We call the habit of eating nonstop, snacking or grazing. While snacking has a somewhat negative intonation, grazing is perpetuated as a way to “keep your metabolism up”. Well of course it does. You have to metabolize food, so if you eat nonstop, your metabolic fires burn all the time. The problem with grazing is that if you graze on poor food choices, there’s NO WAY you can stoke your metabolic fire hot enough to accommodate all those extra calories. BEWARE of the manmade snack foods that are designed to enslave you to their intense flavors! Intelligent choices for all of our food is critical if we want to be in peak condition.
All Snacks ARE NOT Equal!
Most of you know that I fought the scale from the age of 4 years until I came to David’s Way, about 3 years ago. I have been on practically EVERY diet and/or been a member of almost ANY group that you can name. The thread that ran through other ways of eating that I have tried, was most of them said that it was okay to continue eating foods that I could not control. If I could not control chips, ice cream and cake when I WASN’T trying to lose, why on Earth would I be able to control them when I was eating less of all foods? It was nonsensical. As soon as I got hungry, tired, sad, mad or bored, I once again, (and again) would turn to those highly palatable foods and undo all of the progress that I had made. Trigger foods have NO PLACE in a solid nutritional program.
There are well-known nutritional gurus who will argue that a calorie is a calorie. They will tell you that as long as you don’t go over your calorie limit you are okay. They may even tell you that it’s okay to eat sugar. Just believe me when I tell you that it all depends on what you want. If you want to lose a few pounds and keep it off for a little while, then that’s fine because that’s what those ideas will get you. Continuing to eat foods with little to no nutritional value not only sets you up to eat too many calories, it also robs your body of vital nutrition.
Down The Drain
Without fail, your favorite junk foods will trigger your binge switch and before you know it, you are not hungry. You are too full and lethargic. Those sugar and refined carb bombs cause a release of insulin, followed by a drop in blood sugar. Your hunger will soar because instead of supplying your body with good nutrition, you filled it up with garbage that has already been digested. You’re out of calories and starving!
This is the time and place where many people will just give up. I believe that the worst thing about junk food, especially sugar, is that as we fill up on that white crystalline powder, we are NOT eating good food. Therefore we are eating too much but still malnourished. It’s a National shame that in a Country as rich as the U.S., we allow ourselves to have malnutrition. Malnutrition as a diagnosis in obese people is not uncommon because they may refuse to change the way they eat. As their blood chemistry and overall health decline farther into the abyss of illness, they carry a bag of Oreos in with them. Since their organs and systems are starving for the nutrients necessary to life, their health steadily declines.
Intervene With Healthy Snacks!
Since I have struggled firsthand with fat, diets and deprivation of all sorts, I have learned how to stave off hunger most of the time. I know that unless I spend my calorie budget wisely, I will be hungry, miserable and weak. Since I’m a bodybuilder, there’s no room for weakness in my world. Considering the state of the world at this time, I set forth the thought that there’s no room for weakness in your world either. Take control of hunger NOW. These are some snacks that are tried and true. You can reach for these foods with confidence that you are doing something good for your health and your appearance.
1-Oats- All oats are nutritional powerhouses. Avoid the instant oats with added sugars. Read the label. If there are any added sugars, pass over that one for one with 0 grams added sugar. Oats are quick and easy to make. Follow the instructions on the container they come in. Even if you are one of those people who say that you can’t cook, believe me, you can cook oats. You can even try putting them in the fridge overnight with the appropriate measure of water and in the morning, you have cold, thickened, soft oats. Add 0 calorie sweeteners, berries, powdered peanut butter or nuts and you have a delightful feast that will fill you up for hours!
2-Eggs-Boil a few and keep them handy for a shot of muscle building protein anywhere.
3- PLAIN, full-fat, Greek Yogurt-This stuff is The Bomb! The full-fat variety does not taste like spoiled milk. It tastes like cream cheese. Stir in a water enhancer in your favorite flavor, a little 0 calorie sweetener and fruit and you are set for a couple of hours. Lemonade flavors create a mock lemon pie and peanut butter powder and sweetener makes a Peanut Butter Pie yogurt. Choose your favorite flavor and build on that. Tang water enhancer mixed with vanilla and sweetener makes an Orange Creamsicle delight!
4-Cheese Sticks- Low in calories and high in protein and paired with an apple, they will control hunger for 2-3 hours.
5-Apples! When you pair their fiber with any protein such as the cheese sticks, you are feeding your body what it craves. You can even chop an apple into the yogurt with sweetener and cinnamon for an Apple Pie experience! (Saigon Cinnamon is WONDERFUL! You might have to order it. My local stores quit carrying it during the pandemic!)
6- Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and nuts can be eaten alone or added to yogurt or oats. Make SURE to measure all seeds and nuts carefully. They are high in calories so accurate measurement is a must.
7-Celery- I like the type that’s ready to eat. When I have a snack attack, I want food NOW. You can open this celery, pour salsa and dip in an instant. Reconstitute peanut butter powder and stuff the celery with that if you want sweet rather than salty. You might add some sweetener to the peanut butter powder if you like your PB sweet.
8-Baked Sweet or White Potatoes-They take minutes in the microwave! A sweet potato is an excellent complex carbohydrate to eat before or during a workout. I bake it in the microwave, peel it and slice it into 4 long pieces and take it into my weight room every time that I squat. It’s a natural, easy energy bar.
9-Cottage Cheese with fruit-This old lunch counter favorite is a winner for the same reasons that apples and cheese sticks are, the blend of protein and fiber is fantastic for fending off hunger.
If you like ice cream, especially the “Frosty”, you’ve gotta give this a try!
With planning and a true desire to be healthy, you can have your snacks and eat them too!