Are You Guilty of This Supposedly Harmful Habit?
When asked why they can’t lose weight, one out of every three adults say “snacking too much” is a main reason. People feel guilty snacking because they think it leads to weight gain. Sure, snacking on the wrong food, like Twinkies and Doritos, can certainly disrupt a weight loss plan. There is a method of snacking, however, that can actually promote weight loss. People who practice healthy snacking, or power snacking, in addition to eating three meals a day, increase their metabolism and control cravings.
How to Promote Weight Loss with Power Snacking
There are two main things to remember when it comes to power snacking. One is the right amount of food. Two is the right type of food. Many patients tell me they have strong cravings between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. and 11 p.m. These cravings can be overwhelming for many people, causing them to binge or give up on their weight loss goals. Carrots and celery sticks are generally what people think they must snack on to lose weight, but carrots and celery sticks won’t help you control your cravings or satisfy your hunger.
Think of your power snack as a mini-meal. Instead of a snacking on one item like chips or carrot sticks, power snacks are a strategic combination of quality foods. Your mini-meal should include healthy protein, high fiber, low-glycemic starch and good fat. This mixture is digested slowly, causing glucose to trickle into your bloodstream, controlling your hunger for hours. The mini-meal should only amount to a total of 100-150 calories for women and 150-200 calories for men.
Good power snacks are:
- A piece of fruit, 6 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt or kefir, five to ten nuts and one scoop of protein powder.
- Two tablespoons of hummus, one small piece of whole-grain, high-fiber pita bread and 1 to 2 ounces of sliced organic turkey or chicken.
- Six Wheat Thin Fiber Selects crackers with 1 to 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Light cheese and 1 to 2 ounces of smoked salmon or tongol tuna.
- A small salad with 1 to 2 ounces of sliced organic turkey, 2 tablespoons of avocado, and a salad spritzer dressing
- A bowl of broth-based vegetable or bean soup with 1 to 2 ounces of boiled chicken
It is important to carry power snacks with you, keep them at your office, in your car, or always have them available at home. Fruit, especially high-fiber fruits like apples, pears, kiwi, grapefruit and berries is good to always have on hand. Also, nuts, seeds, Ezekial 4:9 bread, hummus, low-fat cheese, avocados, Wheat Thin Fiber Selects crackers, organic nitrite-free beef jerky and lunch meats and almond butter are other examples of items to keep on hand so you can quickly put together a power snack when you need one.
BONUS: If you want to make your snack even more powerful, add two to three PGX fiber capsules with 16 ounces of water and a cup of green or black tea. Remember, snacking can be a great weight loss tool if done properly. Find out what power snacks you enjoy and make snacking part of your daily routine.