It’s difficult to focus on being healthy when you have a preference for goodies. For some of you, sugar may be the biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain. I know a large portion of my bulk came from cupcakes and chocolate bars. However, it is possible to balance your health even if you have a liking for sweet snacks.
Adapting to Sweet Snacks
I don’t believe in starving myself of the tasty things in life to lose weight. In fact, I’ve lost nearly 60 pounds without drastically changing my diet. While some people may have to stay away from sugars because of health issues such as diabetes, I am not one of them.
Here are some ways I deal with a penchant for sweet snacks and goodies.
1. Use Proper Portion Sizes
Portion control is one of the key elements to losing weight and living healthy. For instance, an entire pint of ice cream is not a serving. If you properly portion out the food you eat, you’ll not only lose weight but you’ll save money at the grocery store as well.
I try to keep my sweet snacks according to serving suggestions in the Nutritional Info box on the package. I have a strong fondness for Breyer’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream. According to the packaging, 70g is a single serving ranging at about 170 calories. This is roughly the equivalent of a 1/2 cup.
2. Find Healthier Alternatives
Depending on the snack, you might be able to find an alternative that is just as good. For instance, I have a thing for Snack Packs – a generic sugar-free, jello-like snack that has about one-tenth the calories of a regular Jello cup.
I’ve also come across healthy versions of ice cream I like. Unfortunately, no one makes a healthy-ish version of chocolate peanut butter. At any rate, you can find sugar-free and low-carb versions of just about anything. Some of them are even kind of good.
3. Be More Physically Active
Physical activity is another key to health and fitness. It not only helps you lose weight faster, but it strengthens the body to resist injury and illness. In fact, you have a lot of practical reasons to be more fit – none of which are related to looking like you belong on the cover of a magazine.
I burned a lot of fat simply by walking more. I have increased my activity, which is an accomplish for a desk jockey, but it’s the increase in movement that has made the greatest impact.
The reason why being physical is important to reduce the impact of sweet snacks is because it gives you a chance to burn the carbs and calories before they turn into fat stores.
4. Set a Limit of Snack Calories Per Day
Using apps like MyFitnessPal gives you a platform which you can track food for the day. Set a goal to keep your “Snacks” under a certain calorie, sugar or carb number. And no, 1000 calories is not a good goal for snacks.
Currently, I have MyFitnessPal set to a 1000 net goal for the day. This means I can comfortably eat a bit more than 300 calories at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Any snacks I have need to fall under that goal. This means I walk or become active so I can “afford” to have sweet snacks at some point in the day.
5. Don’t Snack After Eight
Late night snacking has been one of my biggest issues. Even if you have the calories to afford a binge session on ice cream, it’s still a bad idea to do so after eight or so. That is, unless you plan on being quite physically active later in the night.
When you consume a large number of sugars and carbs at night, you’re most likely not going to burn it as fuel. This means it will be turned into fat stores until you need it for energy. I know I feel less bloated in the mornings if I don’t eat sugary goods before going to bed.
6. Identify and Deal with Weakness
One of the best ways to deal with sweet snacks is to identify your weaknesses and deal with the issues. For instance, I am a stress eater. However, I’m learning to identify when those moments are coming and take precautions to prevent binge eating a pint of ice cream.
Another moment of weakness is late night snacking. The more I focus on getting to bed at a reasonable time, the less I am capable of diving into sweet snacks. Plus, getting a good night’s rest is beneficial for health in a number of ways.
Why I Don’t Have Faith in Most Diet Plans
A lot of fad diets rely on you restricting yourself to foods that are deemed “healthy” by someone else. The problem is that many people feel mildly oppressed by such restrictions and tend to cheat or not follow the diet precisely. As a result, many of them start feeling guilty and their self-esteem takes a hit.
I am sure that a lot of people have great success doing things like the Paleo diet or Atkins. They also more than likely wanted to succeed with the plan. Those who are on the fence are more apt to not commit themselves to the process.
I’ve lost a lot of weight so far without a specific diet plan. For the most part, I reduced my intake and increased my output. I still enjoy sweet snacks, I just have fewer of them. It’s all about moderation and taking measures to make healthier decisions.
I also don’t like the idea of someone telling me I’m not supposed to eat this or that. I am an omnivore with a sweet tooth…and always will be.
It’s All Mental
In order to lose weight and build a healthier body, you need to be in the right mindset. This is why I don’t focus on denying myself sweet snacks throughout the week. If you’re not willing to make adjustments and make better decisions, losing weight and being healthier is going to be more difficult. When it comes to snacking, use good judgement regarding your needs.