Traditional wisdom says that cutting down meals and cutting out snacks is the best way to lose weight. In the real world, if we choose a weight loss regime that we are not really comfortable with, and that we have to concentrate to stay on, then we will probably not stick to it and we will 'fall off' the program.
Snacking, and feeling that we are not being deprived of food when we want it, is one of the keys to comfortable weight loss.
In the beginning we need to get the basics right for how we are going to lose weight but then it is the details, the little things we do every day, that the outcome of our quest is often decided. Snacking is something we often do not pay attention to and that brings many a well meaning weight loss program undone.
The big thing first is to decide on what you are going to do to lose weight. Personally I am biased and believe that meal replacement with top quality protein shakes is the simplest, healthiest, and most efficient way to do this as I do not like to feel hungry. You might decide that for your own lifestyle that adding a daily block of exercise is your answer, or cutting out all excess sugar and fat from your regular diet, or anything you want.
Setting up the program you will use is the basic 'platform' of your weight loss. Get that in place and you can get things going.
It is fine when you have your meals planned but in the middle of the morning there is that quiet nagging feeling that you need a snack. Maybe you get to mid afternoon and your habits are telling you that this is the time of the day when you eat something.
You get a hot drink and you find yourself searching for 'that little something' to go with it. Without something extra the hot drink just does not fell the same.
You can overcome this with will power, and many people do, but if you can build something into your lifestyle that is easy and comfortable then your chances on staying with it are much higher and your ultimate weight loss goal is more likely to be achieved.
If you have a chocolate biscuit, just one, then depending on the brand that will probably have 200 to 450 calories in it and about half of that will come directly from fat. If you chose a 'better choice' and have a cream biscuit or a cookie you will normally still be consuming 100 to 200 calories, again, about half directly from fat.
It is in these little things that the many of us can find the key to making our weight loss work.
How do we have something to feel that we are not 'missing out' and still hold true to our weight loss program?
We know we have to change our habits and do something different, try changing what we snack on rather than trying to cut it out.
I needed to trim down recently and I bought myself a present as part of the weight loss program: a nice ceramic fruit bowl. With it I bought a lovely little Swiss fruit knife in its own holder.
I cleared a table in the office and set it up there. Looks good but it looked empty. Empty bowl, then of course you fill it. Next time I was in the supermarket I bought a nice little selection of fruit. I eat a lot of vegetables but I rarely eat fruit. I just don't think about it and I rarely get around to it. I'll tell you though; a nice little selection of fruit in a nice fruit bowl in my office makes me feel healthier just looking at it! When people come through they comment on it, reinforce that I am actually doing healthy things for my body, and reinforce in my own mind that I am serious.
When I'm busy, and maybe it is time for a hot drink, it is really easy to grab an apple and slice just a little piece off with the razor sharp fruit knife. I have tried that before and not got around to it but now I find that I enjoy it and it is right there so I do not need to leave my desk. The funny thing is that while I slice just a sliver of apple, or break just a bit off a banana, or take just one segment off a mandarin, when I finish what I am doing with my work, or on my computer, and pay attention again to things around me I find I have eaten the whole piece fruit.
I don't think about it, it just became a habit. Adding this into what I did moved the weight loss from slow to over a kilo (over 2,2 lbs) a week without any extra effort.
One day I picked up a bag of nice looking little carrots. Your know carrots, those long orange things that they sell in the green grocer and that people cook up with meals? I sat them next to the fruit bowl and when I was feeling a little hungry I just ate one as a snack. Good fiber, filling, probably a little nutrition in them. They are basically a simple easy way to chew on something without getting fats and processed sugars and extra calories in my diet. End of the day I found I had eaten half a bag and when I went home for dinner I was looking forward to it but not starving and I was satisfied with a smaller portion.
Snacking is something that can bring you undone or you can use as a tool to help you get steady, ongoing, control of your diet and of your weight. Take the time to think about how you can set up yourself for success but making the things you 'should' be eating easy to get to and comfortable to use.
Healthy snacks as part of your diet mean you do not go without eating when you want, you just eat the right things.