How Snacking and Exercise are a One-two Punch Supporting Healthy Weight Loss

10.05.2017 0 Josh Markisko

Healthy snacks are an important part of losing weight because snacks help keep the body’s metabolism moving. When we stop eating, our metabolism slows to a crawl, which can be bad for losing weight. So the truth is that health snacks are good for us.

What is Metabolism? Simply put, metabolism includes all of the biochemical processes that go on in your body so that you can stay healthy. Metabolic processes are involved in the growth, reproduction, cell repair and energy production processes that your body needs to thrive. Your metabolism refers to the rate in which your body fully digests the food you eat and how fast your body burns calories - also known as your Metabolic Rate.

Your body's Metabolic Rate is the rate at which your body burns calories and turns it into usable energy. Remember that your body burns calories to do everything from breathing and circulation to growth and tissue repair, and we actually burn more calories when we exercise and move around throughout the day.

The good news is that you can boost your metabolic rate (the rate at which metabolism occurs in your body) by eating regular meals and healthy snacks, getting more lean proteins into your diet, and maintaining a regular exercise regimen throughout the week.

Snack More to Drop Pounds Snack more to lose weight? That can't be right. As counterintuitive as it seems, snacking throughout the day can actually boost our metabolic rate and lead to pretty significant weight loss over time. How can that be?

Let's say that you're determined to lose weight and you are totally motivated. You cut out all but the essentials, go eight hours between meals, and fight the occasional dizzy spells and low blood sugar crashes to make it happen. You're doing great…or are you?

Actually, lengthening the time between each of your meals can cause your body to enter starvation mode and decrease metabolism.

The Truth about Snacking What's going on here? Your body, in fact, is doing something helpful when you starve yourself between meals from the perspective of keeping you alive. When your body thinks that you're starving, it cuts your metabolism (a.k.a., burns fewer calories) to help you conserve energy. But when it comes to weight loss, that's not necessarily what you want.

Caloric restriction can aid weight loss, but you don't want to do it in such a way that your body literally thinks you're starving. To get the balance right, try eating regular meals and snacking on foods like almonds & other healthy nuts, greek yogurt, celery with or without natural peanut butter, sugar free gelatin and low fat cheese on whole wheat crackers. Staying hydrated and drinking enough water can also improve your digestion and your body's metabolism.

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal While snacking between meals can effectively tell your body that you're not starving, breakfast might still be the most important meal from the perspective of kickstarting your metabolism. Think of breakfast as restarting a campfire first thing in the morning. To get your metabolism going, you have to give it a little fuel.

Research out of Dartmouth shows that eating a breakfast high in lean proteins can actually boost your resting metabolism by 10% throughout the day. Scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes and spinach or a banana peanut butter smoothie with your whole grain cereal can really get you going in the morning, boost your metabolism and lead to healthier food choices throughout the day.

Remember to Hit the Gym Aerobic exercise helps you burn calories, balance your blood sugar, and boost your metabolic rate so that you can keep the weight off. Mixing up your cardio workouts with resistance training is an effective way to stimulate your metabolism to burn more calories for a longer period of time (the after-burner effect of resistance training).

Just remember that you might need more calories throughout the day to keep up with the added energy expenditure brought on by exercise, which is totally fine. Making wise food choices and snacking throughout the day can empower you to keep moving and effortlessly shed pounds.

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