Special Correspondent

Hunger at work often means reaching for junk food that may be filled with fat

Buying juice with less sugar and jam is a wise move Taking a light lunch from home may curb the temptation to eat at the cafeteria Eating more high fibre food reduces weight Skipping breakfast should be avoided

Bangalore: It is a fine balancing act; eating healthy while also reducing weight.

"The trick is in avoiding `empty calories' while filling up with more nutrients and less sugar and fat," says nutritionist Usha Sridhar.

For example, one glass of skimmed milk, available in cartons on supermarket shelves, has as much calcium and proteins as whole milk with less fat and calories.

Most carbohydrates get converted into glucose the body needs for energy and skipping sugar and going for substitutes of the `low cal' variety, will not make you less energetic, she says.

Coffee or tea with milk and sugar can add more calories than you are permitted if you are on a weight losing diet.

"Most packaged food, from cereals to processed cheese and fruit juice now come with nutritional information.

Buying juice with less sugar and jams and fruit preserves without added sugar is a wise move," she suggests.

There are people who cannot feel satisfied without a certain number of "chapathis" or an amount of rice.

Here the trick is to minimise fried or fatty side dishes and especially meat or poultry. If you must have four chapathis then go for dhal instead of chicken curry. Low fat yoghurt can be filling dessert instead of sweets.

Another weight reducing tip is to eat more high fibre food; your stomach feels full with less calories consumed.

Beans like rajma, channa, rotis made of wholewheat atta, breakfast cereals like oat or oat bran, are food that give you a full feeling and take the edge of your hunger without piling on calories.

"Don't ever skip breakfast, have whole wheat bread minus the butter, skimmed milk with the cereal and avoid that second cup of coffee or tea and you won't suffer from mid-morning hunger pangs at work," the nutritionist says.

Hunger at work often means reaching for junk food that may be filled with fat and calories.

Taking a light lunch from home may curb the temptation to eat at the cafeteria where not all food may be low calorie or low fat.

Pack some fruit for extra energy.

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