Following a medical weight loss plan doesn’t mean you can’t snack anymore. In fact, small snacks can be helpful in preventing blood sugar fluctuations, mood swings, cravings, and energy slumps. But you definitely do want to snack wisely. As you create your eating strategy, remember to avoid these five snacking mistakes.
Snacking for the wrong reason. If you’re hungry, and the next meal is more than an hour away, a small snack is an acceptable choice. But you do want to avoid eating out of boredom, loneliness, stress, or some other emotional reason.
When you feel hunger, rate the feeling on a scale of one to ten (one being not hungry at all, and ten meaning ravenous). Only eat when you’ve reached a seven. Using this scale for a few weeks can help you to reset your habits, as you learn to identify your feelings about food.
Misjudging portion sizes. Snacks should account for about 100 calories. That much energy can tide you over until your next meal, and prevent poor decisions due to ravenous hunger.
But it’s pretty easy to go over 100 calories, if you aren’t careful. Measure your snack portion into a container, rather than eating out of a package or bag.
Grabbing something on the go. Plan your snacks each morning, and take them with you. By doing this, you can prevent the temptation of picking up fast food, which will certainly account for too many calories.
Giving into cravings for simple carbs. If your mood or energy slump, you might feel tempted to grab a starchy or sugary snack. But this is the worst thing you can do, because it sets you up for a cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes. Reach for something more nutritious instead, and focus on protein paired with complex carbs.
Skipping snacks altogether. Yes, for some people this can be a mistake! If you skip snacks, you might become so hungry that you overeat at the next meal.
If you need help understanding the right mix of protein, carbs, and fats, or calculating the correct number of calories you should be eating daily, give us a call. We can consult with you about a medical weight loss plan that helps you get rid of unwanted weight for good.