Friday, March 11, 2011

Weight Loss Tip #3 - Eat Snacks

Snacks are a good way to fight hunger cravings. If we don't carry snacks with us, we are likely to buy something that is not so healthy. Having a snack in the afternoon will keep your blood sugar from crashing.  When our blood sugar crashes, all sense of common sense seems to go with it.  If you've been there, you know what I mean.  The only thing you can think of is how quickly you can get to the nearest fast food restaurant, diet or no diet.  Big Mac's and french fries are dancing in your head.  Don't look away, you know what I'm talking about. 

All kidding aside, when you're trying to lose weight or even if you are not trying to lose weight, it's a good idea to keep all junk food including unhealthy snacks out of your home.   If you have to go out of your way to fulfill a craving for sugary, fatty or salty foods, you are less likely to do so if you have to drive (less likely these days with the price of a gallon of gasoline) to the store compared to getting up off your tush to walk to the cupboards or refrigerator. Keeping only healthy snacks in your home and with you at all times will significantly reduce the temptation to stop at McDonald's.  So here are some great snack ideas to eat at home or take with you.

  1. Fruit salad - keep a bowl in refrigerator with apples, berries, orange slices, bananas, grapes, pears or whatever is in season.  It is tastier then just eating a piece of fruit (although that is a healthy option).  Fruits are full of fiber so they will help regulate your digestive system.
  2. Raw vegetables - the idea of eating raw vegetables isn't appealing to some people.  I happen to like raw carrots and celery but my daughter doesn't like raw celery.  You can always add one tablespoon (not two or three) of peanut butter on the celery.     
  3. A 1/4 cup of nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds) are another great option for healthy snacking.  Nuts are high in fat so you don't want to overdo it here.  Salty nuts make you want to eat more so get the unsalted variety.  What I do is get unsalted nuts and salted sunflower seeds.  The sunflower seeds add a touch of salt to the mix without overdoing it.  The plus with nuts IS the high fat content and high protein.  Both are very satisfying and therefore will curb cravings for unhealthier foods.  Even if you overdo nuts, you are much less likely to over eat the rest of the day.
  4. 1/2 peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread.  Buy non-hydrogenated (trans fat free) peanut butter.  It is healthier for you.
  5. 2 or 3 whole wheat cracker (4 to 6 crackers total) sandwiches with either peanut butter, slices of organic turkey to soy turkey (Tofurky brand is great).
If anyone has any other snack ideas, please let me know and I will add them to the list.:)

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