The foods to avoid eating after 4pm to boost weight loss – The Sun
EVERYONE is guilty of diving into the snack jar to curb a hunger pang as the day draws to a close.
And more often than not you find yourself reaching for something quick to stop your tummy from grumbling, like a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps.
But if you're trying to lose weight, what you choose to eat after 4pm can make a huge difference when it comes to shedding the pounds.
In particular, Helen Bond, registered dietitian, says some of our favourite treats can prevent weight loss and make you crave even more unhealthy food.
She urges slimmers: "It’s best to avoid snack foods that are highly processed or refined.
"As well as being high in saturated fat, sugar and/or salt, they’re often low in nutrients and loaded with calories, and very more-ish which makes it harder for us to control our weight."
Here, we take you through the main foods you need to avoid eating after 4pm to maximise your weight loss…
1. White bread
While it might be great with your beans on toast or covered in Nutella, white bread is one to avoid past 4pm given it's high glycaemic index (GI) – a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates.
Food with a high GI can make your sugar and insulin levels spike, leaving you tired and hungry.
On top of this, unlike whole grain bread, white bread will not fill your appetite as effectively because of its low fibre content.
In other words, this everyday option doesn't have much nutritional value.
2. Ice cream
There's nothing better than crashing in front of the TV with a tub of Ben & Jerry's at the end of a long day of work.
However, ice-cream is completely sugar-laden and will do nothing for your waistline.
"Ice cream is a carb-heavy food, and eating a lot of refined carbohydrates results in belly fat deposition," according to Edwina Clark, registered dietitian and wellness expert.
3. Milk chocolate
Milk and white chocolate might be a great comfort food but they're loaded with added sugar and fat.
Chocolate also usually contains caffeine which may make it more difficult for you to sleep too.
Opt for dark chocolate instead which is lower in sugar and fat than its milk counterpart.
The best afternoon snacks
If you're looking for a pick-me-up in the afternoon, here registered dietitian Helen Bond has revealed the best diet-friendly treats.
She says: "When munchies hit, try some of these healthy snacks and eat your snacks slowly instead of mindlessly wolfing them down front of the TV, as you will be more in tune with your satiety 'fullness' cues."
• Vegetable sticks with tzatziki made from low-fat yogurt, cucumber, garlic and lemon juice
• Bowl of fresh fruit salad
• Pot of plain low-fat yogurt with fresh berries
• A few oatcakes topped with cottage cheese and tomato
• Slice of wholegrain toast with no added sugar or salt nut butter
• Small handful of unsalted nuts or seeds
• Few rye crispbreads topped with mashed avocado
• A few handfuls of air-popped popcorn dusted with cinnamon
• Few slices of wholegrain baguette topped with homemade salsa made from diced tomatoes and red onion, garlic and coriander
• Celery sticks filled with a few tablespoons of hummus
• Bowl of salad topped with 1 boiled egg"
Chocolate of 70 per cent cocoa and above is also higher in antioxidants. These prevent oxidative stress, which inflicts damage on cells and tissues in the body, leading to problems including heart disease and cancer.
Crisps are always a popular choice of snack – especially as they're so easy to grab on the go.
However, they're very high in fat, refined carbs, and salt – and are packed with calories.
For example, one single pack of Kettle Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar contains 201 calories and Doritos Cool Original contain 197 calories.
They have also been associated with weight gain in observational studies.
One study even found that eating one pack of crisps a day was the same as drinking five litres of cooking oil a year,