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You’re not alone if you feel the need to reach for that chocolate bar just after eating lunch. The good news is you can train your body to steer clear of unnecessary snacks.

Fullness combos for your plate

There are elements to each meal that your body needs for long-term fullness. The first is protein, which should be a lean protein like chicken breast, eggs, tofu, cheese, yoghurt or legumes. Secondly, go for wholegrains – these are often ignored for refined and less filling alternatives like white rice, pasta or bread. And last but not least, remember your veggies as they contain fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer. Try breaking up every meal into this ratio: a quarter protein, a quarter wholegrains and the remaining half vegetables.

Remove your triggers

If you know the triggers you can’t ignore, plan to beat them. If having a block of chocolate in your desk drawer means you can’t stop yourself from eating the whole thing, then choose not to buy the chocolate at all. Another strategy when the munchies come can be brushing your teeth or drinking a glass of water.

Is your diet promoting hunger?

Leptin is the hormone that signals when you’re full. However, your fat cells also send signals using leptin. If you’re overweight, it’s used more in your body and you become less sensitive to it, so you’re hungry more often. There are foods that can help decrease your hungry hormones being released, which include wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Don’t be afraid to eat

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may mistakenly think that living off a carrot and a piece of lettuce will work wonders. The problem with this is that your body goes into starvation mode, making you feel even hungrier and likely leading you to make poor food choices later in the day. The key is to eat smart to stimulate your metabolism and stave off hunger for longer. Check out some recipes here.

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