Want To Lose Weight? Snack Between Meals
Conventional wisdom has it that snacking causes weight gain. This isn't necessarily true
If you were told that it isn’t healthy to eat between meals, then that’s what you were told. But some 75 percent of the population eats at least one snack a day, and snacks can be nutritious and beneficial, just as they can be damaging and fattening. It’s all a matter of how much and what you eat.
Whether your motivation is to snack, to binge, or to quell a feeling of hunger, a snack can be useful if it is small, planned out, and nutritious, and if you exercise portion control. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right snack.
Snacks have several benefits:
• They reduce hunger before the main meal.
• They lead to more moderate eating at the main meal. Without snacks the main meal will be larger, overloading the digestive system and causing a distressing feeling of excessive fullness as well as fatigue. A snack makes it unnecessary to store food from one meal to the next, since you eat more often. This encourages metabolic activity and increases the number of calories burned.
• They help maintain normal stable blood sugar levels.
Most fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach, which facilitates digestion and maximizes absorption of vitamins and minerals. A snack is an excellent opportunity to combine a variety of fruits and to enjoy their benefits.
Light and convenient
The main claim by opponents of snacking - that snacks lead to weight gain and are liable to interfere with a healthy appetite - is not unfounded. To avoid gaining weight, make sure your snacks are controlled and planned, that they provide maximum benefit (filling, satisfying, and not fattening), and that they meet the following requirements, listed in order of importance:
• That it meet your needs. It’s important to recognize the reason you want a snack in order to determine how much to eat. Is it true hunger (carbohydrates and protein), a need for something sweet, munching (carbohydrates), or eating for social reasons? For example, it is hard to limit the size of a meal that is not meant to satisfy physical hunger since the meal will not end when you are sated.
• That it be low in saturated fats. Since we should limit our intake of saturated fats (to 7-10% of our daily food intake) and our main meals inevitably have saturated fat, it’s preferable to limit saturated fat consumption in snacks. Snacks with a long shelf life, which makes them more available, have a high percentage of fat and small volume (they are very dense), which leads to overeating.
• That it be low in processed sugar (have a low glycemic index). Snacks with processed sugar are not nutritious, cause extreme fluctuations in blood sugar level, increase appetite and the need for sweets, and can cause weight gain. The lower the glycemic index, the more satisfying the meal, and usually the higher quality it is.
• That it be convenient. Since snacks are not formal meals, they don’t always take place at a table, and do not always have a formal end. That’s why it’s best to have snacks that can be packaged or that are available on the road.
Not an easy choice
Snacks are important and should be formally included in a healthy way of eating, the goal being to make them as nutritious as possible. However, there are situations in which we have to choose less nutritious snacks because they are available and convenient, or because of emotional needs or social constraints.
This is definitely a good excuse to open a bar of chocolate, but not sufficient reason to eat the whole package. Be prepared for potential pitfalls.
Remember that when you are not eating because you are hungry, a feeling of satiety will not tell you when it’s time to stop eating. Also, without getting into reasons and constraints, an inherent part of choosing a snack is the taste, which doesn’t always correlate with quality, and the choice is not easy. But I leave this up to you.
Low Glycemic Sugar Free Old Fashioned Cole Slaw
Carbs Per Serving:4g
Prep Time:<20 minutes
2/3 cup vinegar
½ cup whipping cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼- ½ cup Steviva Brand Stevia Blend
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoons butter cut into pieces
1 (2-pound) head cabbage, shredded
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened (mixture will appear curdled until it thickens).
Remove from heat.
Add butter, stirring until it melts.
Pour over cabbage; toss gently to coat.
Cover and chill.
Note: You can add ½ cup chopped walnuts and only raise the carb count by ½ gram. If you’re on maintenance, ½ cup dried, chopped cranberries and the walnuts brings you in at a little under 10 grams.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving:
Serving Size: 4 ounce
2 g protein
8 g total fat (3.9 g saturated fat)
4.7 g carbohydrate
6.6 g dietary fiber
2.8 mg cholesterol
116 mg sodium
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