You are on a healthy mission. You have planned your breakfast, lunch and dinner. You feel like you’re on to a winner because your 3 main meals are all healthy, calorie controlled and edible. But the weight isn’t shifting, your body isn’t changing and you don’t understand why.
Snacking is when we eat between meals and there are a whole host of reasons why. The most common is that our stomachs growl a few hours after our last meal. Another reason could be a dip in energy levels or maybe we feel certain emotions that cause us to snack. Usually the time we snack is consistent - for example after your 11am meeting or when you get home from work. By doing this over and over, you eventually form an unconscious habit.
One example I often give is of a client I worked with many years ago. She was exercising consistently and logging all of her food, but she just wasn’t losing weight despite the numbers suggesting she was in a calorie deficit. One day after our training session I noticed a half drunk bottle of Coca-Cola in her bag and asked how often she drunk Coke as she hadn’t been logging it. She was drinking 6 bottles of 500ml Coke every day. That’s an extra 630 calories per day she wasn’t logging meaning that regardless of the healthy choices she was making, she wasn’t in a calorie deficit. Strangely enough she gradually reduced her Coca-Cola intake and the weight loss commenced.
Unless you are aware of what you are eating and drinking, you can’t change it. The app I have mentioned before (and will continue to do so) is MyFitnessPal. This is a free app which you can use to simply log your food and drink. Once you see exactly what you eat and drink, you will quickly understand not only how many calories are in your main meals, but your snacks too. A good example is that avocados have been labelled as a ‘super food’ and rightly so due to their healthy fats. But 1 whole avocado is 250 calories, so moderation is key.
A lot of the time you will see ‘don’t eat this’ or ‘avoid these foods’ and whilst that can be slightly helpful, I feel it would be of better use to tell you what you ‘can’ and ‘should’ consume. Here are a few of my top low calorie snack options:
100g Edamame beans - 122 cals / 11g protein
100g Watermelon - 30 cals / 2g fibre
SKYR yoghurt pot - 81 cals / 14g protein
100g Fresh berries - 57 cal / 2g fibre
Beef Jerky - 70 cals / 12g protein
Babybel ‘light’ cheese - 43 cals / 5g protein
2 Tbsp Houmous & Veg - 100 cals / 3g fibre
1 large egg - 72 cals / 6g protein
Another top tip I highly recommend is the next time you feel hungry and go for a snack, drink some water or have a cup of tea and wait 30 minutes before you eat it. Sometimes our bodies way to tell us we are thirsty and probably dehydrated is to make us feel hungry.
And finally, if a food label promotes that something is high in protein, please check the total calories and the actual amount of protein. Usually they aren’t actually that high in protein and can be high calorie. The marketing tactic of high protein = healthy should be observed with caution!
If you need help with your nutrition, habits, or have any other questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on instagram (Robcarr11) or Facebook (Robcarrrpt).