How to combat the snacking pitfalls from Dr Matthew Campbell’s free Nutrition Talk!

Thank you to everyone who attended our first free nutrition talk at OneWellness by our resident nutrition expert Dr Matthew Campbell.

It was a packed session with some really good tips, insights and discussions around snacking. Our attendees were even set a challenge during the talk where snacks were available – little did they know this was a test to illustrate how easy it is to quickly consume calories.

Dr Matthew’s talk was followed by a question and answer session, where he explained the myths between the balance of exercise and calorie intake, whilst providing a scientific view of why we snack. It can range from genetics and hormones, to lifestyle and the interaction of these; it’s a complex picture which requires some well-thought out strategies to combat.

He explained that every time we feel hungry, there is physical and behavioural effect, so it was a relief to hear that it is perfectly normal to want to snack.

It was also interesting to note that there is a difference between being hungry and having cravings. When you are hungry you will eat anything! Whereas if you crave food, it is normally for a specific type of food but we go for the easiest option.

But fear not – it’s not all your fault, as some of the things we crave, like wine, chocolate and milky coffee, get reinforced via our brain to want it again and again, when really, we could have a healthy alternative packed with what our body really wants.

So, what’s the answer to curbing those cravings?  Matthew’s first point is to not count calories, but to have a clear nutrition plan. This needs to include a lifestyle plan to make it realistic, including personal motivations and goals, whether that’s to lose weight, stay healthy or bulk up.

Other top tips from the session include:

  • Make time for breakfast. Protein is key in the morning – yogurt or eggs are good. Ditch the sugar heavy cereal!
  • Watch the hidden sugar! Fruit juices are packed full of sugar so next time you go for the orange juice, eat the fruit instead so that fibre can work its magic on supressing your appetite.
  • Think about how your lifestyle influences what you eat and crave. For example, if you have children, habits will have a strong influence on them for life! If you are always on the go, do you know what is in the food you buy at the service station?
  • Portion sizes matter, so consider reducing the size of your plate, this will mentally help if you need to reduce calorie intake.
  • After exercise, eat nutritional foods within 60 minutes to maximise the effects of exercise and avoid surges in hunger later in the day.
  • Make time for meals, planning ahead stops you from buying cheap unsatisfying ready-made meals.
  • Slow down when eating, try and chew every mouthful more to make food last longer even putting your cutlery down now and again throughout meals can help!

The second in our free series of nutrition sessions with Dr Matthew Campbell at OneWellness is 12th July and will cover how to loose weight and keep it off.  Book on now to learn, be inspired and to lose weight! You can book your place easily either by phoning us on 0330 0414 850, email or message us on the OneWellness, Harrogate Facebook page.