Remember when your mother said, “No snacking between meals?” While our parents grew up with the idea that it was best to eat only three meals a day, scientists now tell us that we need to eat more often than that if we want to lose weight.
It sounds like a contradiction, but it makes sense when you consider how our metabolism works. In simplest terms, metabolism is defined as the rate at which our bodies convert the energy in food into a form that can be used by our bodies. Did you know that your metabolism is raised after you eat? After each meal, our metabolism is raised while the body gets busy converting food into energy. For this reason, scientists recommend that those who want to lose weight eat 5-6 mini meals per day to take advantage of this fact.
Personally, I eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. I watch my portions carefully and make sure that the snacks I eat are healthy ones. If you want to add some healthy snacks to your diet, here are some suggestions:
- 1 oz container of fat-free fruit yogurt
- 1 cup strawberries with 1/2 c of cottage cheese (can use Splenda for sweetening)
- 1 cup of carrot, red pepper, and celery sticks with 1 oz low fat cheese
- 3 cups of air popped popcorn with 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese
- 1 protein energy bar (at least 7 grams of protein, plus 2 grams of fiber)
Snacks of these types are also great for teaching your children healthy eating habits. To keep kids from snacking on junk food, consider keeping a bowl of fruit on the table for convenience.
Also, try to make sure that each snack contains some protein to help keep your blood sugar even; each snack should be around 200 calories.
If you have been used to starving yourself between mealtimes and have found yourself having difficulty losing weight, then practice modest portion control at mealtimes and use the calories saved to add 2 snacks to your daily diet. It might just be the boost your body needs to jumpstart your weight loss program.
A Registered Nurse for many years, Kimberly Floyd battled obesity for much of her adult life. She achieved her ideal weight and has written a new book entitled ‘Moneywise Weight Loss’ which teaches others how to lose weight and save money–at the same time.
Kim has written articles for the Georgia Nurses Association publication and Nursing Spectrum Online. Now a technical writer, she has written training programs for corporate clients, including IBM, U.S. Bank, and Cingular.
Kim also teaches an online course called ‘Goodbye to Shy [http://www.ed2go.com/cgi-bin/ed2go/newcrsdes.cgi?course=gbs&title=Goodbye^to^Shy&departmentnum=PE]’. This course is distributed to over 1100 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and Australia through Thomson Learning. An accomplished speaker and trainer, she delivers presentations on health-related topics to enthusiastic audiences.