Health Coach Manasa Rajan On Snacking Habits For Weight Loss

📷 Weight loss is a gradual journey that requires a customised balanced diet and proper workout routine that must be adhered to consistently. Making sudden, radical changes to eating habits such as eating nothing but cabbage soup or living on juices all day can lead to short term weight loss. However, such radical changes end up negatively impacting your health rather than making you fit and healthy.

1. How (and how much) does snacking affect weight loss?

There is no right or wrong way of snacking. Only eating small frequent meals isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. Eating a few large meals a day works well for some people. Some prefer to eat larger meals and not snack while others like having multiple meals. But those who mindlessly snack, while watching TV, working or indulging in Netflix and binging, can see the negative effects of this habit. This is especially detrimental when one is looking to lose weight. You can easily overcome this since you are not focused on eating.

2. What are the pros & cons of snacking when you’re trying to lose weight?

The good thing about snacking is that as it’s a small meal, it provides the opportunity to consume nutritious foods. Home roasted or boiled peanuts, homemade energy bars that are about 200-300 calories are great snacking options. Snacks like these, and nuts and seeds contain minerals and good protein, fats, carbohydrates and more. Bite-sized meals or snacks help you feel full for longer. These snacks fulfil your food cravings between two meals that have a gap of 5-6 hours, help maintain your blood sugar levels, keep you alert and your brain focused.

3. What’s a good schedule to follow when snacking?

A 3-4 hours gap between each meal or snack is advisable. Consuming snacks immediately after a meal, or eating too often without giving your digestive system a break, does more harm than good. The concept of boosting your metabolism that is highly correlated with snacking is not such a simplistic one. Several people follow a diet that doesn’t see a huge gap between their last meal of the day and the first one. But during the day when they get hungry between meals, they choose a coffee or a cigarette over food.

4. What are five healthy snacks you would recommend

For your sweet cravings: Try dates, dried figs, nuts like raisins, pistachios, cashews, seeds, and peanut butter with apple – Savoury foods to try: All Indian lentils and beans turned into snacks like black chana chaat with green chutney, roasted or boiled peanuts, roasted chana, and sprouts chaatDesi snack options: Immunity boosting balls or ladoos, homemade roasted masala peanuts – Snacks on the go: Clean energy bars with no sugar, no additives, no chemicals and dark chocolate (over 75%)

5. Are there any snack ingredients that are better for women than others? Which one would you recommend?

A great snack addition is flax seeds. Sprinkling a tablespoon of ground flax seeds or powder on your fruit bowl or oatmeal or adding it to your energy bar is a healthy habit you can adopt. Eating a tablespoon of flaxseeds two days before your period helps reduce menstrual pain and cramps. Flax seeds contain: – Good Omega 3 fatty acids – Phytoestrogens (plant estrogen) – A unique fibre that becomes gel when it goes into the digestive tract