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by Chanelle Retief (Registered Dietician)
19 November 2018

We all know that feeling; you had a long day at work, you were stuck in traffic and to top it all off… you had to stop at the grocery store for some extra milk. By the time that you get home and finally start with dinner your stomach is growling. The inevitable follows. You snack and taste so much while cooking that unknowingly you are actually eating a whole meal, and that before dinner has even been served.

Unfortunately this plays a huge role in weight management, mainly because all these little tastes contribute to our calorie intake for the day. Remember, it all boils down to calories in vs. calories out. If you ‘taste’ 7 or 10 pieces of pasta, you have almost consumed a whole carbohydrate portion, which is 15g of carbohydrates and 336 kJ (80kcal). And let’s be honest, you probably ‘taste’ more than this while washing all these ‘tasters’ off with a glass of red wine, which of course furthermore adds 336 kJ (80kcal). It doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering the average women should consume between 1400 and 1600kcal per day, it is almost 10% of the daily calorie intake.

So what can you do to prevent this?
-       Make sure you do not miss your afternoon snack before leaving work. Opt for something with a higher protein content such as tuna on Provitas to help keep you fuller for longer.
-       If you know that you are prone to snacking and drinking wine while cooking, try chewing sugar free gum while cooking (especially mint flavoured gum).
-       Have a bowl of chopped veggies next to you while cooking. Veggies are very low in calories and you should rather snack on them than sauces, fats and carbs.
-       Try to have a large glass of water next to you. If you have to, flavour the water with water enhancers to make it more pleasant and easier to drink.
If you believe you do not snack or drink while cooking, try this simple exercise: wear a buff around your mouth while cooking and you will be surprised how often you have to take it off to just quickly ‘check’ your cooking!

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