Snacking, Choose Wisely

There is nothing worse than that hungry feeling in between meals. You don’t want to ruin all the hard work in your weight loss program by eating snacks throughout the day. You don’t have to have that feeling, there are lots of healthy snacks for weight loss that are delicious and still nutritious.

A good rule to follow when looking for healthy snack foods is to make sure you look for snacks that are high in protein and contain complex carbohydrates. Protein is critical because it is a primary component of every cell in the human body. The body uses protein to make and mend tissue as well as to reproduce bone, muscle, hair, nail, skin and blood cells. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and come in two forms, simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates are your better choice, such as whole grains. However, you can choose simple carbohydrates as long as you choose “good” simple carbohydrates, like the ones found in fresh fruits.

It is important to try to keep your snack foods within the range of approximately 100 to 150 calories and not to have them in an amount that would take you over your daily calories count. If you are allowed 1600 calories per day then it is reasonable to have three meals of about 400 calories each and two to three snacks of approximately 100-150 calories each. This should keep you within a calorie count to lose weight and remain on a healthy diet eating plan.

In addition to selecting snacks containing high protein and low carbohydrates, making sure to snack regularly in between meals is vital. It’s a great idea to get in tune with your internal hunger clock; don’t wait until your stomach starts talking to you. Practicing portion control will make snacking more effective for you. Instead of grabbing an entire bag of nuts from the kitchen cabinet, try measuring out the appropriate serving size ahead of time.

Here is a list of some good snack choices.

  • Apple slices
  • Whole grain bread sticks
  • Unsalted rice cakes
  • Baked tortilla chips
  • Nuts (1 ounce or less)
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Fresh fruit
  • Unsweetened canned fruit
  • Baked apple
  • Raisins
  • Frozen grapes
  • Celery
  • Dark chocolate
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Low-fat/fat free fruit yogurt

Eating healthy snack foods is just one part of a health maintenance strategy that should incorporate eating healthy and being active. Talk with your trainer and plan out your meal plan and workout routine.

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Hunger Games

Hunger is one of our primal human urges, but it’s a tough thing to grasp, a marionette with many masters. A variety of hormones and neurotransmitters pull the strings – appetite suppressors and boosters, plus others that affect satiety and stress – and they, in turn, are manipulated by our body clock.There are two kinds of hunger: physiological and reward-driven. One is ruled by our body’s instinct to find the energy it needs to survive, while the other is psychological, influenced by smell, sight, stress, and social and environmental settings – the gauntlet of daily life.

One of the most difficult things about dieting is having to deal with those hunger pains, the ones where you are absolutely dying for some chocolate or some salty chips. If hunger is often getting the best of you and your weight loss program, it’s going to be imperative to your success that you seek out some solutions to put an end to this before it destroys all your efforts. Having hunger control you is terrible for weight loss programs or weight maintenance. Follow these tips so YOU can control your appetite not your appetite control you.

Tips to Out Smart Your Hunger

  • Start your day off right with a large breakfast to keep you energized in the morning. Protein and carbohydrates will keep your blood sugar at a good level until lunchtime.
  • Allow yourself to snack here and there – but do it wisely. Choose fruits, vegetables or nuts rather than hitting the vending machine.
  • Eat foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables and grains. These types of foods are low in fat, and fill you up. They take longer to digest, so they make you feel full much longer than fatty foods.
  • Drink lots of water. Water will fill up your belly, helping you eat less and lose more weight.
  • Pay attention to your eating. Take a seat at the kitchen table. Eating in front of the television or computer screen will only help you keep eating and not realizing you’re full.
  • Eat less more often. Try eating 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day. Eating smaller meals often can give you the constant energy levels that leave you feeling more balanced and productive.
  • Get busy! When you think you’re hungry (outside of your regular meal times) go for a walk, go out and exercise, drink a glass of water, keep busy and get your mind off food.
  • Try to limit processed foods, sugar and sodium. Read labels, see what is in your food. It is difficult to get away from sugar and salt, but reading the labels will tell you just how much you are consuming. Choose low sugar and sodium options.
  • Consume probiotics. These gut-friendly bacteria help correct imbalances that may contribute to mood swings during PMS.

Try these several tips to help you curb your hunger pains throughout the day. If you can manage them, you will be successful in losing weight and maintaining your goals.

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