Coming up to that weight goal, and struggling to lose the last few pounds? Can’t satisfy the hunger without inhaling a bag of chips, or 5 candy bars? Then think again! Mindful snacking, and choosing the correct healthy snacks to eat can help you lose an extra pound a week! How does it work? What foods can you eat and incorporate in your meals to curb that hunger, and leave you fuller for longer?
When we eat ‘empty calorie’ snacks (foods that provide nothing but calories), it causes a spike in our blood glucose levels, as it is so easy to digest. In turn, this causes a rapid insulin response, causing the glucose to be quickly taken up by the cells. What happens next? Ever get the sudden fatigue after a spike in energy? After your body uses up all the glucose, it becomes hungry for more, sending out signals from your brain to make you hungry again! So, next time you reach out for that candy bar, think again!
What happens when we eat a food that is harder to digest? You guessed right… The whole process above takes a much longer time, meaning that the food stays in your system for longer. Food in stomach = full! What foods are harder to digest? Healthy fats, fiber, and protein take much longer to digest than sugars and starchy carbs! It takes much longer for the body to break them down into utilizable energy, meaning that your body is in stable mode, and your signals are in check!
5 Healthy Snacks To Help You to Lose Weight
What should I eat between meals?
Trash the sodas, candy bars, and chips. They will do nothing to your hunger levels, and cause nothing but an extra inch of fat on the arms! Opt for these nutritionally dense snacks to help keep that hunger at bay, and also provide essential nutrients for your body!
Nuts and seeds are a wonderful source of healthy fats and protein. Don’t go too wild with that bag of almonds, though! Nuts are very high-calorie foods, so a little goes a long way. Eat around 10-15 almonds as a snack, or a handful of raw pumpkin seeds. Always opt for unsalted nuts with no additives, as the salt can cause bloat.
2) Fruits and Vegetables:
Not only do fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of fiber, but they are also packed with a ton of essential minerals and vitamins. If you don’t like raw vegetables, mix them up into a smoothie, or eat them with a bit of hummus for a protein kick! Fiber works in wonderful ways. Fiber is a lot tougher to digest, meaning that it will stay in your stomach for longer, keeping you satiated and happy! However, by peeling the skin of apples, sweet potatoes and other fruits and vegetables, you are removing all that fiber goodness! Try to eat fruits and vegetables with the skin on (except obvious ones like bananas and oranges for example!).
3) Whey Protein:
A whey protein shake will do wonders to your hunger levels! Whey protein contains the highest amount of leucine, which is an amino acid that has a large role in suppressing appetite. Try having a whey protein shake for a morning snack, or incorporate them in your smoothies for a wholesome breakfast that will fill you up until lunch!
Now that you know what to snack on, what can you incorporate in your meals to create a richer and more filling meal?
Ways to fill up from your main meals:
1) Olive oil:
Using olive oil instead of vegetable oils when cooking can reduce that need for a snack during the day. Olive oil is rich in omega-9 (oleic acid), which has incredible appetite-suppressing benefits! How does it work? Oleic acid is converted to OEA in the small intestine, which finds a way to curb the hunger your brain sends out to your body! How can you incorporate olive oil into your meals? Simple! Drizzle it on your lunch-time salad, use it to cook that steak, omelet or vegetable stir-fry! You’ll be amazed at how versatile olive oil is.
Like fruits and vegetables, whole grains are another great source of fiber. Swap out your white pasta, rice, and bread to fiber-rich alternatives. Ever wonder how whole grains differ from white alternatives? It all happens in the processing, where they both start out as a grain. White bread is made by stripping out the outer layer of the grain (the fiber) leaving only the starchy inside behind. Think of whole grains like an unpeeled apple, and the white simple carbs as the peeled apple. So, next time you make that stir-fry, use whole-grain noodles!
After swapping out empty calorie foods with these amazing alternatives, you’ll notice an incredible difference in your hunger levels – and your waistline!