A couple of hours after lunch, someone around you often pops the question: “Should we order some samosas or pizza?” To satiate those 4 pm hunger pangs, we often tend to give in to the fallacy that this binging won’t hurt. Additives in unhealthy snacks like junk food lead to more cravings and doesn’t give our brain the fuel it requires to send messages to rest of the body, which leaves one fatigued and affects one’s focus. The only way to avoid harmful snacking is to eat healthy at regular intervals or going for healthier choices in the middle of the afternoon. Nutritionist Pooja Makhija says, “Having all three meals is important otherwise it disrupts the whole cycle. But because the time gap between lunch and dinner is almost 8 hours long, hunger attacks are normal. The sugar-level goes low between this period and craving for high-fat or high-sugar food increases.”
“The sugar-level goes low between lunch and dinner period and craving for high-fat or high-sugar food increases,” says Pooja Makhija
To curb hunger, you can have a filler meal two hours post lunch and a substantial snack after four hours. However, picking the right snack is crucial.
Filler meals: A bowl of veggies, nuts, sukhi bhel, kurmuras are fillers that one must opt for. Sometimes, we confuse hunger with thirst, so Makhija recommends: “Have water or chach before you go for a substantial snack.”
A substantial snack: A granola bar which is low-fat or sugar-free is a good pick. A bowl of fruits with low-fat yogurt, instant oatmeal, poha, less-oil dosa and idli or a wheat-based frankie are guilt-free snacks. However, if you are craving for some junk, then choose wisely. Pick dhokla over samosa. Wheat-based pizza with more veggies and less cheese.