Maybe you love snacking just as much as I do. Maybe I just flat out love food. Sometime I feel starving, so I find a snack. Sometimes I snack because food is super comforting.
"How can you lose weight by eating more?"
Snacking is an interesting concept, it can be beneficial to you or detrimental.
Today I’m going to show you how to use it to your advantage to feel better about yourself and maybe even drop a couple inches off the waist.
Before continuing on I want you to think about why we snack:
- Being bored
- Feeling lonely
- Having low energy
- A decrease in body temperature,
- Actually being hungry.
Right there it's evident that we use food for more than just biochemical energy. Sometimes what we are really feeding is our tastebuds and sensation centers of the brain. It gives something to our mind and emotional state.
Some people have snacks at the same time every day like clock-work. Some people have a snack whenever they get a certain trigger or when a specific stimulus crosses their path. Some of us have no set eating schedule and we graze on a bunch of snacks and call it a “meal."
Here's the benefits of snacking and how to do it right.
1) Adds more structure to your day and diet.
Plan your snacks between your meals- which implies the what and when of your meals is planned out. Start your day off right with breakfast. If you know your snacks are also a source of nutrition you don’t have to stress about your meals, keep them simple. Usually I eat a snack between breakfast and lunch, then I'll have another small snack or two between lunch and dinner. These are snacks, not meals.
2) Hampers the feelings of hunger.
When you don't let yourself get to the point of feeling famished you therefore have no reason to over eat at your next meal. It’s like shopping for groceries when you are hungry vs when you are full. Food decisions are more clear on a full stomach.
3) Helps to maintain positive hormonal and endocrine function.
Our body is a constant symphony of biochemical developments. Food is a hard hitter in the game of internal chemistry. Certain meals can make or break your metabolism. America's nemesis: a typical breakfast of oatmeal, toast, and a glass of OJ spikes your blood sugar which immediately changes your metabolism.
4) Opportunity to eat fresh and raw foods.
I use my snack meals to get get raw veggies or fresh fruit in. Right now I’m enjoying bringing a banana, an apple, and a ziplock bag stuffed with carrots and broccoli with hummus to work everyday. I eat a piece of fruit sometime mid morning. Then later in the afternoon I’m eating the veggies. These are foods I want to have in my diet and since it’s what I have prepared it’s what I eat.
What Should I Snack on?
What people turn to for snacks are not always the most nutritionally supportive:
- Pretzel Sticks
- Granola Bars
These are processed foods with added gunky junk and are not nutritionally balanced.
When choosing what to snack on think in terms of what does your diet need right now. Snacks are an opportunity to add in the nutrients you might be deficient in. In my experience people are usually needing more protein, fats, or fiber, and many times all three.
Finding More Fiber-
Snack on an avocado, edamame, a pear or apple, or some figs. These are all fresh and whole foods with no processing.
Running low on (dietary) fat?
Nuts, seeds, and olives provide great fats that keep your metabolism ON and help you stay satiated. Almonds have a high proportion of fats in them, and yet pecans and macadamia nuts are even higher in fat!
Need more protein?
Chew on some beef jerky, dig into a can of tuna, or pour a tall glass of whole milk. Unsweetened Greek yogurt is loaded with protein; flavor it with cinnamon to not add extra sugar. The fat and protein content mitigate the sugar-insulin response of carbs on your blood.
I love the power of combining a high fat source with a high protein source. Unlike crackers and pretzel sticks which digest quickly, this combination digests slowly so enjoy sustained energy from and stay feeling full for longer.
Boiled eggs are a great example- the whites provide protein, and the yolks are loaded with fats and other nutrients. Another easy and nutritious snack is some sliced meat with cheese cubes.
Note that basically all of these examples are fresh, whole foods, that are balanced in their nutritional profiles and involve little to no processing to get from their source to your plate. There is no magic powder, pill, or potion. Health is the synthesis of a variety of whole foods, hydration, great sleep, physical activity, and most of all a positive attitude!
- Want better quality life?
- Want to be more disciplined?
- Want to get stronger and leaner?
- Need more accountability?
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