For the most part, I have learned to say no to hunger. None of us want to envision a life of discomfort or dissatisfaction. But, when we grow accustomed to associating these feeling with managing our weight, we unknowingly set up an unsustainable pattern for ourselves. Basically, we adopt a short-term, endurance mind-set, rather than instituting sustainable life-long habits.
You’ve may have tried convincing yourself that hunger and headaches are necessary penance for dropping the pounds. So, when your stomach starts growling in the mid-afternoon and you feel that growing ache in the back of your head, you figure you just have to grin and bear it if you really want to lose the weight. However, instead of grinning, you more likely blurt out something unfortunate to whomever happens to be in earshot at the time.
The truth is, the longer you ignore your body’s signals, the more you want to dive into a bag of chips as soon as you hit the front door, or worse, you end up “sampling” a whole dinner serving before the evening meal even hits the table.
However, let’s consider another scenario to try out instead. It’s three in the afternoon and you feel the signs of an on-coming, hunger-induced headache, but this time you recognize that your body is screaming for much-needed fuel and say no to hunger. This signals you to eat something right away to stabilize your blood sugar and provide energy for your body.
Now, what you choose to eat during times like these is extremely important. Unlike the typical afternoon snack of a candy bar or cheese doodles, I have found nuts to be an extremely satisfying snack. Even better, a small handful of nuts takes a while to digest, so the effects stay with you for extended periods of time.
Nuts are loaded with protein. Protein is a great source of energy, but it tends to work more slowly than carbohydrates. Protein does not provide a quick energy fix, but it keeps us going for the long haul.
Another nutrient found in nuts is coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short. This is a nutrient that helps our cells produce energy. It is also an antioxidant, which means that it protects our cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. Our bodies produce some CoQ10 naturally, but the amount decreases with age. But by eating sources of the nutrient such as nuts, we can experience its benefits.
Nuts also contain Omega 3 fatty acids, a category of unsaturated fats which provide energy to the muscles and organs. They also store energy for the body and help lower LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol. Nuts are one of the best sources of this class of fatty acids.
For me, almonds have become an indispensable, mid-afternoon energy source. Almonds are full of nutrients, fiber and protein, as well as, healthy unsaturated fats. One serving of 23 almonds has about 160 calories. I typically eat a half-serving in the afternoon to help tide me over from lunch to dinner, Then, a few hours after dinner, I eat the other half-serving along with a small piece of dark chocolate or chocolate covered raisins (about 15).
So, how are thing with your journey? I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment here, so others can see it too or share this post with your friends.