Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 143, July 2021 July 2020 | Page 55

‘ Free Foods ’ You Should Buy

By Jo Hill

Live Well

We ’ ve all been there … You ’ re sitting in front of the TV after a long day of work , or you spent the afternoon juggling a household and taking care of the kids , or perhaps you ’ ve just done a hectic training session , when all of a sudden you have this urge to eat . You aren ’ t even hungry , but you just have to munch on something ! Mindless eating , some would say . This is one of the most common reasons why people ‘ fall off ’ their diet … snacking without thinking .
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Snacking when you are in a social setting is normal , but it ’ s important to recognise the signs when you are snacking ‘ just because .’ Sometimes we need to use these signs and check in with ourselves when this urge arises . Other times , it may seem impossible to ignore the snacking cravings and you just need something to hold you over that won ’ t count against your macros , or cause you to lose any progress . This is where ‘ Free Foods ’ come in .

These are foods that you can snack on after you have tried drinking more water or checking in with yourself to see if you are actually hungry . If your stomach is still rumbling after you have done those two things , then you can try eating some of these foods . It ’ s important to note , however , that while these foods do contain calories , they are minimal . In other words , these are your typical low-calorie , high-volume foods .
• Celery : Has a high fibre content , meaning it will fill you up and your body will process it effectively . In fact , some believe that it actually takes more calories for our body to digest celery than what ’ s actually in the celery !
• Iceberg lettuce : This may be a bit of an obvious one , as this is the base of most salads , but lettuce has minimal caloric value , which naturally make it a perfect food to satisfy that hand-to-mouth urge you get when you ’ re bored , or to add volume to other meals .
• Cucumbers : The large amount of water and fibre in cucumber makes it another food that is great to munch on without all the extra calories . Slice your cucumber into fingers and dip into some cottage cheese for a delish snack !
• No-calorie noodles : These noodles are common in Asian cultures and are made from a type of root . They are essentially just water and fibre , and will take on the flavour of whatever they are cooked with . Similar to the lettuce , these noodles add an awesome amount of volume to meals . If you cook them and add some spices , it almost feels like you are eating ‘ 2 minute noodles .’
• Egg whites : These are the purest form of protein you can get . They have no carbs or fats , making them a great snack , or even just a staple to help you meet your protein goals for the day . Try cracking a few egg whites into a nonstick pan to create a ‘ crepe .’ Top with some cinnamon and sweetener and you have yourself an awesome sweet treat .
• Sugar-free cooldrink : While I know many people are anti soft drinks , when consumed in moderation , they do have their time and place . Sugar-free cooldrink is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without the extra calories . Just be sure to check the label for excess salt , as this can sometimes cause serious bloating .
• Tea and coffee : Tea and coffee are great ways to hold yourself over , but be mindful of what you add to them . For example , changing sugar for sweetener , or opting for unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk , will save you a bunch of calories .
These are just a few of the ‘ free foods ’ you could consume – the full list is very , very long , and always growing – but this is a helpful place to start .
Jo Hill is a Durban-based baking enthusiast with two selfconfessed addictions : Fitness and chocolate . She has made it her mission in life to show the world that it is possible to have the best of both worlds . The popularity of her healthy recipes led to her creating her popular Facebook page and blog called Pull ups and Peanut butter , where she shares her recipes for clean , healthy and diet-friendly treats . More info at www . pullupsandpeanutbutter . co . za