What makes a snack healthy?

Okay, all this talk about snacks this month is making me hungry.  Winking smile  Not really, I keep my hunger number between 2 & 4

As I began working to improve my health, and thus reduce my waist line, healthy food choices and portion sizes became really important.  I used to crave sodas, breads and pastas, and sweets A LOT! I was certain there was no way to overcome them. 

What I found was, when my body had the nutrition and components necessary for building a healthy body, the cravings melted away just like the inches on my waist.

Why or how could that be?  Lets look at a graphic to explain a bit of it.

How_food-affects_blood_sugar_image_only

What we eat as a snack is just as important as when and how much we eat.  When we grab a soda, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal as our answer to our hunger situation… we are really setting ourselves up to fail. 

This is why the coffee break became so important.  When you eat a bowl of cereal, a pop tart, or a donut for breakfast, as you can see in the chart, your blood sugar SPIKES quickly and drops off just as fast… leaving you in state of “starvation” via the mind tricks because of the sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar.

Otherwise, if your chosen food item is a good quality protein, then your blood sugar doesn’t spike, it stays stable and you don’t get those “I gotta eat a 10 pound donut” sensations 2 hours later.

When we eat was covered in my blog a week ago on how Snacking can make you skinny.

How much to eat depends on your personal caloric needs for the day, how much activity you’ve had during the day, and how long it will be until your next full meal.  I made some great snack suggestions earlier this month.

So, now you have the logistics of how it all works, suggestions of healthful snack option, and a hunger scale to use… all that’s left is a big glass of tasty water to keep things on an even keel.

Fruit_infused_water

Healthy snacking, and may the grumpies stay far, far away!

For more information on healthy alternatives and choices, please contact me.

 

Could Snacking make you skinny?

Many people, who want to lose weight begin by cutting WAY back on what they eat. (calories)  This method usually sets that person up for failure on many different levels. (Many, we have discussed before.)

One of the issues that occur when we starve ourselves is the feelings of hunger and for many the resulting binge.  (Like a whole bag of Oreos or an entire pizza by yourself)

This is where healthy, proportionate snacking could actually assist you in your efforts to lose the inches, increase your energy levels and improve your overall health.

If we look at hunger on a simple, 5-point scale…

Hunger Scale Healthy Grease Monkey

How do YOU know when you are hungry?  Are you even aware? What are your signs?  Rumbling belly, dizziness, ANGER, grumpiness, exhaustion, headaches, etc.

Therein lies the issue.  If your symptoms of hunger are those listed above, you have waited TOO LONG to eat!  You are at the “I could eat the ENTIRE ass end of that cow” end of the scale.

Your body has passed the rational judgment point about food  and your ability to distinguish the signs of satisfaction, BEFORE you reach the other end of this spectrum is most likely null & void.

So, my suggestion to you, pay attention to your body’s signals, keep healthy snacks full of protein and healthy fiber on hand or near to keep you between that I’m hungry and I’m satisfied levels.  This is also where our metabolism functions at its best and we can keep the inches from calling in friends around our middle.

Have a great day and perhaps, an apple with some organic, natural peanut butter for a snack!