The ultimate guide to smart snacking for weight loss
The benefits of smart snacking
Snacks can be a really beneficial way of keeping your energy levels up and your blood sugar level stable throughout the day. It can also keep you from overeating at mealtimes and instead allows you to spread out your intake throughout the day.
I’m not talking about the processed, calorie-dense, high fat and high sugar snacks here! Those can of course lead to weight gain and the development of other health issues.
I’m talking about nutritious and weight loss friendly snacks as well as a smart snacking mindset! Make sure to focus on a protein source (boiled eggs, nuts, dried edamame) and pair with a fibre filled carbohydrate for energy like a piece of fruit! If you’ve chosen a lean protein that doesn’t contain fat then make sure to add in a healthy fat here such as ¼ avocados or 1 tbsp of nut butter. These smart tips will help you feeling for longer without impacting your weight loss! In addition to the composition of the snack, it’s equally as important to have a healthy mindset, always enjoying your well-planned snacks mindfully with minimal distractions!
Can I be genetically predisposed to snacking?
The interesting thing is your tendency to snack actually lies in your genes!
The MC4R gene is located in the part of the brain responsible for regulating your appetite and hunger. People who have CT or CC variants of the MC4R gene have a higher chance of eating between meals.
CT or CC individuals are also more likely to be overweight because of their increased desire to eat and increased appetite. People who have these “snacking variants” are better off eating little and often instead of big meals because of their larger appetites.
Why you don’t want to miss your afternoon snack…
If you do love snacking, whether you have the CT or CC variants of the MC4R gene or not, you may have thought of skipping snacks before a meal out to save up calories in an attempt to manage your weight. While this is an extremely common thought, it is not always true that skipping your snack will help you save calories.
Having your usual mid-afternoon snack before having dinner out is actually one of the smarter decisions you can make to help manage your weight. This is because the snack will keep you feeling full, so you do not start your dinner extremely ravenous. If your hunger levels are extremely high, you are more likely to have low energy levels, which will affect your decision-making when ordering. You may not be making the best, weight loss friendly choice because you are so hungry and can’t focus.
Additionally, your hunger hormones will also be totally out of control which will cause you to eat quickly and mindlessly to satiate that hunger and likely overeat without realising it. In that case, you will probably eat more than if you had a smart, weight loss friendly snack before dinner, and ate a balanced and mindful dinner out.
So, I would always recommend having a well-balanced snack (based on your DNA needs!) before going out as part of a healthy weight loss journey.
How can I avoid mindless snacking?
Mindless snacking often comes from not planning a snack into your day. If you don’t plan to eat between meals, hunger creeps up on you and you end up grabbing what ever is quick and easy – often mindlessly snacking (usually eating more than you need). Why not keep a food diary to bring some awareness to the situation and if you want to improve your eating habits, plan your snacks! You may even find that journaling your food intake identifies some of your reasons for snacking, which could be due to boredom or emotional eating… with this information you can think about how you to take care of your body when you’re feeling emotional. Maybe you want to:
- Call a friend or family member
- Listen to your favourite song
- Light an aromatherapy candle
- Enjoy your snack mindfully in a portion that you would be comfortable when reflecting on this situation.
If you’re interested in learning more about if you’re more likely to want to snack based on your DNA or if you want personalised snack ideas based on your DNA to lose weight. Book a FREE consultation to discuss how we can help you achieve your goals!