What to eat when you're hungry and looking to lose fat
Weight loss is generally a matter of calories in versus calories out - but what do you do if you've hit your target and are still hungry?
To lose fat, it's important you select the right snack. To help you decide, JOE spoke to Amine Ould-Laib, a nutritionist with Spoon Guru.
He said: "When trying to lose weight, there are two essential components: macronutrients and willpower. For weight loss to succeed, a simple rule must be followed: calories in must be less than calories used.
"In a nutshell, that means saying no to the calorie dense doughnuts and yes to the carrot sticks, but whilst willpower has its time and place, sometimes you just need to eat something tasty."
According to Ould-Laib, two particular kinds of food are important for curbing late-night calories.
"The two main macronutrients which contribute the most to satiety (feelings of fullness) are protein and fibre. This is because they are tougher for the body to digest, and so sit longer in your digestive tract, leaving you feeling full."
Protein is not just for building muscle, as Ould-Laib explains:
"As protein digestion takes longer, you use more calories to digest it than any other macronutrients in the process. It is a no-brainer when trying to lose weight."
Sources of fat can also help, too.
"Healthy sources of fat that are high in mono and polyunsaturated fat stimulate the release of certain satiety hormones which slow down digestion and aid satiety."
Amine has compiled an A-Z of essential foods for fighting hunger when trying to lose fat:
A - Almonds: packed with protein and fibre, great for contributing to your muscle building gym endeavours and keeping you full.
B - Beef Jerky: A high protein and low fat snack, great for those looking to keep calories down when hitting the gym.
C - Chickpeas, roasted: A no-nonsense source of protein which contributes to satiety and contains a good amount of vitamins A and E. Roasted chickpeas can be flavoured with chilli for an extra kick.
E - Eggs: A staple breakfast food, eggs provide a good dose of protein and healthy fats. Hard boiled, eggs can even be transported for a quick on-the-go snack, and go great with nearly any dip of choice (though look for the low fat, salt and sugar options).
F - Figs: A sweet snack, rich in dietary fibre as well as the essential mineral Manganese. Figs can also be enjoyed fresh or dried.
G - Greek yoghurt: Greek yoghurt is a good source of protein, with 100g providing 10g of protein. Add nuts or fruit like figs for a tasty and filling treat.
M - Milk: Whilst milk doesn’t agree with everyone, low-fat dairy can be great way to boost essential vitamin and mineral intake like Vitamin A and Calcium, as well as being a source of protein.
N - Nut butters: As well as being high in protein and healthy fats, they are an excellent accompaniment to fruits or vegetables. Celery stalks can be topped with raisins and a nut butter of your choice. A crunchy, sweet and salty snack guaranteed to keep you full.
O - Oats: packed with soluble fibres proven to slow digestion and reduce cholesterol. Opt for less processed varieties like Scottish oats instead of Rolled oats for a more filling effect.
P - Peanuts: Unsalted, with a perfect combination of healthy fats and protein, these are essential to any hunger-fighting war chest.
Q - Quinoa: Packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, it is a go-to replacement for more rapidly digested starchy carb sources such as rice and pasta. The sustained energy release means no energy rushes or crashes.
S - Salmon: While not strictly low calorie, salmon's packed with protein and essential omega-3 fats, keeping you full and nourished. It goes great with a sweet chilli marinade!
V - Veggie sticks: Dipped in hummus, these can be a great protein accompaniment to high fibre chopped carrot sticks. Also a great way to get your 5-a-day!
W - Wholemeal: Wholewheat foods are a great source of fibre, proven to help keep you full and aid digestive health. Opt for wholemeal or granary over a white baguette or loaf.
Read more from JOE's Ditch the Dad Bod series