Balancing your blood sugar with protein, fat and carbohydrates at every meal and snack is one of the secrets to optimal energy levels, good mood and a healthy, lean body. Now, snacks are not for everyone. If you work with a nutritionist for weight loss you get the composition of your breakfast, lunch and dinner right, you might not need to snack but for the majority of people eating a well balanced mid morning and mid afternoon snack most days helps you get to your optimal weight by controlling your blood sugar.
Blood sugar levels are very important for providing the energy we need to go about our daily activities. Blood sugar is defined as the amount of glucose that is in the blood at any one time. All carbohydrates that you consume are broken down into sugar called glucose, which then provide energy to your muscles, heart and brain.
Blood sugar levels should stay fairly steady through the day; however problems arise when blood sugar levels fluctuate erratically. If blood sugar levels are continually high because you are eating too much refined or processed carbs it may mean that the hormone insulin, which signals cells to absorb glucose may no longer work properly. If blood sugar levels are low or continually up and down trough skipping meals, leaving lon gaps between meals or just from eating the wrong stuff this can lead to energy slumps, tiredness during the day or lunchtime dips, if blood sugar levels are particularly low it is known as hypoglycaemia where you can suffer from the shakes, cold sweats and light-headedness.
Poorly controlled blood sugar like this may lead to binge eating at main meals, whereby you overeat from being so hungry. However by simply eating well balanced snacks throughout the day, controlling blood sugar levels you can reduce the veracious hunger that you may experience at main meals and eventually lose weight. Here are another 2 great articles about how to lose weight
Here are some of my favourite snacks:
Fruit and nuts
When I tell people to eat nuts I’m astonished at the response – “nuts are bad for you” “nuts are full of fats”, well they are full of fat, but full of healthy fats such as unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are heart healthy. Nuts are also a good source of protein and provide a whole host of vitamins and minerals as well as beta sitosterols that help control cholesterol. By eating a handful of nuts with some low glycemic load fruits such as an apple, pear, plums or berries you get a perfect blood sugar balancing snack.
Crudités and dip
Simply chop up some carrots, celery, peppers or even a courgette and serve it with some hummus, nut butter or even avocado dip for another great snack. The vegetables provide fibre, vitamins, mineral and antioxidants and the hummus, tahini, nut butter or avocado dip provides the protein and healthy fats.
Bounce balls are great little protein snacks that come in different flavours such as whey protein and peanuts, almond, cashew and pecan. These snacks provide a good balance of protein, carbohydrate and fats to balance your blood sugar. You could simply eat one of the bounce balls with a piece of fruit.
Check out Steve discussing his weight loss secrets at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBzuCMIugnA
So if you want to find out how to lose weight click here