The Downside to Snacking
We've all heard the fat loss advice that snacking is supposed to be great for the metabolism...but have you taken it too far?
In other words, your excessive snacking may be killing your fat loss results.
Let's face it, there are only so many extra calories that the body can take before it adds those on as unwanted fat.
Even if you're eating perfectly healthy meals and putting in your time at the gym, if your snacking is out of control then your results will be disappointing.
Here's what you need to know to avoid "The Snack Trap":
1) Calories Count. Even when you're snacking on "healthy" food, you've got to keep track of how many calories that you're taking in. Almonds are healthy, but if you down 400 extra calories (about 40-50 almonds) you'll quickly gain weight.
2) Fill Up on Protein & Fat. A lot of well-meaning people are still afraid of fat. They think that if their snack is high in fat then it will end up on their body as fat. This is simply not true. Healthy fat, such as avocado or walnuts, are a wonderful thing to snack on as it fills you up and keeps you full longer.
3) Avoid Sugar Calories. Sugar is an awful thing to snack on when weight loss is your goal. Refined sugar is a catalyst for fat storage, so avoid any snack that contains sugar. Remember that eating sugar will satiate your hunger for a very short period of time, and then you'll quickly be hungry again.
4) Don't Be Fooled By 100-Calorie Packs. A popular marketing technique is to package junk food into 100-calorie packs. These could be crackers, cookies, chips...basically any guilty snack food you could think of. The premise is that since you're only eating 100 calories, the snack is healthy. I'm sorry, folks, but eating 100 calories of junk food is not a healthy snack. You are better off avoiding the junk completely and eating something wholesome.
5) Use The 'Is It Real' Test. As a rule of thumb, you should use the "Is it real?" test when deciding if a snack is worth eating. The test goes like this: If your snack can go bad, then it's good for you. If your snack can't go bad, then it's bad for you. The idea is to eat fresh, real foods that are unprocessed and wholesome. These real foods are naturally filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals and will assist you in achieving your goals.
6) Avoid Refined Carbohydrates. Processed and refined carbohydrates make up the bulk of popular snack foods. Take a look around the snack aisle at the grocery store and you will see that most packaged snacks are made with grains. When your goal is to lose weight and increase lean muscle then eating refined grains will work against you. If you only take one tip away from this article, let it be to remove grain-based snacks from your life. This single change could very well recharge your weight loss.
Now you know how to snack in a healthy way that will not derail your fat loss goals.
If you aren't sure what you should be snacking on email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set you up with a complimentary meal plan.
The Best Snacks for Fat Loss
Go in any snack aisle and you’ll find fatty, calorie-rich foods that taste great but do no good for your good health. Finding a healthy snack can be difficult.
It’s even harder to find a snack that not only curbs your hunger, but keeps your carb cravings in check and keeps you feeling full until your next meal.
When lunch is still two hours away, what can you eat that will fill you up without adding too many calories? Don’t let your good dieting intentions fall by the wayside every time you feel those hunger pangs.
Manage your hunger and prevent binging by keeping healthy snack options readily available.
The key to a healthy, filling snack is a combination of foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Wondering how to get that combo? You’ve come to the right place for answers!
Filling Up on Fiber
Add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet by snacking on fruits and vegetables. Women under 50 should eat 25 grams of fiber a day and men under 50 should aim for 38 grams. Women over 50 should get 21 grams of fiber and men over 50 should get 30 grams. Fiber-filled snacks are a great way to get your recommended daily amount of fiber.
As an added benefit, the sweetness of fruit may help satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep in mind that dried fruit is higher in calories than fresh fruit. A cup of grapes contain 100 calories while a quarter cup of raisins contain the same amount of calories. Vegetables have even fewer calories than fruit, but are generally not as filling.
Unrefined whole grains are another great source of fiber. Whole grains are also high in complex carbohydrates, which specialize in giving you energy. Look for whole-grain options of crackers, bread, cereals, brown rice, and pastas. If you’re watching your carb count, be careful to limit your snack to one serving of whole grains so you don’t overdo it.
Protein Snack Options
While foods high in protein may contain more calories than fruits and vegetables, they’re still a vital part of a healthy, balanced diet. If you want to eat a snack that’ll satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling fuller for longer, nothing does it like protein. Great sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. But be careful! Filling as protein is, do your best to go with low-fat and lean options or your snack will only add to your waistline.
By now you know there is such a thing as healthy fat. Which ones are they? Plant-based fats. Containing healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, nuts and nut butters are a great snacking option when eaten in moderation. All you need is just one ounce to curb those hunger pangs. Other sources of healthy fats include seeds, avocados, and coconuts.
Now that you know the ingredients for a healthy, filling snack (fiber, protein, and healthy fat), it’s time to make some snack recipes. Get creative. Eat the foods you like, and be sure to include a variety of healthy foods for a balanced diet.
The following are a few examples of delicious, simple, filling snack combinations:
Hungry yet? You know what to eat!
Keep in Mind...
Trying to lose weight? You can’t just track the calories you eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don’t pay attention to how much you eat for snacks, you’re going to get nowhere fast! So keep track of your snacks and make adjustments to ensure you’re burning more calories than you’re eating.
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