To Snack or not to Snack: That is the Weight Loss Question

To be or not to be. That used to be the age-old question. However, in todays weight-loss world it is now, To snack or not to snack. That is the question.

More books by more qualified RDs, Doctors, Health Counselors and Weight Loss clinics are coming out every day telling you how you should eat. Articles and research are continually published defending all of these ways of eating. So who’s right?
The actual science behind losing weight is not all that complicated: Calories in must be less than calories out to lose weight. The real struggle with weight loss is not that people don’t necessarily know what to do- its the path to get there.
For some people eating 3 meals a day with enough calorie and nutrient balance is just not logical. A nurse who works a 12-hr shift may not necessarily have the time to sit for a 45minute lunch. Having a smaller meal and a snack may suffice better. A person who has an 8 hour work day and then does a very hard workout (like training a run in training for a marathon) in the evening may not have the energy to make it through their workout if the last thing they ate was at noon and the workout is at 6:30. In these 2 cases snacking in between smaller meals make sense.

However, a person who has a job where they are at their desk and rarely moves, 3 meals may be a better option. If you create a meal that is balanced and nutrient dense, then the idea of snacking may be hindering your weight loss goals. You may have enough calories in just those three meals, and the time between those meals may be enough to satiate you before your next meal.

Like most things, its all about balance. If you are feeling ravenous, and your next meal is hours away, then maybe a snack is appropriate. We also shouldn’t be married to the same way of eating every day.  For example, when you’re stressed you may snack more. If you know you have a stressful project coming up- it may be wise to not make any larger meals for that day/days. If you know you’re not going to an intense workout after work, maybe you skip the afternoon snack that day.

Weight loss can be tricky, and that is why it can be difficult. Having a good support system, whether it be a significant other, friends, family, or a health counselor like the one you would work with in Smart Workouts Weight Loss Program its critical to have a sounding board to help you along the way.

Most important, you need to create a way of eating that works for you. Just because your friend thrives on a certain diet, and your aunt swears by a completely different way of eating, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Its important to find your very own diet- the ME diet.

So, To snack or not to snack. Thats up to you!

Top 3 Reasons Why Kids Should Exercise

As a Fitness Assistant and Ballet instructor, I deal with kids and exercise on a daily basis. I teach multiple level ballet classes to students 5-15 and have developed fitness programs for many pre-teen groups.

I love working with kids, and find that there are many reasons why it is important for kids to exercise on a regular basis.

 

Top 3 reasons kids should exercise:

1.) Starting at a young age makes exercise a lifestyle. If you want your child to grow up to be a healthy, happy and active adult, then the answer is to start young. By introducing activity into a childs life at an early age, you are shaping habits that they will keep throughout their lives. Stressing importance on activity without making it feel like a chore is a great way to keep kids healthy.

2.) It gives kids a form of discipline, while still having fun. Wheather its a class, a week-long camp, or a kids exercise program, having your child participate in a structured form of exercises is teaching them structure, how to follow rules, and social qualities. Programs like Smart Workouts Kidz Fit, is a great way for your child to have fun, learn to enjoy being active and learn many other qualities (like paying attention, listening to an instructor, learning to share) that will be useful as they grow.

3.) It may even make your child smarter! Recent studies have shown that healthy, active children tend to do better in cognitive tests as well. Especially when it came to complex memory tests, children that were more fit tended to test higher than those that were considered to be the lower percentile.

More times than not, I find active kids to be more pleasant, well-rounded individuals with a real thirst for life. Now why wouldnt you want that for your child? So get out and get moving with them!!!

-Written by Cara McMullen, Fitness Assistant

Resources:
Brain Res. 2010 Oct 28;1358:172-83. Epub 2010 Aug 22.
NY Times, September 15, 2010

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