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Love to snack between meals? Here’s how to choose wise to keep the calories away

From almonds to yoghurt — experts tell you how to snack healthy to curb mid-meal hunger pangs, without piling on weight.

fitness Updated: Jun 19, 2017 15:09 IST
Ishita Gupta
Ishita Gupta
Hindustan Times
Health,Fitness,Hunger Pangs
Eating smart will help keep calories away, even if it is between meals(Istock )

Do you ever just look into the mirror and the only thing you see is that bulging belly? Or when you go out shopping and try on the usual size of jeans and realise they don’t fit anymore? It’s time to keep weight gain in check and decode what might be leading to it. Most often than not, the food we eat — the quantity and the calorie count — are to blame.

Experts say, one way of keeping weight gain at bay is by snacking at regular intervals, rather than having heavy meals. “Snacking can increase your metabolic rate and stimulate your body to burn more fat. But snacking does not have to mean high-fat, high-calorie foods that are fried. There are several healthy and tasty options possible,” says nutrionist Kavita Devgan. She also advises to keep the portion sizes in check to keep things under control. “Learn to differentiate between feasting and snacking. A big burger with fries is not a snack — it’s a meal. Snacks are meant to be small, but satisfying portions,” she adds.

A thumb of rule while snacking? “Always snack to satisfy hunger, not boredom,” she says. Foods like dry fruits, low-fat yoghurt and coconut water are excellent between meals,” she suggests.

Coconut water is good option to curb hunger, as it fills you up instantly and also provides essential minerals. (iStockphoto)

Experts also add that what you don’t eat is more important than what you do eat. One must know what to avoid while snacking. “It is very important to list the snacks we want to consume. Almonds, yoghurt, fruit chaat are among the snacks that one should have,” says clinical nutritionist Lovneet Batra. If you think that skipping meals might be the answer to your weight woes, you need to think again. “One must not skip meals. Skipping meals leads to increased hunger, and to satiate that, one would end up binge snacking, which will not help in the weight loss process,” says Batra, adding, “Also, if you plan to stay awake at night after dinner, you must plan the kind of snack that you want to eat, else you might end up eating food with too much calorie count.” 

Bhel chaat, made with puffed rice, tomatoes and onions is a tasty, yet healthy snack. (iStockphoto)

Snack on these healthy choices (approx count):
Coconut water- 45.6 calories
Almonds - 50 calories
Yoghurt with berries - 50 calories
Fruit chaat - 50-60 calories
Dhokla - 65 calories

Shun these popular snacks (approx count):
Chips - 530 calories
Instant noodles - 330 – 350 calories
Samosa - 240 calories
Bread pakoda - 330 calories; 380 (if stuffed with aloo)
Kathi roll - 450 calories

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First Published: Jun 19, 2017 14:32 IST