Rob Hobson is a registered nutritionist and author based in London. He spoke to Express.co.uk about why snacking is allowed – even on a diet – and which snacks you should be eating.
Rob mentioned how research has shown that more people have put on weight during lockdown, and so it is now more important than ever to take care of our health.
He said: “Findings from the COVID symptoms survey showed that body weight across the country increased by up to 6lb.
“Given the fact we have now been living in a pandemic for almost a year many people are becoming completely fed up with the whole situation,” he added.
“That’s why it is more important than ever to try and find the motivation to eat well and keep physically active in order to maintain a healthy body weight and keep our mental health intact.”
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Rob advised that “one of the simplest changes you can make to your diet to improve your health” is to snack on fruit and vegetables.
“Eating more fruits and vegetables adds bulk to your diet helping to keep you feeling full on fewer calories so don’t be shy to pile them on your plate,” the nutritionist said.
A snack that he especially recommended was an apple, due to the fruit being high in nutrients.
Rob said: “Like most fruits and vegetables, apples contain a source of fibre which helps to satiate and regulate blood glucose levels.”
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It is not necessary to eat a lot of food after exercise, but Rob said that an apple could be a good idea if you feel like you need the energy.
He said: “Apples contain 86 percent water, which makes them a great post-workout snack to help you to rehydrate after exercise.
“Apples also contain natural sugars that can contribute to the replenishment of glucose stores, which is important for those who train on a regular basis so that they can maintain energy levels for subsequent training sessions, as well as maintaining energy levels for the rest of the day,” the nutritionist added.
Additionally, like all fruit and vegetables, apples contain antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols, which “help to reduce the damage caused by excess free radicals in the body, as well as helping to reduce inflammation”.
Rob said that foods with a high-water content have also been shown to help promote weight loss.
He explained: “A randomized control trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that in a group of obese women, following a low-fat low energy density diet was an effective way of losing weight.
“The women in the study reduced their energy density by eating more water-rich foods including vegetables and fruit. They ate more food by weight, felt less hungry and more satiated, and successfully lost weight,” he added.
Furthermore, Rob advised eating foods that are high in fibre as snacks, such as cereal bars.
Other foods the nutritionist mentioned that can be good for snacking are low-fat yoghurts and healthy dips with chopped vegetables.
Rob emphasised: “Snacking is not a bad thing as long as you choose the right types of foods.”
He also explained that being mindful of portion sizes is important, saying: “A little and often approach to eating works for some people, which means eating smaller meals and snacks across the day rather than three square meals.”
Rob mentioned “The Happy Apple Plan”, a food plan that encourages people to eat more apples as part of their weight loss diet.
He said: “The Happy Apple Plan states that snacks are filling, so they help you to avoid overeating when you have your main meals – one of the primary causes of weight gain.”
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