Do you snack? Do you have emergency cookies stashed in the desk drawer or a bag of M&Ms in the glove box? If this sounds familiar you could be sabotaging any efforts to manage your weight. The way you snack is very important to maintaining a healthy weight… if you find yourself snacking often you could be exposing your body to a snacking seesaw effect. Let me explain — often times when we reach for a snack it is something high in carbs (such as the examples above). Eating these high carb snacks creates a spike in our blood sugar levels. When we have high spikes of blood sugar, our body freaks out and over-releases the hormone insulin to counteract the spike in blood sugar. The excessive amount of insulin brings the blood sugar levels down too low. Now that our blood sugar levels are too low, we get hungry again and want another snack! Hence, the seesaw analogy — blood sugar levels are always either too high or too low, causing cravings and overeating.
What you want to do, is keep blood sugar and insulin levels within a normal range. And this can be done by eating balanced snacks. In fact, in the Optimal Body Balance program, we’ve even done away with the word “snack.” We’ve found it much more helpful if you think of everything you put into your body as a balanced meal — which is why our program includes 4 meals a day (breakfast, 1st lunch, 2nd lunch and dinner).
Eating balanced means eating the correct ratios of carbohydrate, fat and protein at each meal. And yes, you need some of each group at EVERY meal for it to be balanced. For example, an apple might seem like the perfect snack… but in reality, an apple is all carbs! So it will do almost the same thing as that cookie did to your blood sugar and insulin levels. Instead of eating the apple alone, slice it up and put some nut butter on it with a side of veggies.
Controlling the seesaw will help you gain much more control of your cravings and overeating. To learn more about eating balanced, meal recipes and ideas and how to find the right balance for you visit our website. We have a session of the Little Black Dress Class starting soon; reserve your spot today!
Source: Life Extension “Curb Compulsive Eating Naturally” August 2010