Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Smart Snacking

A. Can snacking make you fat? Snacking can make you fat, but only if you’re eating too much for your needs. I agree with Tom Venuto, who always says to eat smaller meals more often. Instead of the "three squares" a day, Tom advises eating six smaller meals, and calls the in-between meals "mid meals," not snacks. When snacking becomes food that you eat beyond your body’s requirements, you wind up eating more than you need and in that way snacking will weigh you down.

B. Should you eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper? There is no "right" way to eat for everyone. It really doesn’t matter if you eat a large breakfast and a small dinner. The proverb may have its roots in the unfounded belief that when you eat is more important than what you eat. What counts is the total amount of calories for the day, whenever you eat them. That said, it’s better to eat smaller meals more frequently, as that promotes a healthy metabolism and helps you avoid hunger, which, after all, helps you control your appetite. And eating a large meal and lying down is not good for digestion.

C. "Dieting" is silly… just stop eating and you’ll lose weight? Although it’s true that if you stop eating, you’ll lose weight, it’s just as true that if you stop breathing and you’ll lose weight too... permanently! Neither is a good weight loss strategy. There is no doubt that fasting, also known as starving, will make you lose weight (and will give you a headache and make your hair fall out too) if you keep it up too long. When you fast, your metabolism goes all out of kilter, and slows to compensate for your lack of fuel, just the opposite of what you’re looking for.

D. I can’t eat snack foods, because I can’t eat just one!? It depends on what you’re snacking on. If you’re the type who is tempted by crunchy salty snacks, I advise you to keep them out of sight. Those advertisements are true -- for many people, one is never enough, they’re not finished until they eat the entire bag. So, make your snacks healthy: carrots and nonfat yogurt dip, a half sandwich, a fruit smoothie made with nonfat milk, fruit and ice… all nutritious, delicious and have a definite and healthy conclusion.

E. It is false thinking that you can snack on organic foods, because they won’t make you fat. Organic refers to the way a food is grown, processed and distributed. There is no calorie bargain for organic foods. An organic chip has approximately the same nutritional value in terms of fat, protein, carbs and calories. You may think it’s healthier to eat organic foods and I agree -- organically grown produce and meats, chicken and fish processed on organic grains and grown without pesticides and added chemicals and antibiotics are preferred, but you cannot eat them without paying attention to portions and balancing calories out (exercise) with calories in. A chip is a chip… if it’s fried, it’ll be high in calories. Your body treats organically grown sugar and processed sugar exactly the same way and if you eat to excess, you’ll store it on your hips.

With that said, here are the top tips for smart snacking.....

1. Grazing is good as long as you graze like a cow, and not like a hog. Cows limit themselves to grass and clover -- hogs eat anything and everything. I’m not saying you need to eat grass but green stuff is good... low in calories and high in fiber. Try snacking on slices of cucumber and yogurt dip (try nonfat yogurt mixed with chives and garlic). For variety try some baby carrots and sugar snap peas.

2. Snacking helps you eat less at your next meal. Eat a small "break the fast" meal first thing, before leaving the house. I like high-fiber unsweetened cereal and fruit with tea or coffee. Then mid-morning, have a small "mid meal" -- a cup of yogurt and a fruit, or whole grain toast with nut butter or a fruit smoothie. Do the same between lunch and dinner, and you’ll take the edge off your appetite and be satisfied with less.

3. Think of snacking as a great way to get your "five." Everyone needs at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and some experts say that’s just the bare minimum. You know all about fresh veggies, but try this quick and easy snack: microwave a half-bag of frozen broccoli or string beans, or other crunchy vegetable, and sprinkle with some butter granules and a grind of black pepper.

4. Don’t feel deprived… but be snack smart. Traditional snack foods can be healthier when you choose wisely. Say "no" to full-fat ice cream and "yes!" to nonfat ice cream, nonfat frozen yogurt and fudge bars -- they only have about 60-80 calories apiece.

5. Fried potato and corn chips are dangerous, so lessen the load by sticking to baked chips, and portion out the chips so you stick to one serving. A tip to avoid temptation is to either buy the single portion-sized bags, or portion the chips out from the large bag into smaller, safer packages.

6. Meal replacement bars are often very high in sugar and calories, even if they say "natural." If you like snack bars or cereal bars for a quick energy boost, choose bars that don’t have sugar as the first or second ingredient.

Sources: Susan L. Burke, M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and a Certified Diabetes Educator who specializes in both general and diabetes-related weight management.

Bon Apetite,

Eve :-)


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