For most people reckless snacking derails their healthy diet, leaving them frustrated and overweight.
Do you eat a healthy lunch only to succumb to the vending machine an hour later?
I've got good news for you, if you do.
With just a few adjustments to your diet, you can effortlessly kick your snacking habit to the curb.
You see, the urge to snack happens when your blood sugar levels drop—giving your body the message that you need more fuel. (Enter the vending machine.) This happens after eating meals that are low in fiber, low in calories, and high in sugar.
Eat meals that are filled with fiber and you'll stabilize your blood sugar levels, and feel full longer.
The Case for High Fiber
Researchers have done their homework on fiber, and the results spell easy sixpacks for all who listen. By consuming an extra 14 grams of fiber each day you can cut your calorie intake by a full 10 percent.
People who consume more fiber (as low as 20 grams per day) weigh an average of 8 pounds lighter than people who consume low fiber (closer to 10 grams per day).
There are two main reasons that high fiber leads to bodyfat loss:
- Fiber fills you up and stabilizes blood sugar for hours. This tames your appetite and protects you from needless snacking.
- Foods that are high in fiber aren't as calorie dense. When you fill up on high fiber foods you eat just as much but take in fewer calories.
Breaking it Down
It's always easier to understand a concept like this when real life examples are given. So here's a review of a low fiber, high sugar diet that ‘Jack' was eating, and then we'll see the small changes made to increase his fiber content and stabilize blood sugar.
- Breakfast: Jack would typically eat a packet of instant oatmeal made with low fat milk and topped with banana and brown sugar. On the way to work he would also grab a mocha or latte.
- Snack: Without fail by 10am Jack's stomach would growl, sending him to the vending machine. He would end up with a small bag of chips, crackers or candy to hold him over until lunch.
- Lunch: By noon Jack was starving again, and would inhale his packed lunch of a medium sized bagel with low fat cream cheese and deli slices, and a small container of yogurt.
- Snack: At 3pm Jack's appetite would soar and he would scavenge the office for a small snack to hold him over until dinner. He usually found part of a leftover pastry or cookies, and if all else failed he would once again turn to the vending machine.
- Dinner: Most nights Jack would make a dinner of chicken breast, instant rice and a small salad, some nights he would substitute pasta for the rice.
- Snack: Every night at 10pm Jack would find himself back in the kitchen in search of something sweet. Most often he would have a bowl of low fat ice cream or sorbet before going to bed.
Did you notice a trend in Jack's diet? While he kept his selections fairly low in fat, he hardly ate any fiber which left him battling hunger all day. His meals were also very high in sugar, which caused his blood sugar levels to jump up and plunge down throughout the day.
Here's the REVISED version of Jack's meals:
- Breakfast: Instead of the instant oatmeal Jack switched to using old fashion (intact) oats. He then topped it with broken walnut pieces and banana. Instead of drinking a high-sugar mocha or latte, he started drinking hot tea.
- Snack: Much to his surprise, 10am came and went without so much as a hunger pain. Jack kept his focus and worked through till lunch.
- Lunch: For lunch Jack had a cup of lentil soup, a slice of rye bread and a cup of steamed veggies.
- Snack: 3pm came and went, and again Jack didn't feel the need snack. On his way home he ate a small handful of almonds.
- Dinner: This meal didn't change much for Jack. Instead of instant rice he made brown or wild rice, and instead of white pasta he made whole wheat. He also added a vegetable dish to dinner, in addition to the salad.
- Snack: Most nights Jack skips his late night snack since he just doesn't feel hungry. On those nights that he does want a sweet treat he enjoys sliced fruit.
That didn't look hard, did it?
As you probably noticed, Jack's daily calories dropped dramatically after adding fiber to each meal. Also his percentage of calories from fat also dropped, since his snack foods were high in fat.
This means that Jack is effortlessly losing body fat simply by consuming more fiber.
You can follow Jack's lead by evolving your diet to include higher levels of fiber.
To expedite your body fat loss be sure to include a consistent and challenging exercise routine. I'm here to help with that - simply message today, or join my newsletter to get started.