I’m sure you’ve all heard that grazing, is the best way to manage your weight. But what is grazing? Grazing is eating smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to just sticking to major meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. But what is the right way to graze? A huge part of grazing, is snacking. But because snacking has developed a bad reputation, most people have the belief that if they don’t snack, they’re reducing their calorie intake.
This is inaccurate. The more you snack, the more you reduce the chances of overeating at the end of the day, which is when you should be consuming the least amount of calories, because you’re going straight to bed and won’t be burning them off. But what is the right way to snack and what are the best snacks to help you maintain a healthy weight?
The right way to snack is make healthy decisions about when to snack. The reason the grazing theory doesn’t work most of the time is because you’re probably not snacking the right way. Grazing is not about eating constantly. First, you want to focus on making your major meals breakfast, lunch and dinner a routine. This way there’s structure to when you snack in between. If you have a properly functioning metabolism and your major meals are calorically appropriate for your body, (meaning you’re not over consuming calories), you should feel hungry around 2-3 hours after your meal. We’re only going to focus on snacking between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner, as we all know dinner should be your last meal of the day! Eating right before bed is bad for weight management, as those calories will not be burned during your sleep, and therefore will be stored as FAT!
Speaking nutritionally from a holistic perspective I must stress the whole foods theory is the ONLY way to snack! The most important part of snacking between meals is picking foods that will aid in digestion, so that when you consume a major meal, you are digesting it properly.
Do not be fooled by the “low calorie” packaged foods like granola bars and yogurts. These seemingly “healthy” foods are chuck full of hidden and added sugars! So what you are snacking on when you eat packaged foods are sugars and preservatives, which do NOT aid in digestion, actually make you hungrier and will in fact make it so that your next meal will most likely be stored as FAT. The best digestion-aiding snacks are whole fruits and whole raw nuts.
Please, I beg of you, release the ridiculous Atkin’s and Keto theories from your minds that fruits are bad because they have sugar! Read my 3 Reasons you Should STOP Avoiding Fruit blog. Certain fruits such as apples, grapefruits, oranges, plums, strawberries, nectarines, peaches, and all the berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries) are nature’s natural cleansers. They aid in proper liver function, an essential organ in digestion. They are high in enzymes and minerals and low on the Glycemic Index, which will help you maintain a low blood sugar level, which in turn aids in NOT OVEREATING! In addition, eating a portion of one these fruits between meals, helps your stomach release enzymes that aid in properly digesting your next meal.
Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that, like me, good things come in small packages;) These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Nuts are low in carbs, but high in protein and fiber which are very necessary for proper digestion. Raw almonds in particular are a great choice. Raw almonds are good for your heart, because they are low in saturated fat—less than 0.5 gram per serving—and they provide at least 10 percent or more of the daily value in select nutrients. They also aid in blood sugar control, which I am a HUGE proponent of! Almonds are high in magnesium, which is not only a mineral involved in more than 300 bodily processes, it also aids blood sugar control. The current recommended intake for magnesium is 310-420 mg. Two ounces of almonds provide almost half of that, containing 150 mg of magnesium.
Another added benefit of consuming nuts is their contribution to a healthy heart. The American Heart Association recommends three to five servings per week of nuts, seeds and legumes, 1/3 cup of nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter, in order to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. And because of the fat and fiber content, nuts help in curbing your hunger. But they must be eaten in moderation, as too much could lead to too much fat intake. So go nuts snacking on nuts, but make sure you portion control!
Although my blog topics can be very beneficial to your overall health, they are not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information on or through my website, blog, e-mails, programs and services. However, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of diet, fitness and health research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.