arts & sciences

Weight loss tips: Eating snacks when on a diet?

According to experts, snacks with a combination of carbs, healthy fats and protein make weight loss easier than snacks that contain only carbs. Another expert says that the main hurdle to losing weight is sedentary lifestyle and not eating carbs.

When a dieter eats bread, dry cereal, crackers or rice cakes alone, the body converts the carbs to simple sugars, which are then sent directly into the blood stream. The body responds to the sugar rush by producing extra insulin.

While this helps the body to immediately absorb the sugar, it results to low blood sugar and hunger pangs. To satisfy the need for instant energy, the dieter is likely to eat sugary foods with no nutritional value, weight-loss specialist Charlie Seltzer, M.D., told Cosmopolitan.

Registered dietitian Rachel Harvest told the publication that snacks that contain not only carbs but also healthy fats and protein are good for dieters because they take longer to digest. She recommended whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese and a slice of bread with nut butter.

On the other hand, physiologist Inigo San Millan, the Sports Performance Program’s research director at the University of Colorado, pointed out that what makes weight loss difficult is not a diet filled with carbs but physical inactivity.

“The food isn’t the problem,” San Millan told Boulder Daily Camera. “It’s the lack of physical activity.”

Nowadays, 60 minutes of activity is a major goal but it used to be a normal thing, San Millan noted. He added that the society has become more and more sedentary in the last two decades or so.

As the physiologist explained, becoming sedentary and physically inactive makes the mitochondria atrophied or dysfunctional. As the mitochondria start losing the ability to burn glucose and fat, the body becomes metabolically inflexible, he said.

But high-intensity exercises are not recommended either because they are not sustainable, San Millan explained. Instead, he suggested low-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking for one hour a day, four to five days a week.

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