Four Healthy Snacks I Need To Eat For Weight Loss
98% of all diets that fail are due to one single factor according to recent studies. Do you know what that is?
It is what you eat in between the meals. Studies have shown that the snacks or intermittent meals will make or break the diet.
Ok…I made that study up. Sorry I was looking for an attention getter. I will stop lying from here on out in this article.
We all love snacks. We need snacks. Pivotal figures in our time have proven the value of snacks such as Godzilla and King Kong.
Unfortunately, we don’t always know what the right foods are we should be eating or how much.
What can I get away with?
The truth is that when measuring calories, people tend to do well with their major meals, usually 3, but kill themselves on the snacks, drinks, and condiments. This is where they add a disproportionate amount of the starch, flour, saturated fat, and sugars that cause obesity and many long term problems like diabetes and heart disease.
One of the biggest challenges when you start progressing with a diet or a “lifestyle change” is finding the types of foods you can eat that can “fill in the cracks” and get you to the next meal.
Simply put, “How much can I get away with.”
I had this same mentality in school. What is the least amount of work I can do while still getting an A.
While that might seem like a bad thing, variety and including foods we enjoy are essential to eating.
Much of this will depend on what your diet calls for. I am not a big fan of “low-fat” diets because they end up dropping the fat and compensating by raising the amount of sugar. We think they are helping us, but the sugar is killing us. So some of these supposed “healthy snacks” can actually backfire on all the time you put into creating healthy meals and exercising.
So what you can’t get away with is large amounts of sugar. We will talk about the other areas of gray as well.
Another huge factor is what your goals are. Are you looking to build muscle? Are you looking to cut fat? Are you attempting to do both at the same time? If you are attempting both, I would recommend first cutting fat and then building muscle, but that has just worked well for me in getting the results I wanted to see personally. Find your own way.
What To Consider:
- Are you looking to cut fat? This is different than losing weight. Dropping pounds could mean cutting lean mass (muscle) with fat. You want to maintain the lean muscle while dropping the fat. That is why it is important to eat the right foods often to feed the muscle. If you want to cut fat it all begins with cutting the right kind of carbs. This includes sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined carbs like flour, namely white flour, creamy dressings, sugar filled dressings, and starches. So it is important that you look for foods low in carbs and sugar.
- Are you looking to add muscle? Focus on high protein options. There are numerous options out there in protein shakes and bars. Also a lot of high protein sources in animal meats and even beans.
- Are you looking to starve yourself? Don’t! This is stupid. You need it to live and function. Losing fat has so little to do with this stupid notion of “calories in vs. calories out”. There are bio-chemical issues at work as well that override this myth, such as what sugar does to our insulin levels, that leads to becoming more apt to gaining fat. Eat often. Never be hungry. Just eat the right foods.
What natural snacks should I choose?
Vegetables: Well veggies are the best, specifically green vegetables. Some may argue that protein is better, but again it depends on what you are looking for.
Nuts: Great source of healthy fat which is vital. I see anywhere from 20-30% of your diet should consist of fat like nuts, guacamole, fish, etc. I eat all different kinds of nuts because of the high level of healthy unsaturated fats. Some nutrition programs suggest you eat them sparingly to avoid gaining fat.
Fruits: Some of you will be able to get away with fruit and others won’t. I know that might sound harsh to some of you fruit lovers, but you will just have to test it out. Measure the amount of carbs and grams of sugar and along with your body fat or at least body weight to figure out how much you can eat. Probably your best bet is to eat one piece of fruit a day and avoid citrus fruits like pineapple and oranges. Lean more toward bananas or even apples. I personally drew back to zero fruit and then tested it out from there by adding fruit. Our ancestors made it just fine without fruit. Chances are we can too.
Thanks for all the limits jerkface. So what can I eat?
So I know it is easy to get bent out of shape because of the limitations when you start thinking about all of the foods you do eat and how I just said basically don’t eat most of them.
Well that is normal. I forgive you.
The truth is that if you are overweight or obese, then you have been eating the “unhealthy, fat person diet”. You have done an exceptional job, probably for many years. You have made it a custom part of your life and don’t think twice about this.
If you really badly want to lose weight and it means more to you or outweighs the joy you get from eating the bad foods, then this will work. In fact, as I said you can eat A LOT of food as long as you are eating the right type of foods.
What is really cool is that I can show you some foods that you may or may not enjoy (I enjoy them) that can be healthy options to help you lose fat and/or gain muscle.
In fact, sometimes I feel like I am cheating.
Ok…sorry about the “jerkface” comment. How can I cheat?
Ok before we go further I need to pull back a bit on the “cheating comment”. You still need to eat healthy foods and eat those foods in abundance. The truth is that eating the excessive amount of sugar and/or refined carbs can literally become addictive. Sugar sends an exorbitant amount of dopamine to the brain. After a month or so of doing this, your brain adapts to it. If you withdraw the sugar, then you can go through withdrawls and deep anxiety without it.
We commonly call this a “sweet tooth”. We joke about it and consider it a normal part of life. In fact, it can seem…really cute. (See the holiday “Valentines Day” for reference)
But this ”sweet tooth” or sugar craving is the exact same thing that happens with two drugs you may have heard of: heroin and crack.
We don’t necessarily respond to a heroin addict by offering to take them down the block to get them a belt and syringe because it is cute now do we?
I am on the soap box, but I am saying this so we can be very realistic about the challenges we are facing here. Sugar is not kids game. Sugar is a toxin.
In order to beat the habit, you have to find ways to meet the needs or get the “fix” while minimizing the amount of sugar you are eating. The way to cheating is finding some options that can meet those cravings without consuming a ton of sugar and crappy carbs.
So how can I get my “fix”?
1)Pure Protein High Protein Bar: There are plenty of protein bars out there. Unfortunately while they have high amounts of protein, they also do a bad job of loading up on sugar. So in all reality they are no different from a Snickers bar.
The Pure Protein bars are one of the few that limits sugar. They have 1 to 4 grams of sugar. They also have 25-35 carbs per bar. That isn’t great, but not bad. When you consider that includes 26-32 grams of protein, that is definitely a better snack than a Twix bar. It can meet that craving while not loading up on sugar. They also provide Pure Protein Ready to Drink Shakesas well. (Here are all the Nutrition Bars)
2)Atkins Advantage Bars: Some of you may get scared by the Atkins diet, but the bars are fine. There are actually a lot of rumors about the Atkins diet that are not true. Not to mention going against 40 years of bad health advice by our government can cause frustrated “experts” to get a bit cranky. We will save that discussion for another time.
These bars have 1-2 grams of sugar. If you are looking for a lower protein option, then this is a better substitute compared to the Pure Protein bars. The range is anywhere from 7-12 grams of protein in each bar. They also have a “Net Cabs” measurement of 1-4 grams. Net carbs are Carbohydrates minus sugar alcohols and dietary fiber. It is an Atkins formula. If we use this Net Carbs number, then the Pure Protein bars have a similar level of “Net Carbs”. Just like the Pure Protein products, Atkins provides Atkins Ready To Drink Shakesas well.
3)Shakeology: This stuff is awesome. They have two flavors, greenberry and chocolate, with a large assortment of promising nutrients. I use just the Shakeology powder, water and chopped ice. It comes out like a smoothie. I makes me feel like I am able to get the joys of being ”Fat Cade” again. It is a little pricey because you have to buy them in monthly packs, but nothing that different than what you would pay for many protein drinks or health smoothies.
4)Ostrim Sticks: This is similar to beef jerkey. They sell them online and at some GNC stores, but they are hard to come by out west for some reason. I get mine online. It does account for 18% of your daily sodium, so that can be a concern if you are eating a lot of sodium daily in processed foods, but with the amount of carbs (3g), sugar (2g) and protein (14g), it is worth the purchase. If you can’t find it, then get Jacks Links Jerky instead. The OSTRIM sticks are a little better for you in that you can get a little more protein, similar carbs and sugar, but in a larger serving size per stick.
There is plenty of other information to consider when contemplating meal replacement shakes, bars, or any other snack.
So like all foods you can poke and prod at these options, but I have found that I can eat these as snacks daily while still getting great results that I want. I imagine most people can as well because I have an endomorph body type. Now it might be possible that one or all of these options may not work for you. So it is always safe to pull back on the reigns and stick to healthy nuts, vegetables, and lean protein. Then see what you can fit in while still keeping your goals in sight.
Also please don’t feel bad about it. These are like daily cheat meals. You may only be able to do one of these four options a day. You might be able to push it that you can have three of these a day. This is for you to figure out and share at Know My Body. Your body beats you up all the time and doesn’t allow you to eat what you want, when you want. This is your way of kicking your body in the face so to speak. Use loopholes!
I am always open for other “cheat foods” to help me get my fix? What have you found that works?