Support Your Active Lifestyle with Snacks
One of the best things about losing weight and getting healthy is getting to be more active. You can start to participate in more activities and learn to enjoy new exercises as the pounds come off and you become fitter.
As you become more active, it is important to fuel your activity properly. It may be tempting to try to keep your calories as low as possible, but that may not be the best for either your energy or weight loss. Instead, healthy snacks can keep you feeling better as you lose more weight.
Fuel for Energy and Weight Loss
You may be tempted to cut calories as much as you can to lose weight faster, but that isn’t good for energy or for weight loss. When you eat too few calories, you won’t have as much energy to fuel your daily activities or exercise.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, snacking when you need it can actually speed up weight loss. When you go for too long without eating, your metabolism slows down, you burn fewer calories, and you lose less weight. Instead, eating regularly keeps your metabolism going.
One of the most important criteria for a snack is that it’s convenient. Cottage cheese, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and nuts are some ready-to-eat, easy-to-carry protein snacks to have on hand. For shelf-stable protein, bars and shakes are some of your best bets. They’re shelf stable, and you can choose from all kinds of flavors so you never have to
Healthy Carbs and Fat
Protein is important, but carbs and fat play a role, too. Fiber-rich carbohydrates let your body use protein and help keep your blood sugar levels stable, and fat helps fuel exercise and keeps you full for longer. Nuts and peanuts are ideal snacks because of their combo of protein, healthy fat, and carbs, but there are other good snack choices. These are some good pairings to consider.
-Apples or pear slices with peanut butter or cheese.
-Carrots or celery with fat-free cream cheese, hummus, or peanut butter.
-A protein bar with grapes or grape tomatoes.
-A slice of avocado with Green Pepper Steak.
-Half a banana with a packet of Protein Cereal.
When You Need a Snack
You never want to let yourself get too hungry when you’re on a diet. If you wait for too long after your stomach starts growling, you may end up losing control at your next meal and eating way too much. Not feeding your body when you’re hungry can also lead to slower metabolism.
It’s about time to eat when you’re feeling moderately hungry, but not starving. You also want to consider a snack after you’re done with a workout. In the first 15 to 60 minutes after exercising, your body is primed to take in the nutrients, replenish your stored fuel supplies, and rebuild muscles. A healthy snack right after working out can help you recover faster so you feel better at your next workout.
The freedom you gain when you lose weight and get healthier can be wonderful, but make sure you are supporting the new demands on your body. By taking healthy snacks with you, you can be sure to have them when you need them to fuel your body and keep that metabolism going for better weight loss.
- Alex Brecher