How Important is Snacking When Trying to Lose Pounds?
There is a lot of controversy and opinions about noshing or snacking especially when one is trying to lose a few pounds. You may have a trainer or nutritional consultant who told you to snack every 2-3 hours. Based on my 20 plus years of working with fat loss, especially weight loss resistant clients, I prefer to base snacking on individual need.
For example if you have a medical issue such as hypoglycemia, snacking on the right balance of foods is crucial. If you are low on energy or completely starved it’s okay to do as well, however choosing a whole food based snack is your best option.
Choosing Whole Food Base Snacks:
- Snacking can rack up the calories. Even if it is the healthiest of snacks, the calories can add up.
- Snacking does raise insulin levels. The more often you eat the more your body will store fat because when you eat your raise insulin. Give your gut a break. It is important to give your digestive system a rest. The harder it works the more you are at risk for gut inflammation and an immune reaction. I deal with clients who have a lot of food sensitivities and by just giving your system can improve gut health.
- Evaluate before you snack. Ask yourself first why you need this snack. Is it stress, boredom or genuine hunger?
- Timing is key. If you are going to snack do it in the earlier part of the day. Late night snacking will make you store more calories.
When You Snack, Snack Smartly
If you find you need a snack I recommend fat burning pick me ups that will not raise insulin levels and will provide sustained energy.
Healthy Snacks Suggestions:
- Raw greens* shake with water or unsweetened almond milk
- Kale Chips with hummus
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Handful of raw nuts and seeds
- Protein shake with berries, kale or unsweetened coconut or almond milk
- 2 slices of natural turkey with half avocado
- Celery with cashew butter
By: Meryl Brandwein