The Right Snacks Reduce Weight
Do you gain weight if you eat snacks? Like most answers to nutrition questions – it depends. Research suggests that if you eat the right kind of snacks you can actually end up feeling less hungry – and that should mean you end up eating less at subsequent meals and overall for the day. The net result is you lose weight or maintain weight more effectively.
So what are the right kind of snacks that are going to keep you feeling fuller for longer? It’s all about the ingredients – they have to be bulky to physically fill you up, and chemically complex so your body has to take to digest and absorb them and convert them to energy. There are 3 magic ingredients to look for.
1. Dietary Fibre
Dietary fibre is a common term to describe the cellulose and other structures in fruit and vegetables that we are generally unable to digest. This adds bulk to food that fills up your stomach and sends signals to your brain that you don’t need to be hungry any more – but it does it while having low energy density (aka being low in calories). It also takes a bit of chewing so you slow down your rate of eating too. Do your own experiment – weigh out 100 calories worth of cornflakes (about 28g or a cup) and 100 calories worth of a fruit or vegetable (that would be about 5 carrots, 1.5 bags of curly kale or 2-3 apples). Just have a look at them – which is going to take longer to eat and fill you up. Eat them both and see which leaves you feeling fuller for longer!
Meats, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, eggs and dairy products are all great sources of protein. The protein molecule is a biggie – made up of building blocks called amino acids that are all joined together in different patterns and shapes. Your body needs to break the protein down into all of those individual amino acid building blocks to be able to absorb and use them – that’s a lot of chemical bonds to break and it takes time and effort. That’s why foods rich in protein can help you feel fuller for longer – they are broken down and absorbed bit by bit so the energy you get from them is released more slowly, and over a longer period.
The low fat message is old news – health professionals now recognize the importance and benefits of fats, as long as they’re the right ones. That means focus on the unsaturated and essential fats like omega 3 rather than chemically altered fats like hydrogenated and trans fats. Like proteins, fats are made of up many building blocks, in this case fatty acids rather than amino acids. These too take time and effort to break down so the mechanism by which they can make you feel fuller for longer is similar to proteins.
It’s no surprise these are three ingredients you’ll find in most of the healthy snacks delivered in a Nutribox. If you want to feel fuller for longer why not try one? Find out how it works here