Snacking and healthy snack options are topics that I get asked about a lot by clients and friends. Many still believe that snacking is bad and eliminating as much food as possible from your diet is the best way to lose weight.
Of course, you must burn more than you eat, but starving yourself, skipping meals and not snacking is not exactly doing your metabolism a favor. As long as the snacks you are eating are healthy and satiating, there is no reason to skip these smaller in-between meals.
I always encourage my clients to keep in close communication with me, especially if they feel like they have no one else they can talk to about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Initially it can be hard to make that lifestyle change to become healthier and fitter if you're not surrounded by people who share that vision and commitment. You need a constant support system.
I have clients who text me all the time about healthy meals they made or asking the best thing to order at a restaurant when dining out. It is all about finding the balance and control to maintain this new lifestyle as if it were as easy as the old one.
Two of my clients sent me a text message the other day voicing the same frustration: unhealthy snacks being provided by the workplace. One of them had just started a new job and was offered doughnuts and cookies -- all day. The other sent me a photo of a giant platter of cupcakes that gets brought in every week.
Some people hang on to the concept of "Live a little", "Just one won't hurt" and "I'll just start tomorrow." But I see the impact of this on people who struggle to reach and maintain a healthier lifestyle. It's revealed to me a very important idea -- the development of two well-trained muscles: self-control and productivity.
When I think about what I want to eat for a meal or a snack, my main goal is to choose what is going to give me the most nutrients, satisfy my hunger and give me lots of natural energy.
There is always so much to get done. I just hate the feeling of unhealthy food sitting in my stomach and making me feel lazy and lethargic -- especially when I have work to do. To me it seems like offices should provide healthy foods to its employees so they are focused, productive and have enough sustainable energy to avoid crashing and burning before the end of the day.
What is the point of cupcakes and cookies on hand throughout the day during a work week?
If you own your own business and bring food for your employees, try bringing in a healthier option like whole-wheat bread with peanut butter, fruit, almonds, multi-grain crackers and hummus instead of cookies, candy, cupcakes and doughnuts.
If you are not happy with what your employer is providing, start making a change for yourself. Most likely others will notice and hopefully follow. Perhaps even make a healthy snack option for your whole office one day just to show them how awesome it really is to have nourishing food on hand.
If you are spending five days a week in the office, you shouldn't be spending all five of those days indulging and snacking on unhealthy foods. This week, bring healthy snacks for yourself, and perhaps even for your co-workers.
Also, take time twice a day to do a kneeling hip flexor stretch, that way you do not get tight hips from being in the seated position at your desk. For a picture of this stretch, visit my blog at www.lundenmichelle.tumblr.com and work hard this week to create healthy habits in the work -- especially when it comes to snacks.
Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at email@example.com.