Healthy Snacks to Curb Hunger (and help you get you out of the hunger cycle)
Whenever I coach someone through an elimination diet, the first fear that usually comes up is hunger. I hear this phrase a lot "I am always hungry and need to snacks to get me through the day. What will I eat?"
This is a valid concern and I try to gently coach through food transitions so that the change is a long-lasting and sustainable one.
Why are you stuck in the hunger cycle?
“By supporting your blood sugar levels with healthy snacking alternatives you are on your way to actually...snacking less!”
The short answer is blood sugar fluctuations and insulin release "loops" which happen by the excessive or imbalanced ingestion of sugars and carbohydrates. See, your body is build to burn energy from either fats or sugars. Fats, stored in our cells, provide a long-lasting energy source for your body. Sugars in the other hand, are burned immediately, and whatever is not used is stored in your body in form of fat.
In the past, sugar and carbohydrates were much harder to come by, and human food sources did not come on a schedule - you ate when you could which meant you had to conserve your energy. Because simple sugars (for example, from honey or fruits) were so hard to find, our body's satiety-control is not so effective with sugars as it is with fibers, for example. "Feel-good" hormones are also released in the presence of sugar, in a way that keeps us psychologically hooked and always coming back for more.
The last piece of the sugar/carbohydrate-hunger loop is insulin resistance. Too much or too little sugar in your blood causes stress in your body, so it is always trying to regulate it. Once we eat a sugary or carb-heavy meal, our blood sugar spikes which signals our body to release insulin so that sugar can be stored in our cells. After the first insulin surge, blood sugar can fall dramatically and your body responds by needing more energy, so you reach for a sugary snack, let's say a few hours (or less) after your meal. Then, your blood sugar and insulin release cycle starts again. The problem is that, over time, your cells become less and less sensitive to the effects of insulin, which means your body needs to release more in order to get the same effect. This process is called insulin resistance and can lead to obesity, diabetes, inflammation and cancer.
The solution here is not eating less, counting calories, none of that! It is eating well-balanced meals with plenty of fibers, healthy fats, proteins - all of which will help you to feel full and avoid this blood sugar roller coaster. By supporting your blood sugar levels with healthy snacking alternatives you are on your way to actually...snacking less!
So, what can I eat?
This is the fun part! There are lots of options, and the main goal is to crowd out the sugary, refined goods with real food. As you incorporate healthy alternatives you will naturally decrease the amount of foods that keep you stuck in the hunger cycle.
See a few examples below!
Regardless of the brand, I always check the ingredients to see if there are no hidden sugars. In general, here are a few brands that I gravitate towards while shopping.
I am not associated with any brands or receive any compensation for endorsing them.
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