“Is snacking even bad?”, you might think. Depending on your lifestyle and activity level, it can be bad for weight loss.
Remember this situation: You ate a meal and 30 minutes later you are hungry again. Who doesn’t know that?
In some cases, snacking is recommended, but you don’t want to be eating all the time. You don’t want to eat when you sit at your desk working. It’s a bad habit.
Snacking can be a bad habit!
If you are not a very active person, you don’t really need to snack. If you are a very active person, you could snack, but you don’t need to snack much. It can still be a bad habit that hinders your weight loss.
Why can snacking hinder fat loss? Because of insulin! Every time you eat, your pancreas produces insulin to transport and store energy. Especially carbohydrate rich snacks raise insulin. Once you have stored enough carbs, the energy will be stored as fat.
It is hard to mobilize fat for energy use while your insulin is high. Eating all the time means also having high insulin levels.
There is another word for “eating all the time”: Snacking.
I’m not saying snacking is bad. I snack something protein- or fat-rich now and then, especially on hard training days. Fruit is healthy, we know that. But, every time I eat fruit I either can’t stop or I get even hungrier.
Whenever you need something sweet, berries are always the best option.
Snacking on sweet stuff can trigger appetite and make you even hungrier. Wait… you weren’t even hungry and now you are? Probably because you were snacking on the wrong stuff.
Before going into what is best to snack, you should try to eliminate bad habits connected to food. Replace them with good habits. Here are some good habits to implement:
Drink enough water
I can’t say it enough. People don’t drink enough. When you are dieting, you should drink at least 3-4l (approx. 1 gallon). The feeling of being hungry is often mistaken for the feeling of being thirsty. Drink a big glass of water when you feel like snacking.
Replace the snacking habit with a good habit: Drinking water!
Eat proper sized meals!
The size of the meal is important. High food volume means that your stomach is fuller. Never have an empty stomach. Once your stomach is empty, the hunger hormone Ghrelin signals your brain to feel hunger.
In other words: Never get hungry!
Eat the right stuff!
Foods that are high in volume, fibre and macronutrients exist. Call them vegetables or call them perfect diet foods. A good amount of protein, fat and carbs is important too, but a diet high in bioavailable vitamins and minerals will regulate your hunger by itself.
Follow these principles and you won’t have a problem:
Micronutrients over macronutrients. Food quality over quantity.
Slowly replace bad habits with good habits!
Everybody has many bad eating habits. Imagine what you could reach when you replace them with something better.
If you snack at your desk, you must change it. Avoid it first and every time you feel the need to snack in a wrong situation, do something different. It could be drinking a glass of water. It could also be eating a chewing gum. Make sure you stop the bad snacking habit.
I for myself found the best replacement is drinking something hot.
Drink hot coffee or tea!
No matter how hydrated I am, I keep drinking hot coffee or tea when I’m dieting. I do this while I work, relax or watch movies. In every situation of unneeded snacking, I let the bitter compounds in coffee or tea kill my appetite. Every kind of unsweetened tea or coffee is possible, even decaffeinated.
By hot, I mean HOT! I want to make sure that I sip it very slowly. It makes me busy. Make yourself a big cup to stay busy.
Drinking enough water doesn’t help?
Eating proper meals doesn’t help? I doubt it.
Eating the right stuff also doesn’t help? I doubt it even more.
You can’t change the habit? Well, you only have one thing left:
Staying busy! Staying busy is the best way to avoid snacking unnecessary bullshit.
Wrong eating habits are created by your own mind. A strong mindset and goal is the foundation of a successful diet and fat loss. Without a proper goal setting plan I would never be able to diet down to competition weight. In my eBook ‘The Champion’s Diet’ I will share my own goal setting formula for successful weight loss.
It’s coming soon…
Photo Credit: https://www.splitshire.com/aperitivo/