Whether you’re stuck in a slump, feeling down or just tired of everything else, food is often the answer you choose to all your pleas! Delicious midnight snacking and hearty meals make everyone feel better instantly, but the same can’t be said about your stomach after you’ve consumed all those calories. If your metabolism is slow, you’ll gain weight much faster than the average person and then say goodbye to all those delicious snacks as you cry over steamed vegetables. Want to avoid this situation at any cost? Here’s some tips to help you boost your metabolism while doing nothing but snacking!
Choosing the Right Snack
Nothing’s more important than knowing exactly what will help your body with a bad case of the munchies. While snacking on junk food like chips and cookies sounds amazing, it’ll do more harm than good down the line. Some foods, like refined sugar or unhealthy carbs, the stuff that’s in all baked goods, slow down the metabolism. Others, though, give it a natural boost, so the body is able to burn calories more efficiently. Here’s a few healthy snacks that are perfect for your cravings and have the nutrients that keep your body healthy and active: Apple slices with almond butter, avocados with lemon juice and sea salt, almonds, spinach dip, raw carrots and tuna to name a few.
Fuel Up With Water
Did you know that the human body is made up of approximately 70% water? Despite all this water inside our bodies, we need it more than anything, especially when it comes to strengthening our metabolism. A great tip for soothing bad timed cravings is to drink tons of water, as it not only helps break down all those processed calories, it also hydrates your skin making it more supple. Water is larger than life itself. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In a recent study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water per day burned more calories than those who drank four.
Spice Up Your Meals
Ever wonder why you automatically end up drinking a lot of water to calm your taste buds after eating something spicy? That’s because all spices have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into high gear, like you’re speeding on the highway. If you just add a smidge of spice to your regular meals you’ll notice the difference in your metabolism pretty quick. Foods containing as little as one tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper (skin and seeds removed) can boost your metabolic rate, and although the effect is probably temporary, it helps in the long run if you continue incorporating spices into your meals. The benefits may add up, but make sure not to go overboard with all that spice. Too much of anything is bad, and too much spice can end up causing gastric trouble, yikes!
Power Up With Protein
Little known fact, all food you eat is made up of tiny blocks called molecules. For different kinds of foods, these molecules are digested at different speeds. Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does with carbohydrates. That’s because protein molecules take longer to digest which is why even a small portion of meat can make you feel full quicker. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost your metabolism at an impressive rate. Good sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, nuts, beans, and eggs. Proteins are also incredibly important to provide strength to your hair, by strengthening the roots, and help build muscles, all of which are important building blocks of your body.
Caffeine and Detox; match made in Heaven
If you love green tea, now’s your moment to shine! The energy and concentration perks that are a blessing from the intake of caffeine don’t just wake you up. If taken in moderation, one of tea's benefits comes with the promise of a short-term rise in your metabolic rate. Caffeine not only boosts your metabolism, it also increases your endurance during intense workout sessions. If you’re not too keen about regular green tea, don’t worry, we got you covered! Drinking fruit flavored green tea or oolong tea provides the body with nutrients in the form of caffeine and catechins, both magical substances shown to accelerate the body’s metabolism for a couple of hours.
Snacks should be snacks
As delicious as that tin of chocolate cookies is, you must stop after having one, yes, just one! When reaching for a snack, remember that the purpose of the snack is only to bridge your hunger to your next meal, not become a meal itself. While our bodies need fuel, we need to give our bodies a break from the constant digestion that they perform like a machine. It’s important to keep this in mind, when you’re choosing snacks - look out for healthy meal ideas. Go for smaller portions that will fill the hunger gap, yet ensure you’ll still be hungry when the time comes for your next meal. This way you will not only eat smaller portions while snacking, but your actual meal portions will become smaller and more balanced too.
Pre-portion your snacks
If you, like many others, have a difficult time controlling impulses and snacking in a limited quantity, a good strategy would be to portion your snacks in small containers or Ziploc bags after you go grocery shopping. Since size matters a lot to the subconscious mind, eating from smaller plates, bowls, jars etc. will trick your mind into thinking that you’re full already, saving you from all those extra calories that you’d gain from just snacking directly from a family size pack. Tiny servings also mean that it’s easier for your body to break down the food into the nutrients it needs, and remove what’s needed much faster. Not only do these smaller servings help boost your metabolism, they also help organize and keep your body on schedule, and save up space and time lost in food organization and dishwashing.
Know your moods
Before you reach out for your favorite fried chicken, stop and ask yourself why you’re reaching for it in the first place. This sounds confusing but bear with us. Are you snacking because you’re actually hungry? Or is it because you’re tired? Or sad? Maybe you’re stressed, or just lonely. If it’s for any other reason other than actual hunger, try looking for an alternative to snacking. If you’re stress eating, try taking a walk outside in fresh air instead. If you feel tired, try doing some nice stretches to get that blood flowing again and lift up your mood. Food might seem like the answer to everything, but it’s just temporary satisfaction and a lot of regret when that weighing scale ends up betraying you.
Don’t give up your favorite foods… just replace them
Nothing hurts more than seeing all those calories listed on the back of your favorite potato chips, does it? If only there was something with all of the taste and none of the harm. Lucky for you, there is! Instead of munching on regular processed potato chips, try this healthy alternative with Jerusalem artichokes instead. Jerusalem artichokes are high in fiber as well as an excellent prebiotic, which makes them an excellent source of nutrition and help boost your metabolism. You can make Jerusalem artichoke chips at home by thinly slicing your chokes and baking them in the oven. Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt and you’ve got the perfect snack!
Hate it or love it, snacking is such a convenient and feel good way to power through life. However, at the end of the day, it does more harm than good if you use it for more than its intended purpose. To continue snacking it’s important to look out for Easy Healthy Meals, become best friends with your metabolic system, understand it, and take care of it like you would for a baby. Your metabolism works hard to keep you up and running and with some clever decision making, you can help make your metabolism’s job easier by snacking in a more informed way. After all, there’s nothing more important than a healthy body and a healthy mind!
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