Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times, April 2010
Believe it or not, just shaping up your snack habits can make big improvements in your health and fitness goals.
Do you have "bad" snack attacks?
If you do, let's dig. The solution is often in the problem.
5 Reasons You're Binge Snacking...
1.) Over Hungry - You haven't eaten since lunch. You eat the first thing you can grab--which is always convenience food. Then, you can't stop, because the body really does think it's starving. Of course, when you do stop, you've overeaten and feel rotten. It often becomes a cycle...
Solution: Try to track your snacking times. You should be able to see a pattern for how long it takes to get to the super-starved mode. Prepare a snack ahead of time--and eat it 30-60 minutes before you're too hungry.
2.) Compensating - (A) Physical: Maybe you're really quite sleep-deprived. Your body may think, okay, I'll get a kick of energy from a sugar-sweet--you're not even thinking this, it just comes naturally. Or (B) Psychological: You don't have any time for yourself, so your snack binge is the only alone time you get. You make it last as long as you can. So you eat, eat and eat some more.
Solution (A): Make sure you're doing all you can to re-energize you body without excess calories. Keep yourself hydrated, get plenty of sleep, spend 15 minutes outside, do something to get your blood flowing--walk, stretch or even spend 3 minutes listening to a make-you-want-to-move song. (I like Will Smith's Nod Ya Head.)
Solution (B): Keep a snack diary. Discover why you're eating--feel heartbroken, lacking purpose, no you-time. Either fix the situation (if possible), or find another coping method. There are healthier ways to deal--going for a walk, a "grateful list", jogging, journalling, etc..
3.) Addictive Foods - You've been eating refined, processed foods all day long and your energy dips. You need more refined sugar snacks. OR you think you can seriously eat only 2 cookies and a glass of fat-free milk. But before you know it, you've consumed the whole box. Sugar is addictive, and for some salt and texture is addictive, too.
Solution: Healthier meals can produce healthier snacks. Eat "whole foods." Secondly, know your addictions. If you always eat more chips or cookies than you'd like--stop buying them every week. (And don't use the excuse that your kids eat them. They need healthier snack habits, too!) Go ahead an enjoy one small snack bag on occasion, but buying chips in bulk--if it's your addiction, is like buying a barrel of beer for a recovering alcoholic.
4.) Mindless Eating - This is when you pair a snack break with something like watching a favorite recorded television show. After the show, you realize you ate the whole bag of chips--even though you don't remember eating half of them.
Solution: Break habits. Eat a snack at the table, and then brush your teeth. Now, you can watch tv, but even better, do something that will keep your hands and mind busy. Make a phone call; send an e-mail... whatever it is you'd enjoy and forget about your salivating sweet tooth.
5.) Procrastination Tactic - maybe you're bored or overwhelmed, so you eat b/c you feel like you're doing something, or maybe you make a snack last for an hour, cause you're really not looking forward to the next task--homework, cleaning, or an important decision. Eating is something you can say, hey, I am doing something. But in reality, you're only putting off something that will stress you in the future.
Solution: A lot of times, boredom is out of apathy. We've lost interest in everything. Get outside or do something active. Studies show that there is a natural high with exercise and that 15 minutes of outdoor time a day decreases depression. There are better things for your body than extra calories. And for true procrastination, remember some of Covey's suggestions: if you have a lengthy to-do list, do what you want to do least, first! Then it won't hang over you like a dark gray cloud. And face the problem(s); don't hide behind food. It will only make things worse!
Sugar is not your friend, but... will a little hurt?
Here's the lowdown from a great source, Nutrition Action Healthletter,January/February 2010:
Maximum Sugar Allowance for Better Health
For women: 100 calories or 6 1/2 teaspoons (or 25 grams)
For men: 150 calories or 9 1/2 teaspoons (or 38 grams)
*This is only for added sugars; natural sugars in fruit and milk do not have to be counted. And this also allows for one cup of 100% fruit juice.
If you haven't yet, go to my pyramid.gov. It will help you determine how many "discretionary" calories you have--if you eat healthfully.
Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.
This month's spotlight? The chest! Pectoralis major...
The 3 basics to hit every part of the chest are these 3 moves:
The Incline Press
The Flat Bench Press
The Decline Press
Ladies, these moves will improve the muscle tone underneath the breasts only. There is no miracle "boob" lifter... But it will improve the way you look, your posture and the power of your push (and hugs)!
Men, the bench press for some reason becomes the focus of many routines. Remember, body building refers to the entire-body, not just the chest.
FEATURED RECIPE: Savory Quinoa Side
A great, whole-fibered food to accompany a favorite fish, meat or tofu--for vegetarians. Perfect solution for a pasta, rice or potato rut!
Nutrition Grade A-
# Low in saturated fat
# No cholesterol
# Low in sugar
# High in manganese
# High in magnesium
1 T olive oil
1 c uncooked quinoa
2 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 t minced garlic
2 T parsley
1/2 T thyme
1/4 t sea salt
1 onion, small, finely chopped
1 dash of lemon juice
1. Soak the quinoa in sufficient water for 15-30 minutes--can be rushed if soaked in HOT water, which reduces to 5 minute.
2. Drain and rinse. Use your hand to stir it around while rinsing.
3. Place quinoa in cooking pot with chicken broth and salt.
4. Heat and cover until boiling.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, with lid.
6. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes, lid still on.
7. Fluff gently the quinoa and place in serving bowl.
8. Add garlic, olive oil, parsley, thyme, onions and lemon juice.
9. Mix gently and stir while warm or at room temperature.
Serving Size 197.5g, Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 208, Calories from Fat 55
Total Fat 6.1g
Saturated Fat 0.8g
Total Carbohydrates 31.2g
Dietary Fiber 3.7g
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 9%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet. Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation
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