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. 

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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? 

xx

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 😀

What Is CICO, Macro, and Micro Nutrition?

After understanding about BMR and TDEE, it is time to build your healthy eating plan. The effective healthy eating plan should not be punishing. It should not make you feel miserable. But the most important thing is that it has to show result. As you go deeper about meal planning, you start seeing these jargon around: CICO, Macro, and Micro.

What are they?

CICO

It is the abbreviation of Calories In, Calories Out. It is pretty self explanatory, basically you plan your meal for calories in, and activities for the calories out. But, how do you know how much calories should go in or out? This is where your knowledge about TDEE comes in handy.

Quick recap about TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure. It is basically the approximate amount of calories you spent a day based on your BMR+your daily activities. This is the basic premise: To lose weight, you need to consume less calories than TDEE, and consume more if you need to gain weight.

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What makes CICO interesting is that we can change that data. We can rise our energy expenditure by exercising, for example. That activities can either widen your calories deficit (which means you lose weight sooner), or give you extra calories to consume (if you are maintaining, or just want some ice cream).

MACRO

Macro nutrients are the nutrients our body needs in large amount (hence macro). You know them as Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat. Yes, guys… Fat is a macro nutrient, so please don’t be scared consuming them.

These nutrients make up our calories intake. There are 4 calories per gram carbohydrates and protein, and 9 calories per gram fat. That is why, when you are eating fatty food, your calories intake just… swooosh right up.

A lot of diets nowadays involves restricting one of these macros. And yes they work, they have science back them up so feel free to cautiously follow them. Personally, I don’t want to do it. Not only that I believe that every macro nutrients has its own functions, I also genuinely cannot give up crisps.

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MICRO

Micro nutrients are the thing that I always neglect, unfortunately. Just because our body only need a small amount of it, doesn’t mean we can ignore it. I did, and that’s my bad.

When you are trying to lose weight, and you restrict your calories, your macros has become your sole focus. Sometimes because of the restrictive calories consumption, you end up not getting enough vitamins and minerals. This is why people on a restrictive diet might look ill, or lose hair, or developing vitamin deficiency symptoms.

I am bad at this, I always top up mine with supplements.

Alrighty… I hope this helps. Please let me know if I miss anything 🙂

See you

xx