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Are snacks sabotaging your workout efforts?

iStock_000027329053XSmallDoes this sound familiar – you eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner, drink plenty of water and workout 3-4 times each week, yet don’t seem to be able to reach your target weight?

Yes? So why is that?

If you’re doing everything right it could be those little snacks you have throughout the week. And if you’re anything like me you may not even take those into consideration, not because you think they don’t count, but perhaps they are easy to overlook as being just a 2 minute indulgence. I’m talking about that biscuit with your mid-morning cup of tea, a piece of cake in the office for someone’s birthday, some chocolate after dinner, a packet of crisps when you’ve been stuck working late.

You know it sounds familiar!

So how can you beat it and give your workout the opportunity to really ‘work’ for you?

Firstly let me point out just how easy it is for those snack calories to add up:

  • Chocolate digestive biscuit: 86 calories, 4.2 grams of fat
  • Packet of Walkers crisps: 181 calories, 11.2 grams of fat
  • Slice of carrot cake: 179 calories, 9.1 grams of fat
  • Portion of cheese:  124 calories, 10.3 grams of fat
  • Handful of mixed nuts: 243 calories, 21.6 grams of fat
  • Serving of salted popcorn: 317 calories, 9.4 grams of fat
  • 1 Banana: 143 calories, 0.5 grams of fat
  • Portion of sesame seeds: 171 calories, 15.8 grams of fat

Not to mention the odd glass of wine being around 120 calories! So now you can probably see how that recommended 1500 calories per day diet extends to 2000+.

To help kick this snack habit, below are some questions to ask yourself and rules to live by to help ensure you’re not sabotaging your own workout efforts:

  1. Set a goal and stick to it. If you want to lose a stone, or drop a dress size, write it down and stick it to the fridge.
  2. Count your calories. If you’ve got a specific goal in mind or if there’s a special occasion looming that you want to look your best for, write down every single thing you eat and drink then add up the calories each day. You’ll soon discover what’s adding to the lack of weight lose, and know what can be cut out to start achieving those results.
  3. Tell your family and friends your goals and get them to help you stick to them. Your husband or wife won’t allow you to raid the fridge just before bed anymore!
  4. Break the habit. Often eating at certain times or in certain places is just habit. Change that by changing your routine – have a cup of herbal tea before bed rather than a hot chocolate.
  5. Ask yourself if you really need it. Before opening the fridge or accepting that piece of cake on a Friday afternoon, ask yourself if you’d rather have those 5 minutes of indulgence, or feel your best at the wedding you’re attending in a month’s time.

It’s not necessary to have a snack every day or evening. You can break that habit and make it a treat instead – that way when you have it, you’ll truly appreciate it and have something to look forward to.

If you want to achieve those goals you set when starting out on your fitness regime, don’t ruin them by letting snacks get in the way.

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