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Weight Loss and How To Snack Cleverly

8/17 10:43:13
Weight Loss and Snacking - can they go together?

Snacking in itself is not bad for you, but it's your choice of what food you eat to tide you over until your next meal that can be the baddie.

If you snack on junk food, that is usually full of unhealthy fat, you will be more likely to have a weight gain rather than a weight loss.

Here are 7 ways you can snack and not mess up your weight loss programme:

- Healthy Snacks, give them a fair try
- Keep away from Trans Fats
- Read the small print on the labels
- Energy Bars are not all they are cracked up to be
- You don't have to have a snack just because the clock says it's time
- High fat snacks ..... run a mile
- Ignore the TV ads that tempt you to eat unwisely

Healthy Snacks, Give Them A Try

If you must snack, go for the healthy alternatives. In the fridge or your lunch box have some ready prepared fruit and vegetables. You could peel a carrot, slice it up into bite size pieces and chew on it slowly. You will be amazed at how quickly this will satisfy you. And as mother used to tell you, 'Eating carrots will help you see in the dark.'

Or have a nice crispy apple. Wash it but don't peel it. Most of the goodness is in the skin.

Low fat biscuits can also help to keep you on track.

Have foods that are baked or grilled rather than fried.

Keep Away From Trans Fats

Trans Fats (bad fats) are the fats that raise your Cholesterol.

Cholesterol is the fat that clogs up your arteries, and as the blood is unable to flow smoothly, it can have the effect of giving you high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart problems or strokes.

Foods containing Trans Fats could be found in Microwave Snack foods. If you see 'partially hydrogenated oils' listed on the label, alarm bells should be ringing in your head.

Read The Small Print On The Labels

Get out your magnifying glass, be like Sherlock Holmes and play detective.

Study the labels on the food you buy. Forget about the adverts telling you how wonderful they are, rather check for yourself what's in it.

What you are looking for is the Nutritional Value. The label should tell you:

- How many calories are in each portion?
- Grams of fat per portion
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- How much calcium is in each portion
- Protein
- Sugar
- Salt

Work out for yourself, how much salt you are eating each day. It has been found that we should not be eating more than 6 grams of salt each day. You may be shocked to find that you are having more than your daily recommended amount of salt in one meal, so you could be over your limit if you eat more than one meal a day.

Also if the label says it contains Trans Fat. Do yourself a big favour and put the packet/tin back on the shelf and your heart will thank you for it.

Be sure to check how the manufacturers work out what they consider a portion. Often their portions are for birds and I mean the feathered type.

Energy Bars Are Not All They Are Cracked Up To Be

Those bars that are said to be packed with energy and power, should be scrutinised for what's in it.

It's a common belief that sugar gives you energy. But too much sugar can mean you end up with higher blood sugar levels than your body can cope with.

Maybe the label tells you that the bar is low in Carbohydrates, that's fine, but what it doesn't tell you, is that it is also low in fibre and probably higher in fat.

Be afraid; be very afraid, if it tastes good ... it's likely to be loaded with sugar.

So ideally, the perfect energy bar for you should contain the following.

- At least 3 grams of Fibre
- At least 5 grams of Protein
- Lower amounts of fat
- No saturated fat
- And fewer than 20 grams of sugar.
- Low in salt

You Don't Have To Have A Snack Just Because The Clock Says It Is Time

If you have got into the habit of having a snack at 11.00 in the morning and again at 3.00 pm, do you really need it?

Say you had a high protein breakfast or lunch you should manage to get through to your next meal without the need to snack.

Yet if you had a high carbohydrate meal (either breakfast or lunch) you probably will be peckish, so a snack will prevent you from going into starvation mode.

Why is a High Protein meal better than a High Carbohydrate one?

The High Protein meal will be digested more slowly, so filling you up gradually over several hours.

While the High Carbohydrate meal fills you up instantly, but you will be feeling hungry much sooner. As High Carbohydrates are normally full of Calories, then having a High Carbohydrate snack as well, thus taking in even more calories, that weight loss plan you have been following is now about to fly out the window.

So if the clock tells you it's snack time, only have a snack if you are really hungry. Then have a High Protein snack, it's much less Calories in it.

High Fat Snacks ... Run A Mile

High Fat snacks can encourage you to overeat.

Pennsylvania State University Researchers did a test on some rats, they fed the rats a High Fat diet; this resulted in the rats overeating. The researchers compared these results with rats fed a Low Fat diet.

The conclusion the Researchers came to was that there is a Hormone that is secreted then sends a message to the brain saying, 'Stop eating now, you're full up'. But on a High Fat diet, this Hormone was suppressed, and so the rats just went on eating. .

Ignore The TV Ads That Tempt You To Eat Unwisely

While you are watching TV, especially during Prime Time, have you noticed the number of adverts for snack foods? And of course these snacks are made up of junk foods; high in fat and salt.

As we know, these advertisers are paying thousands of pounds to get their adverts put in these prime spots. So the TV viewer is suddenly convinced that they are in need of a snack. Sure enough, when next at the Supermarket, he/she will deliberately seek out that advertised product. The mentality is ...... if it's advertised on the TV it must be good.

The advertiser has won again. And you lose your weight loss goals.

Copyright 2006 Eva Moffat
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