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Apr 10, 2011

Safe Snacking - Choose to Snack Better

So you are trying to lose weight but just can't shake that sweet tooth or the need for snacking? I have three points to make on this:

1. Make sure you are eating well at your main meals so that your blood sugar remains balanced all day. Are you eating protein throughout the day? Are you limiting your intake of simple carbohydrates - like breads and white flour pastas, etc.? As your body gets more in balance your cravings should start to diminish.

2. Could it be a trigger from a habit that is causing this "craving"? Meaning it is not a physical craving rather a situational craving. Maybe the "craving" occurs every night after dinner - when you want something sweet or when you sit down to relax in front of the TV. These habitual cravings will go away after three incidents of you not giving in to them. Rather than eating something sweet or salty - try doing a glass of water with an entire FRESH lemon squeezed into it. Sip it in front of the TV (or where-ever) and tell yourself you can have something sweet if you still want it when you finish the lemon water. By then I usually forget or I have no desire after drinking that water. Do this every night until that "memory" or habit is broken. You then have broken the cycle. This works! I have broken many bad habits this way.

3. If you really want to eat something sweet - try safe snacking. Safe snacking to me is something that satisfies my need in a healthy manner, does not lead to overeating and does not become a habit (I don't have to have this snack every night). An ideal snack has some protein and less than 7g of sugar (no artificial sugars PLEASE!). My favorite combo is chocolate with peanut butter. I could never do a Reeses PB Cup because that would send me over the edge ...wanting more and more. That is why I put a cap on the sugar at 7g. With 7g you can usually stop and not get that sugar rush where you need to eat the whole gallon of icecream or the whole pack of cookies. Here are some suggestions:

1. Peanut on a banana.
2. Dark chocolate - 70% or more - one block should be enough.
3. Dark chocolate with peanut butter - either dipped or both melted served on a banana!
4. A Skinny Cow bar - the one that is only 50c and 7g sugar.
5. A mini dark chocolate Dove Bar - these are about 50c and 7g sugar. It gives you some icecream and chocolate ---but not too much - just enough.
6. Fage (Greek Yogurt) with Agave Nectar. Very creamy and yummy.
7. Cottage cheese and fruit.
8. If you can find these - Smart Treat - Peanut Butter Cup or Chocolate Almond or a Smart Treat - small cookie. I found these at a local health food store. They have healthy ingredients, low sugar, are gluten free and give you just enough to satisfy a craving without sending you over the edge.
I have a rule for myself. If I buy a snack and I end up eating it all in 1-3 days - I never buy it again. Obviously it is addictive or I just can't control myself with it so it not something I eat. I choose not to put myself through that or feed my addictive behavior. Foods that are off limits for me are: salt and vinegar potato chips, cheese curls, regular cookies, ice cream or candy.

What is on your list?
I don't feel deprived not eating those foods - I feel BETTER! I have a great supply of energy, no headaches and a fit body. I am happy substituting my healthy snacks for these addictive downers any day!
How do you feel eating these foods?

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