Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snacking Smart

The concept of snacking on most diets is frowned upon - "3 squares a day, no extras!"

 Clean Eating requires it. Demands it. You will be able to maintain more wholesome choices at your traditional meals if in between, you chose smart snacks that are enough to tide you over but are unprocessed ( to abide by the Clean requirement ) and low in fat/calories.

Some facts:
Snacking keeps your metabolism humming.
Research suggests that, like a charge for a battery, eating about three meals a day with two or three snacks in between can make your metabolism more efficient. Think of your metabolism like a little fire in your stomach.

A little food is the fuel you throw into the fire to keep it burning strong .For some people, that means stoking it every 2½ hours; for others, it’s every 3½ hours. The point is never to let your energy wane or to go without a bite for so long that you get very hungry.

Snacking helps you eat less at mealtimes. 
If you wait until you’re so ravenous that you would eat the kitchen table, you’ll wind up eating way more calories when you do finally sit down for supper. Experts suggest choosing a snack that has roughly 100 to 200 calories (a meal should start at about 300). Make sure it fills you up with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Together they stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling satisfied. If a snack is high in refined carbs or sugar, your blood sugar will jump, then crash, leaving you feeling tired and even more hungry.

Snacking put you in a good mood
When blood sugar levels get too low, you can become irritable and have trouble concentrating. So for mood control and cognitive and metabolic efficiency, healthy snacking between meals helps. Make sure you snack on something that makes you feel happy - don't eat prunes unless you actually like prunes.

Snacking foils the strongest cravings
If you have a snack before going to an event where you know unclean or inappropriate foods will be served, having a snack before hand will help you resist the nagging cravings you might experience when faced with that inappropriate food.
Strategy is better than willpower.

Snacking ensures you get all of your vitamins
Picking up a small apple and a few cubes of cheese between lunch and dinner will go a long way to supplement your diet. A handful of nuts, a yogurt - all will help supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals.