We have become a nation of snackers. In fact, it is now commonplace to eat every two hours. But we haven’t always eaten like this. Snacking seems to have crept into our diets over the past 20 years and not only is it increasing the amount of food we are eating but it’s also making our digestive system work overtime.
Here are our top five tips for cutting down on snacking and balancing out your meals to restore digestive harmony and improve energy levels.
1. HAVE A MORNING TONIC.
Start your day with Vitamin C, good fats and an active anti-inflammatory ingredient. This is a soothing and simple way to to kick-start your digestive and natural detoxification systems. Lemon, coconut oil, honey and turmeric are a good place to start. Mix the juice of one lemon with half a tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp coconut oil and half a tsp of honey to make a paste, mix with hot water and sip slowly before your breakfast.
2. COMBINE COMPLEX CARBS, GOOD FATS and LEAN PROTEIN.
Make sure your breakfast, lunch and dinner are balanced with complex carbs, healthy fats and lean protein. If you are getting all the macro nutrients you need in your meals you are more likely to feel fuller for longer. A good day could look like this: 7.30am Avocado on rye bread for breakfast. 1pm Lentil and roasted vegetable salad with nuts and seeds for lunch. 7pm A big chopped salad with rich honey and mustard dressing served with salmon or your choice of protein. Assuming a daily calorie intake of between 1,800 -2,000 per day, that allows you 600 calories per meal, meaning big fulfilling portions to keep you fuller for longer.
3. HAVE DINNER BEFORE 7.30PM.
This will ensure that you have around 10-12 hours before your next meal, giving your system enough time to digest and absorb all of the nutrients you have had throughout the day. It also means you are more likely to have a good night’s sleep, crucial for improved energy levels and mood!
4. DRINK HERBAL TEAS FOR HYDRATION.
I know it doesn’t sound quite as exciting as snacking on crumpets, but we often think we’re hungry when we are just thirsty. Drink chamomile to soothe the bowel wall and aid in constipation; peppermint and fennel to help relieve gas; and dandelion, burdock, and milk thistle to help support liver detoxification.
5. STICK TO HEALTHY SNACKS ONLY.
If you can’t cut the snacks completely, make sure they are not of the sugary variety. Go for something along the lines of half an avocado with some toasted seeds, a boiled egg, some crudités with home-made hummus or some blueberries and coconut yogurt.
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