The Importance of Snacking

My sisters did not believe me when I said I still eat crisps and biscuits when I was losing weight. I think if I don’t have a room for a snack or two, I am planning my meal wrong. Personally, I think snacking is just as important as the main meal itself.

When you are changing your eating behaviour, especially when you are trying to lose weight, you will be hungry. Of course you will, because you are practically eating less calories than what your body is spending. And it is no secret that hungry people can’t think for themselves…

You are not yourself when you’re hungry… remember that?

chips cirspy crisp crispy
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It is true though. Your primal instinct is to satisfy that primal urge, by stuffing yourself with food. And that’s when you go over eating.

Some people would rather stay hungry so that they can eat bigger meal on meal time. I prefer having snacks in between. Popcorn is my favourite low calorie- high volume- fibre packed munch. It piles, and it satisfies me mentally because of the look of it. My other favourite, which I admit quite unpopular is celery sticks with low fat hummus.

By snacking in between meal, you are taking the edge off. It is going to help you to stop going for a full blown hungry mode, and hangry eating. 

In fact, snacking has been my lifeline since I’ve been back to work. I will give you a picture of how difficult it is to work in the kitchen and calorie counting at the same time. First of all, the work is very physical so you are going to spend a lot of energy there. That’s why you’re hungry. Nothing good came from hunger…

The next challenge is from your environment. Imagine you’re working hard and hungry, AND you are surrounded by food. Some of the guys are working in the open kitchen… well yea you cannot keep nibbling the trimmings while working, but pastry case trimmings had been my downfall in the past! You have all access to food, and your will power is the only thing that stands between those food and your mouth. And will power is weak when you are hungry… let me just put it out there. 

chef kitchen cooking baby
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How about the time you need to taste the food? A couple of times a day? You have the taste of goodness in your tongue, unleashing your appetite but… nope. You have to stop right there because after the eighth cube of butter, nobody’s going to bother counting calories on that beurre blanc anymore. 

Now, the situation will be different if I have a planned snacking. Have a couple of cereal bars on your pocket, for example. Have a quick much in between to stop you from feeling hungry, and you give enough push for your will power to block these temptations. 

I know it works differently for everyone. Some people would rather cut off snacking completely because they feel like it is a slippery slope to overeating, and that’s a very legit worry as well. Others just can’t be bothered to log every so often, so just stick with 3 – 4 times meal a day and that’s it so your calories will definitely be accounted for, and that’s also a legit reason. 

How about you? What do you think about having snacks between meal? What’s your go to snack? 


Weigh In Wednesday (week 2)

Ugh… I woke up feeling incredibly bloated, and I am not feeling very well. I checked my Clue, and it is definitely not a very good time to do a weigh in. However, for the sake of consistency, let’s just pretend that menstrual cycle have nothing to do with it.

So… This week has been quite testing because it was my first week doing this while working. Granted it is a part time job, but I am not sure how it’s affecting my CICO.

To be honest I am quite anxious to see how much of a difference it is compared to last week. I was planning on walking to work, which I did a couple of times last week (while my husband can pick me up from work because we are finishing at the same time). But the weather has been nasty this week, so I will skip it until the weather is nicer. For a lot of people this kind of weather is… nice? I cannot see what’s nice of being slowly roasted under the scorching sun. 

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But I really hate the sun light on my skin after 10am. Like the typical East Asian women who covered up during the summer, we are more concerned about the UV effect on our skin than our need for vitamin D. Vitamin D tablets are cheaper than skin cancer treatment yo. Anyway, not going to make a lot of comments about people’s life choices, so I shall steer this back to the weigh in. 

When I started this, I hadn’t accepted the job, so I set my TDEE calculator with sedentary lifestyle. I haven’t changed it since, but I started to think that I might need a bit more calories now that I am working in the professional kitchen again. I started to feel slightly hungrier especially after work. Yes, of course I can still tackle it with snacking, or a nice lunch after work, but… it’s been known that eating too little could hinder weight loss because it set the body into starvation mode.

The point of this is that this program is not meant to be fast, aggressive, and punishingly hard. It is supposed to be sustainable, and should not affect you that much except for the minor inconvenience of logging each food you are consuming. So if my calorie goals is too low for my TDEE, I might end up starving myself… and that’s just silly. Maybe I should start adjusting it to lightly active instead?

image source: Pexels

If I am going to make walking to work (45 mins, mostly flat) as a routine, this might change the game a little. On top of that, my ‘beginner week’ is going to be over soon, so I will work harder. If you have ever worked in this industry, either in Front of House of the kitchen you know it is not just like cooking at home. You are constantly on your feet, moving around a lot, and lifting heavy stuff — extra bonus if your restaurant premises have stairs. Hmm…. let’s see.

Anyway, I shall stop babbling, and go on with this week result.

Last week: 61 kg

Weight loss this week/total: 0 kg/1 kg

Uhm… not a good start lol. Although somehow I kind of expected this, it is still a bit disappointing. Not blaming anyone, all I need is to step up my game 😀

The Importance of A Good Kitchen Scale

I’ve been unfairly accused that my affinity towards a good kitchen scale is influenced by my current profession as a chef. Although it is true that having an accurate kitchen scale is invaluable in the kitchen, it is also very important when you are trying to lose weight.

Kitchen scale offers you an accurate measurement when you want to properly count your calories intake. Why not using cups? Well… volume based measurement for dry ingredients is notorious for being inaccurate. It is fine if you are using it for wet ingredients like milk, honey, or oil… but for cereal? Not really.

image from pexels

Do you need to buy a kitchen scale now? Well… not necessarily if you have already got measuring cups.

At the beginning of your weight loss program, assuming you have plenty to lose, accuracy is not as important. Why?

Say you are at the beginning of your journey, your BMR is around 1600KCal, and TDEE is probably around 2000KCal. BMR is the minimum amount of calories you need to take for your body to function, and TDEE is the approximation of calories you can spend because of your daily activities. So… to lose weight you need to set your calories allowance between those numbers. 1700KCal is a good number (+100 above BMR)

If your measurement is inaccurate, you might end up eating 1900-1950KCal a day, but it is still fine, and you still lose weight although slowly.

image from pexels

But when you are closer to your weight goal. Your BMR now is 1250KCal, and your TDEE is 1500KCal. You set your daily allowance at 1350KCal (+100 above BMR), you are no longer having the same 300KCal wiggle room for the inaccuracy. In fact, it’s slashed to half, so inaccuracy will end up with either you not losing weight, or gaining some without you knowing why.

This is when a good kitchen scale matters. Good accurate digital kitchen scale to be exact.

Of course all those numbers I used are just an example, and not by any means reflecting the reality of it. In reality, you can always add exercise, which give you some more room for a glass of wine, or your city suddenly go on a lock down because of the killer virus going around which mean you have less room for that slice of pizza. Which in the end only support my argument about the importance of having a good kitchen scale in your house.

white analog kitchen scale
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I have two digital ones, and one analogue scale which was helpful when I started but completely useless for accuracy. I also have 3 measuring jugs, 2 sets of measuring spoons… but then again, I have an uncontrollable impulse filling up my kitchen with stuff. Which… is irrelevant to the subject.

So… If you are really close to your weight goal, and it seems like that last 3 kg just won’t budge… check your kitchen scale, it might be the culprit.