By Jessica Sepel

When I was in nutrition clinic, I started noticing an interesting trend with my patients.

It seemed that most people who were choosing to eat fruit in the afternoon as a snack were the ones complaining about late afternoon sugar cravings and post dinner sugar cravings too.

So I would put my nutrition hat on and start adjusting this.

I would ask them to ensure the fruit was to be eaten in the first half of the day – before lunchtime.

I would then ask them to enjoy a sugar free, high protein snack at 4-5pm (fruit-free). They had to commit to this snack to balance blood sugar levels. See if you are like me, a former fad dieter – you feel that skipping the afternoon snack is good for your waistline. The problem is that I see the emotional and physical consequence of skipping the in between meal snack. If you know my work – you know I have a special interest in emotional eating and blood sugar balance, I also am so passionate about making healthy living sustainable. If we don’t keep our blood sugar levels balanced and we don’t eat regularly – we seem to find it hard to control our eating choices and portion sizes. I have found that skipping this snack definitely increases binge eating episodes.

Examples of this sort of high protein snack would be:

– Veggie sticks with hummus/tahini

– JSHealth Power Protein Smoothie (without fruit)

– 1/4 cup nuts and veggie sticks

– Greek yoghurt with cinnamon

– JSHealth Sugar-Free Protein Balls

For some people 3 meals a day may work for you. For most people – this isn’t sustainable long term from clinical experience.

Once they made this change – the results were incredible.

They seemed to have reduced sugar cravings in the late afternoon and after dinner. They also felt they could also control their dinner portion sizes.

Amazingly – they felt that this also helped them to reduce their binge eating/emotional eating episodes in the afternoon as they were able to experience how good balanced blood sugar levels feel when they arrived home from a long work day. When you start to balance your blood sugar levels – you don’t get these sudden hunger pangs that seem to take over mind/body control.