Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Diet Tips for Weight Loss - Benefits of Snacking

Planning is crucial to a healthy diet. Know what you are going to eat and when. Your body is a machine, you must keep it fueled to transform it into a fat-burning machine. Make a menu of smart, healthy meals and a menu for your food intake between meals.

 Yes, I am referring to snacking. Once thought detrimental to a successful weight loss plan, it is now viewed as essential, so start snacking your way to a leaner, stronger you.

Jump start your metabolism in the morning by eating a solid breakfast. You have already gone over eight hours without food, so try to eat within an hour of waking up. The sooner you get your metabolism pumping, the better. You must keep it going constantly, when you cut the fuel, you cut the energy and proficiency.

Choose foods full of complex carbohydrates keep your energy levels up throughout the day and protein to help with muscle repair. They will take the edge off your hunger and you will be more apt to make sensible choices for lunch and dinner.

It can be as simple as a handful of nuts or an apple with a slice of cheese. Perhaps some Greek yogurt, a serving of 1%milk or chocolate milk, dried fruit or raw vegetables. Hummus goes well with vegetables or on cracker. Try eating some fresh fruit,

 a serving of oatmeal or granola, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pistachios or some tuna or chicken salad on crackers. Trail mix is always good (you may even sneak a little chocolate in there), or maybe some Rice cakes or cottage cheese with fruit (peaches or cantaloupe are my favorite). Try a variety of things to find ones that you like and mix it up to keep things interesting.

Decide which snacks you want for the day and have them on hand, that way you can resist the doughnut cart when it rolls around. The best times to snack around 10:00 am and 3:00 pm., approximately two hours before your next meal.

 Following this strategy you may end up eating more, but you'll be less likely to put on weight because you burn those calories more efficiently. Fueling your body in moderate doses throughout the day keeps nutrients optimally available,

your blood sugar levels more stable, and helps avoid the energy crash that affects your mood, concentration and effectiveness. If you wait until you are starving, then you are more prone to make bad eating decisions.

There is nothing wrong with the occasional sugary snack, just don't over indulge in it. If you are one of those types that can have a little something sweet and be satisfied, then go for it.

 Myself, I do better if I avoid them all together. If I have a little, I can't help myself and end up having a lot. The more you avoid, the less sugar your body has to process.

Be sure to drink enough water. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and causes you to raid the vending machine when all you really needed was a drink.

Think of your metabolism as an engine. When you increase the rpm's, you burn more calories, even when you are idling. So grab a snack and get keep your engine burning throughout the day. Be smart. Make a good plan and stick with it.

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