Its 4 p.m. and dinner time is not until 7 p.m. I am hungry!!! Snack time!!! “I want to munch on onion and sour cream flavored chips, OH! I want to snack on some fries, OH! I just want to snack on cheesy bread sticks” and the list goes on.
Yes, I used to snack on the above listed before. Then one fine day I decided to stand on the weighing scale. And I screamed out in exasperation! I was not only over weight but I was borderline obese. I decided to watch my intake and I made the biggest blunder of misunderstanding the concept of snacking.
I stopped snacking completely between meals and allowed my body go to a starvation mode and then eat huge meals—- not only extra-large portions size but also, at times, unhealthy. Since I was not snacking I craved for chips, fries, cheese sticks, bread sticks and so on. I was compensating for them by my lunch or dinner habits and in doing so, basically fooling myself. After doing this for a few weeks, when I stood on my weighing scale again, I was shocked and speechless. I had actually become obese. I was depressed and frustrated and couldn’t accept myself that way.
Then, with a clear mind I decided to understand the term “snack” correctly. Over time and with my experience I learnt that snacking is important between meals but making right choices of snacks are more important. I learnt that if I was skipping snacks I would be hungry and starve and crave for more food. This is because my body would want to compensate for the nutrition loss and hence give me wrong signals to eat more. Since I stopped snacking I started gaining weight around my belly which was stored fat. Belly fat may lead to hypertension, type 2 Diabetes and many more diseases. When I skipped snacking I would also suffering from severe headaches, loss of energy, stress and mental fatigue. I would also become lethargic because my sugar levels would drop.
When I started snacking consciously the first thing I did was to make the right choices. Here went my new list of snacks:
- Baby carrot and hummus dip
- Sliced apple with peanut butter
- Nuts like macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds.
- Kale chips
- Whole wheat crackers
- Homemade black eyed beans balls
- A glass of almond milk with honey and so on.
I felt the following benefits with regular and timely snacking and properly selected snacks:
- I felt energetic and active
- I was eating a limited quantity of food during my meals
- I also made right selections for my meals instead of eating anything and everything
- I was not getting any headaches or cramps
- I was not getting acidic
- I was not stressed
- I was a happy person in totality.
I have continued with this practice since then. With my experience I learnt the importance of healthy and nutritious snacking at regular intervals and at the right quantity. I take a smart approach towards snacking.
Health Tip of the Week
“Snack on the right food, at the right times, in the right amounts”