Cravings for snack foods can often sabotage the healthiest, most determined dieter. When that want-it-now feeling strikes, it's just hard to say no. But why do we feel the craving for snack foods? And how can we manage these cravings when they hit so that we don't end up ruining our eating plan?
Unfortunately, the desire for snack foods and munchies between meals is hard-wired into our system, because we were originally designed to graze. Our ancestors tended to eat food when the found it, rather than sit down to three square meals a day. So we still have that ingrained urge to eat snack foods here and there between meals. That in itself isn't necessarily bad news for your diet plan, but the trouble is, we're also programmed to particularly yearn for foods that are high in sugars and fats. This is because these foods provide a lot of energy, and in the old days when our ancestors didn't know where the next meal was coming from, it was good to be drawn to foods that were rich sources of energy. These foods are addictive to us because our ancestors were built to seek them out.
The good news is that now that we know that when we nibble between meals we're actually after an energy boost, we can use that urge, and channel it in a healthier way. Instead of viewing our attacks of the munchies as guilt-ridden lapses, think about them as mini-meals. Take the opportunity to eat a food rich in vitamins and minerals that you haven't had much of on that particular day. This not only gives you a positive boost in blood sugar, but your body will be better nourished, so your metabolism will speed up and your body will naturally lose excess weight.
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