How snacking aids weight loss

How small changes to your eating habits can result in a big loss

woman in officeIf you really want to lose weight, nothing should keep you away from achieving your goal. Even if you are at work, and don't have time to exercise, you can always do things that will help you lose weight—like watching what you eat.

One of the most difficult parts of a weight loss plan is following a proper diet. Many a times, people give up because they feel they cannot diet.

It is important to understand that following a diet does not require any major changes in your eating habits. The shift is required elsewhere—in your mind. A good diet plan doesn't require you to eliminate foods completely; it just means changing what you eat and when you eat.

One of the easiest diet changes you can incorporate even at work is snacking, which basically means eating small amounts at regular intervals.

If you follow some basic rules, snacking hugely benefits your health. Here's why.

Snacking makes you thin

Eating lesser servings than you do at a particular meal lowers your calorie intake at that meal. If you follow it up with a low-calorie snack, it helps delay cravings until the next meal. Besides, eating meals at regular intervals also boosts your metabolic rate.

Your body needs energy to digest food. Thus, by eating smaller meals regularly, you actually burn more calories.

If you are in the habit of skipping meals to cut calories, then you might end up eating more servings at the next meal, adding more calories to your intake. Instead, eat smaller and frequent meals.

Snacking does not let your sugar crash

If your meals are irregular or if you are used to having long gaps in between your meals, chances are that you experience energy lows from time-to-time. If you deprive your body of an energy supply for long periods, you will be forced to eat large amounts of food at one go to replenish this energy.

This, in turn, will cause a sudden sugar spike in the blood followed by an equally sudden crash causing you to feel low on energy and sometimes even weak or dizzy. However, distributing your calories through the day will prevent this sugar crash by distributing the energy supply through the day.

Snacking makes you eat less

The logic is that if you don't feel hungry, then you will not eat things you are not supposed to. For example, if you eat cereal and milk at 9am for breakfast and follow it up with a fruit at 11am, you will notice that you end up eating lesser servings at lunch.

Not just that, you will also find yourself less fatigued and more alert at the end of the day.

Snacking postpones hunger

Always remember this golden rule: eat before you get too hungry. For example, if you know you feel famished on your way back from work, say by 7pm, eat a small snack—like a fruit at 6pm.

This will supply enough energy to last for the next hour or two, which, in turn, will prevent you from reaching out for a quick energy supply in the form of that chocolate bar or chips.

Remember, it takes 20 minutes, after you finish eating, for the satiety signal to reach your brain and only then will you feel full. So, eat your food slowly and chew it thoroughly.

Eat a small snack, like flavoured low-fat yogurt, and wait for some time after you have eaten it; your craving will subside. Snacking not, starving is the key to losing weight, the healthy way.

Top 10 snacks to munch on at work:

  1. Yogurt
  2. Carrot
  3. Apple
  4. Popcorn
  5. Soup
  6. Nuts
  7. Small piece of cheese
  8. Sprouts
  9. Banana
  10. Puffed rice [kurmura].

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Samreedhi Goel
Samreedhi Goel is a Nutritionist and Personal trainer & fitness columnist who has been a part of the fitness industry since 1999. She has helped hundreds of people shape up, lose weight, achieve the body of their dreams, become fitter and healthier individuals and overcome chronic health problems through her fitness studio Size Wise.Her fitness columns and interviews appear on a regular basis in prestigious publications like Complete Wellbeing, Sunday Midday, Rediff.com, Seventeen India, Mumbai.

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