How To: Snack Smart

Jan 31, 2014 6:46:12 AM

smart snacking

When we think of starting a healthier eating regime, we think of deprivation and restricting ourselves to save calories. However, skipping meals or not eating regularly enough to sustain yourself leads to mindless snacking and bad choices when you do come to eat, due to being over-hungry. It’s these kind of bad eating habits that lead to a sluggish metabolism, low energy levels, bingeing, and subsequently, weight gain. Here we take a look at some ways to permanently change your eating habits for the better, and give you some great ideas for healthy snacks to keep you going while you’re on your weight loss journey with Phen Caps.

How to Improve your Eating Habits

When it comes to eating, we can have some good habits, such always eating breakfast, and some not so good ones, like always clearing your plate. Although many of our eating habits were established during childhood, it doesn't mean it's too late to change them. Eating better in order to lose weight isn’t about making radical changes to your diet by eating nothing but cabbage soup, as this is unsustainable in the long term, not to mention unhealthy. Here at Phen.com, we believe in making positive changes while you’re on your weight loss journey, which are realistic and form part of a healthy lifestyle you can keep up for life. As part of this, permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you recognize these bad habits and replace them with good ones.

Recognize

The first step is to reflect on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good, as well as your common triggers for unhealthy eating. To help you uncover your habits, keep a food journal for a few days where you write down everything you eat and the time of day you ate it. For example, you might discover that you always want a sweet snack after eating dinner. It's also good to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you tired? Stressed? Lonely? Bored? Highlight the bad habits on your list that may be leading to overeating, which can include: eating everything on your plate, skipping meals or only eating once or twice per day, eating when not hungry, eating too quickly, always eating dessert, and eating while you’re occupied with another task.

Replace

Once recognized, some of these bad habits are easier to change than others. Eating too quickly is a bad habit, as it means you are more likely to overeat when there is a delay between stopping eating and feeling full. One of the ways in which Phen Caps help you to lose weight is by activating your brain’s full signal, so that when you begin to eat you will become fuller quicker, so avoiding overeating becomes easier. You can also replace the bad habit of eating too quickly by putting your fork down between bites, chew your food more thoroughly, and sip water during your meal to give your brain time to receive the signal that you’re full. This in turn will help you avoid eating everything on your plate, which although is deemed as polite if someone’s cooked for you, can be damaging to your waistline if you end up eating too much.

The other bad eating habits have more to do with timing. It’s important to set aside time for regular meals and snacks, so devise a schedule where you include all of the important food groups, vitamins and minerals, and aim to eat five times per day rather than having three big meals, and never skip meals. Making sure you keep yourself sustained throughout the day with these smaller and more regular meals will mean you won’t feel deprived, your energy levels and metabolism will remain steady and you’ll be less likely to stray from your eating plan. Phen Caps also boost your metabolism, meaning that your body will continue to work efficiently throughout the day and the food you consume will be converted to energy more effectively. In addition, Phen Caps boost your energy levels, meaning that you’ll feel more alert and less likely to stray from your eating plan due to tiredness and the cravings which can come as a result.

If your lifestyle doesn’t allow much time for eating and often involves you eating at your desk or on the run, you need to replace these unhealthy habits by planning ahead. Preparation is the key, which means having a good supply of fresh ingredients in the fridge, plus supplies of healthy tinned and dry foods if you don’t always have time to shop. It’s also important to have a good supply of healthy snack foods both at home and at work, as there’s a good chance you’ll be eating two or three of your five mini-meals at work.

 

smart snack trail mix

What You Should Be Snacking On

As part of your new healthy snacking habits, here we have some great ideas to keep you going throughout the day so that you never feel deprived, even when those 3:30pm sweet cravings come to find you!

Homemade Trail Mix

Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, or Brazil nuts are all great choices, and why not add some goji berries, raisins or a teaspoon of plain chocolate chips to add some sweetness to the mix? You can easily prepare this on a Sunday and divide everything up into small zip lock bags to snack on at work, then you won’t be able to eat more than the amount you’ve allotted for yourself that day.

Apple with Low fat Cheese

The fiber, water and antioxidants in fruit and vegetables make them great snacks, but by combining your apple with some low fat cheese, you also keep yourself sustained for longer with protein and a little fat, while also giving your taste buds some variety.

Graham Crackers with Peanut Butter

If you’re in the mood for cookies, while one won’t derail your diet, it’s often hard to stop at one, so it’s best to have a good substitute. So, spread two graham cracker squares with a little natural peanut butter for a tasty mix of sweet and savory, which will also keep you satisfied until your next meal due to the protein and fat in the peanut butter.

Sliced Orange with Cinnamon

The fiber and water content of the orange will help keep you feeling full and cinnamon is a great way to satisfy any sweet cravings, plus it helps to balance out your blood sugar levels. A whole orange also gives you more than your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, which helps to combat the food cravings that come as a result of stress.

Tomato Soup and Baby Carrots

This type of snack is great to keep you satisfied when dinner is a long way off. This combination isn’t just filling, it also gives you lots of nutrients such as potassium, lycopene and beta-carotene. If you’re worried about the salt content, pour away a quarter of the soup and dilute it with water.

Hawaiian Smoothie

For two servings, mix a cup of chopped pineapple, half a cup of chopped and peeled papaya, quarter of a cup of guava nectar, a tablespoon of lime juice and half a cup of ice in a blender until smooth. This is great for those of you who always feel like something sweet after dinner, as papayas are loaded with papain, a digestive enzyme, making this smoothie a good dessert to settle stomachs after a substantial meal.

 

These are just a few great snack ideas to help you reinforce your new healthy habits as part of your weight loss journey with Phen Caps, satisfying your hunger while also boosting your energy levels, keeping your blood sugar levels constant and helping your metabolism to work efficiently. Plus, the delicious flavor combinations will mean your taste buds won’t feel deprived, either! What snacking habits have you made for the better on your weight loss journey? Let us know by commenting below!

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Posted in Food By

Laura

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