I home make zesty lemon protein balls. They satisfy the need for a sweet snack but without the sugar, contributing to a slower and more level energy release. Additionally, almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which support healthy blood cholesterol. You can make a large batch and freeze some for a later date. You can also try them with orange or lime instead of lemon.
Mix one cup of ground almonds and one cup dessicated coconut, two tbsp almond butter, the juice and zest of two lemons and half a cup of protein powder in a food processor.
Shape the mixture into balls and store in the fridge.
I also make organic apple chips. A fruity alternative to potato crisps, these apple chips are a great snack for when you are after something light to nibble on.
4 organic apples, thinly sliced about 2mm thick
4 tbsp good quality runny honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Thinly slice apples about 2mm thick. Pre heat oven to 160oc. Line 2-3 baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper. Heat the honey and cinnamon in a small sauce pan and when melted add more liquid. Brush each apple with a little of the honey and cinnamon mixture and place the trays into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven, turn over each slice and brush them again with the remaining honey. Place back into the oven for the remaining 15 minutes.
David Wiener, nutrition specialist at leading nutrition and fitness app Freeletics
“Banana & peanut butter on whole grain toast is a perfect snack. Bananas are made up of three different sugars (fructose, glucose and sucrose) that all get metabolised into your bloodstream at different speeds, giving a quick but sustainable boost in energy. Bananas are also rich in potassium, a mineral that promotes healthy muscle and nerve function within the body. Adding protein and omega-3 rich peanut butter in to the fold provides you with that feeling of fullness for longer, preventing further cravings throughout the afternoon.
Greek yoghurt with black or blueberries is also great. This snack will provide you with many added benefits including improved immune system, cells, muscles and nerve function. The high protein content will give you a long lasting feeling of satisfaction and fullness, whilst giving you a boost of energy. The berries are a rich source of antioxidants and fight against free radicals within the body. This protects and reduces the bodies’ risk of damage, disease and can even be known to reduce the symptoms of ageing.
You could also try boiled eggs with spinach leaves – only 75 calories with a whopping 6 grams of protein per egg. You can now buy ready-made boiled egg snack pots in countless food outlets such as Tesco to Pret A Manger). Eggs contain all the amino acids a human could possibly need, making it a complete protein. Spinach contains an excellent source of nutrients that promote energy and is also a rich source of antioxidants. It also contains iron that depletes fatigue, calcium that help build and strengthen bones, and magnesium and potassium that both work to ignite muscle stimulation.”
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