Let’s face it, hunger pangs can strike anyone anytime. 4PM at the office? yeah we know 'that' feeling. And, they can be persistent. Just like a toddler who wants a toy and won’t stop crying till he/she gets it. Like toddlers, ‘hunger pangs’ don’t know that it’s not yet lunch time or that there’s still an hour to go for snack time. They won’t go away till quenched and naturally most of us end up binge eating or overeating at the wrong time. This habit once formed is not only bad for health but also difficult to break.
No, no, we are not suggesting you starve yourself until the next meal. There’s a better option – keep yourself armed with light ‘in-between’ munchies. Munchies that will satisfy you without making you feel full without that nagging feeling of guilt.
What are they? Well, here’s the list -
Fruit: Yes. Fruit. When on the go always, always keep yourself armed with fresh fruit that can be consumed without much fuss – e.g. an apple, orange, pear, grapes, berries or banana. These fruits are not only healthy but also serve as a great snack for the just before a meal hunger pangs – like between breakfast and lunch or between the evening snack and dinner. If you’re at home make a salad of your favourite fruits and eat away!
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Dry Fruit Mix: More fruit. This time dry. When going out (work, travel), take a small container that can easily fit in your purse or bag and fill it with a combination of dry fruits. For e.g. – a few almonds, raisins, figs, walnuts, dates, cashews. Just a few pieces of this will curb your hunger pangs, and you’ll still be able to enjoy your next meal fully and without repercussions. If you want, you can even add muesli to this mix.
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Roasted Makhne: Makhne as they’re known in Hindi, or fox-nuts in English – are also a healthy snack option. You can roast them in a little ghee, add salt and black pepper to taste and store in an airtight container. This can last for at least a week. Pop in a few when the urge to binge-eat gets uncontrollable and it’s not yet meal/snack time.
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Roasted Rice Puffs: This is also an interesting option and can be prepared over the weekend without much fuss. All you need to do is, add a tadka (in oil) comprising of kadi patta, green chili, turmeric, salt to taste, a pinch of citric acid and you’re done. Heat the rice puffs for two-three minutes on the stove and once cool, store in an airtight container. Just a few handfuls will help you get to the next meal. This is ideal to take along on long road trips as well!
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Roasted Sweet Potato: Roasted is now my favourite word. Might not be as easy to prepare as the rest, but a very healthy and nutritious option. If you’re going to work then, one small sweet potato sliced and roasted with a dash of black pepper, salt to taste, and a dash of lemon can help you get through the between breakfast and lunch hunger pangs. They might get soggy till evening.. and if you're at home, then prepare it fresh.
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These snacks will not interfere with the four regular meals that one is ideally supposed to have – Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Snack and Dinner, and are also healthy. If these options also make you feel stuffy and create havoc with your regular meals, then try a fresh fruit juice or a glass of water instead.