Why snacking is a bad idea.
“What if I just stop putting sugar in my coffee?
Will I lose weight on my belly then?”
A client of mine asked me, finally deciding to start working on his diet. He doesn’t have much of weight problems — just that persistent fat layer around his waist, and he wants to get more energy and get fitter, become fitter than “most 30-year-olds” (he is in his late 40th).
“Sugar in your coffee and no sweets? What about that?”, — I tried to sneak in another diet upgrade, offering to provide the chocolate we are making instead.
“Hmm, not sure I can go for sugar free diet yet. We will see.”
For some of you diet change starts with no sugar in your coffee. And even though it’s far from the best practice, even though I’d love all my clients to instantly switch to eating 100% healthy — I got to meet everyone where they are, doing what’s honestly manageable for them at the moment, knowing that after one change, one new habit is installed and practiced without any conscious effort, once people see the results, feeling more powerful — more changes will follow. It’s hard to imagine, what you can do, starting out.
I had clients going from eating nothing but junk food, thinking that substituting even one meal a day to completely healthy, built-around-vegetables-and-protein meal, would be a titanic effort for them, going from that to having no junk food.
One step at a time.
I am all-or-nothing type of person. Quitting cold turkey undesirable behavior is my strategy. Honestly? Not the smartest thing to do, because withdrawals from ANY habit we are trying to quit are usually quite tough, and quitting cold turkey adds quite a lot of stress, and very often we quit trying completely, because the change is too quick, too drastic.
One step at a time — that what works for most people. That’s what I recommend. That’s what works for the brain. It might not be the fastest way to results — but there’s much more probability you’ll go further and succeed with new habits, new diet for life.
It’s also much easier for your mind to believe you can do more, once you have a series of small successes under your belt. That’s just psychology.
Take one manageable step at a time. One meal at a time. One habit at a time. Master it. Take the next step.
Start with breakfast. Start with no sugar in your drinks. Start with diet soda instead of regular. Start with 2 doughnuts instead 3. Start with no snacks policy, changing nothing else. — As long as you are moving forward, it’s all good. You have the right to choose your own pace.
Speaking of snacking.
Do you know why I’m against snacks and for eating only meals and fewer meals?
Aside all the research coming out about intermittent fasting, the benefits of having longer periods of time (12–16 hours) between your last and first meals, benefits of having fewer meals, the benefits for metabolic health, longevity, gut health, fat metabolism, hormone production, weight loss and weight maintenance.
All that aside — snacks just mess up your brain!
There is no difference for your brain — whether you call it or snack or a meal. It’s all food time for your brain. And your brain and gut love to hit satiety point every time it is food time. Meaning hitting certain amount of volume and nutrition value — and that’s an impossible goal for snacks. It’s not natural for you, for your brain to eat a little bit. Every time you eat a snack — you’ll have to exercise your willpower to stop eating. And the more you use your willpower muscle, your decision-making muscle — the less you have for other important areas of your life, the less of it you have to stick with you diet and exercise routine.
Snacks and eating like a bird 5–6 meals a day is unnatural and exhausting. That’s why so few people stick with it successfully without overeating.
Besides it’s so much hustle around food!
And you are thinking about your next meal all day long! Living from snack to a meal to a snack.
It’s so easy to overdo it, to overeat. It’s so hard to manage the amount of food your consume in snacks! And the quality — there is too many fancy “healthy” snacks on the market, snacks that still have too much sugar (natural or not) and too little nutrition per bite.
Once in my life I lived according to 6-meals-a-day formula (my younger training years in bodybuilding environment), and I felt so confined, so restricted, because I had to always think about my meals, and where I could eat my next meal. And I still had to almost starve myself to get in shape for photoshoots. Now, with one, sometimes 2 meals a day I look and feel so much better , never having to starve myself! I feel so free! I eat my big meals, just like I love them and the rest of the day I’m doing things, not having to exist on meal-time. I love it! And it’s so much easier for my brain to manage one meal a day, quality and quantity, then 3–6 meals a day. Much less decisions. — Eat good food, eat till full. That’s my rule for my one meal. Harder to do when you have 6 of them!
Besides, the need to snack all the time is a sure sign you have blood sugar issues. And the way to fix it?
But if you must snack, here are some tasty options I recommend to substitute some of your junky addictions with, enjoying healthy tasty treats. — Ask me for more substitutions and healthy snack options.
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My WOD 9/07/2017
Upgraded squats and lunges to work on your legs AND stabilizers, that according to recent studies, give you the most ROI, the most increase in strength, bone density and muscle growth rate.
My staples I always have in the fridge: lots of greens and herbs, good salad dressing I love, fatty fish and sauerkraut.
Something to think about.
It seems like our diet became carbohydrate-sugar diet, but funnily enough, there are NO essential carbohydrates, but essential amino-acids, and essential fatty acids.
What we are reading.
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health