5 Strategies to Help Satisfy Your Hunger and Help You Lose Weight

For many individuals on a mission to lose weight, hunger pangs can quickly get in the way of shedding those unwanted pounds. As you cut back on calories, your body starts trying out for food. This can wreak havoc on any weight loss plan. Hunger is a big part of why we eat. In early times, hunger was an important survival method. In today’s world, hunger can easily mean forgetting about one’s goals to eat healthy and succumbing to the fast food and junk food industry that is all around us. While it may not always be possible to control the unhealthy foods that surround you, you can work on appetite-control strategies to help you lose weight.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water and Stay Clear of Liquid Calories! Did you know that thirst could be mistaken as hunger? Next time you think you are hungry, try drinking a big glass of water first. You may not even be hungry at all; mild dehydration can cause a sensation that is very similar to feeling hungry. When you do pour yourself a drink, avoid liquid calories. Juices and sodas may taste great, but they don’t fill you up. Additionally, their rapid digestion can lead to spikes in your insulin levels. If you need to add flavor to your water, flavor it with cucumbers, lemons or strawberries. Using real fruit for flavoring can help to jazz-up regular water without adding unwanted calories.
  2. Eat slowly. Eating is not a race; you will not win a prize if you finish your dinner first. When you swallow your food, there is a delay before you actually begin to feel full. This delay usually is about 10-30 minutes. The delay in satiation is one of the biggest reasons why we overeat. To help slow your eating habits down, chew each bite of food 10 times before moving on to the next bite. By eating slowly, you are allowing your mind to catch up to how your stomach is feeling. As an added bonus, you will actually be taking the time to savor your meal.
  3. Make time for food; even when you don’t think you are hungry. To help yourself feel full and avoid overeating, eat even when you are not hungry. When you overeat, you tend to feel full. However, your insulin levels spike and you begin to feel tired. Before you know it, you are hungry again. It’s a vicious cycle. To avoid hunger all together, eat when you are not hungry or just a little hungry. This way you’ll consume less and likely take the time to enjoy your meal (meaning, you’ll eat it more slowly). As an added bonus, you’ll have plenty of extra energy!natural quest bars - nashua nutrition
  4. Leave yourself a healthy snack by the door! The front door technique is a great way to say no to junk food. Unhealthy foods are much easier to enjoy outside of the home. To help avoid the temptation, fill-up on healthy and filling snacks before you head out the door. Try a healthy snack, such as kale chips or almonds. Leave a healthy snack near the door and enjoy it on the way out. Once you arrive at your next destination, you will be feeling full and much more likely to avoid temptation. For a healthy snack on-the-go, give Natural Quest Bars a try.
  5. Enjoy a small, yet flavorless snack between your meals. This may sound boring and possibly even hard to enjoy, but having a small snack between meals can really help to prevent you from overeating. Try a handful of unsalted nuts in between meals. It may not be the most thrilling snack, but it can help you to lose weight. Why? Having a small, flavorless snack between meals regulates your hunger hormone (ghrelin) by weakening the flavor-calorie association. Keep in mind your snack must be bland and you should only consume water [nothing else] for one hour before and one hour after your snack.

Weight loss can be a battle and sometimes feeling full is half the battle.

National Nutrition Month: Plan to Better Health

National Nutrition MonthLet’s be honest, shall we? We all know we could eat better, if we had the time and the motivation. But time is lacking, and it’s hard to get motivated when you’ve made big changes before and experienced less than stellar results. If you’re tired of the vicious yo-yo cycle, you need something more realistic: small, attainable goals that build on each other to produce big results.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’ve rounded up our easiest, most effective tips to cut calories, manage cravings, and improve nutritional quality. Because after all, weight loss isn’t just about losing weight – it’s also about improving the nutritional quality of our diets. Try adding one challenge a week. By the end of two months, you’ll have reduced hundreds of calories from your diet and be on the way to a healthier, slimmer you. It won’t be fast weight loss, but stick with it! Yo-yo be gone!

  • Look at your beverages! Don’t just assume a beverage is healthy because it’s not a soda. Teas, vitamin water beverages, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, and coffee drinks can have hundreds of calories. Committing to only drinking water or other zero-calorie beverages could help your weight loss process.
  • Read food labels. It will increase your awareness of portion size and calorie content.
  • Consider your energy needs.The average, moderately active adult needs 10-12 calories per 1lb of goal weight. There are many resources available, like calorieking.com, for that provide nutritional information. Calories matter!
  • Measure, measure, measure! Stop eyeballing and start measuring your food and ingredients. Commit to measuring portion sizes for one week, minimum. A few extra calories can make a big difference over the course of weeks and months.
  • Learn to manage hunger by increasing your vegetable consumption. Non-starchy vegetables are so low in calories that you can eat a lot of them (aiding satiety) without adding a tons of unnecessary calories to your daily intake. Eat up!
  • Pay attention to added sugar. Did you know that nearly 80% of foods in the supermarket have added sugar? Adults should consume no more than 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar every day. And yet, the average American consumes 41 teaspoons! Yikes! Sugar can hide in products that don’t taste sweet. Things like salad dressing and marinara sauce are common culprits.
  • Ask yourself if you really need a snack. Often, boredom or other emotions can cause us to eat when we aren’t even hungry. Find a distraction instead. The best distraction removes you from “temptation areas” like the kitchen or house. Go on a walk or run an errand.
  •  Know how to indulge moderately. It’s ok to include your favorite treats as part of your daily diet, just make sure that you follow the suggested serving size. Moderate indulgence means knowing how much to have (remember your daily calorie limits from #3), and enjoying it as a part of a healthy diet.

 

 

Healthy Pecan Pie Bars Recipe for the Holidays

source: popsugar.com

Which flavors remind you of Fall? Pumpkin? Egg nog? How about pecans? Nothing is more reminiscent of what season you are in quite like a pecan pie. The trouble comes in the form of the calories that a traditional pecan pie can provide. When you want to have your pie and eat it too, try this delicious, easy-to-make, calorie-friendly treat. Best of all, it is allowed on many popular diets such as the Paleo diet. Even if you aren’t on a diet, you can enjoy a guilt-free treat this holiday season.

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 1 ¾ cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • 1 egg (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (preferably organic)

For the filling:

  • 10 pitted dates (preferably organic)
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place parchment paper in a 10 x 15-inch glass oven safe dish.
  • In a food processor, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, and sea salt. Pulse it through for a few seconds before adding in the egg and coconut oil. Turn it back on until it begins to form a dough ball.
  • Press the dough evenly in the dish.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a clean food processor, blend the dates, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract on high until you have a smooth filling.
  • Remove the crust from the oven.
  • Pour the filling mixture over the crust.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top filling.
  • Bake the bars for another 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Allow the bars to cool for 15 minutes then cut them into even squares.

 

MAKE IT INTERESTING
Want to include a little vanilla flavor to your pecan pie bars while increasing your protein intake at the same time? Try adding in one or two tablespoons of BSN – IsoBurn into the batter, available from Nashua Nutrition. This popular protein powder contains an innovative fat burning formula that is ideal for any diet. Isoburn is a protein supplement that will turn these pie bars into the perfect post-workout snack.

Nashua Nutrition’s Planksgiving Challenge

Ladies and gentleman, we have a new challenge for you! Remember the June Slim-Down Challenge? This is similiar, but is a bit shorter and easier to follow. We are doing a 2 week Planksgiving Challenge! As a countdown for Thanksgiving we have a plank challenge that will engage your abs and help keep your core tight. How does it work? Everyday you have to do a plank for that days suggested time.

After this 2 week challenge you won’t feel as guilty for over-eating at Thanksgiving dinner. Tomorrow is the first day! So print it out and let’s get planking!

nashua nutrition planksgiving infographic

 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to plank:

  1. Start off on a yoga mat or on flat surface. Start in push-up position.
  2. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.
  3. Engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button towards your spine.

    source: marksdailyapple.com
  4. Straighten your body but make sure to keep your neck and spine neutral.
  5. Hold the Plank for the Suggested time.

If you want to get creative, try some side planks:

5 Healthy Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again! Fall is upon us and with it comes pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing, family, and celebration. While the holidays are a time for joy, many people get caught up in the excitement and forget about the weight loss goals that were set in January. By following the following tips and tricks, you can ensure that you beat the bulge without becoming a holiday grump.

healthy thanksgiving
source: everydayhealth.com

SMALL PORTIONS
Don’t overload yourself with too much on your plate in one sitting. You’ll cause more harm than good as your blood sugar will spike then you’ll crash. Try eating small portions every 3 to 4 hours throughout the festivities.

GREENS FIRST
Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you should forget about your vegetables. Most holiday parties will have a party tray complete with vegetables and fruit. Every time you grab meat or poultry, we recommend you load up on your veggies. They are filled with much needed fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

LEAN TOWARDS LEAN
If you’re the host or you are able to make suggestions, try to go for leaner meats and poultry. If you’re making turkey, try to stick to white meat as it contains less fat. If you’re cooking ham, we recommend a quality brand that isn’t packed with artificial ingredients or fillers.

SUPPLEMENT TO FILL IN THE GAPScelebrate multivitamin ADEK
Let’s be honest, you might not always eat as healthy as you should, especially when the family is around. If you foresee a day of indulgence in your future, be sure to supplement to fill in those nutritional gaps. A great multi-vitamin supplement we recommend is the Celebrate Chewable Multi-ADEK, available from Nashua Nutrition.

DON’T FORGET YOUR WATER
Obviously, water should be something you are drinking regardless of the day. When holidays arrive, a lot of beverage options become available. If you are going to enjoy a coffee-based beverage, we recommend a skinny latte as it is lower in calories.

Alcohol might also be making quite the appearance. You’ll probably have beer, wine, and sugary cocktails to choose from. Out of those three options, you may want to try a craft beer. It doesn’t have as many calories and it contains the powerful free radical fighting, polyphenols. Clear liquor can be a better choice as long as you watch the mixers, which are loaded with empty calories. Opt for mixers like club soda or tonic water.

Also check out our Planksgiving Challenge.

How Does Sugar Affect My Body?

effects of sugar- nashua nutritionIt’s in our nature to be driven toward sweet tasting things. Honey, chocolate, and berries are all examples of primitive treats our ancestors would treasure when they came across them. That same love for sweets has followed us to the modern day where sugar has become the norm in almost every processed food item. This isn’t the same sugar found naturally in fruits or honey. Processed sugar is a product that can cause a number of symptoms within your body. It can make you more susceptible to illness and disease. Let’s take a look at a few more consequences of too much sugar.

Processed sugar contains nutritional value. What you are ingesting is essentially empty calories. These nutrient void calories can quickly add up, leading to a caloric surplus in your diet. From here, a number of things start to happen:

  • Skin Health: When sugar is broken down, it causes inflammation in the body. This inflammation produces enzymes that destroy collagen and elastin. As a result, fine lines and wrinkles will begin to form.
  • Energy Crash: Sugar is an empty calorie simple carbohydrate that will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. This may leave you with a feeling of energy but it is only temporary. That famous “crash” attributed with many sugar-based products can leave you feeling more fatigued than before.
  • Weight gain: When your body isn’t burning calories for fuel, it’s storing for later. As you ingest these empty calories, your body is placing them directly into fat storage.
  • At Risk: The presence of processed sugar, along with the weight gain, can quickly lead to metabolic syndrome and diseases such as diabetes.
  • Really At Risk: Processed sugar is notorious for spiking insulin levels to the point where you may become insulin resistant. Extreme levels of insulin caused by sugar ingestion throughout the day play a direct role in the development of cancer cells.

If you’d like to cut back on your sugar intake, try limiting soda, limiting fast-food intake, and exercising more. These are a few great examples of how you can avoid the dangers of sugar and improve your health. If you are looking for healthy snacks that are high in protein to replace those sugar-loaded treats, Nashua Nutrition has got you covered. Try our Ostrim Meat Jerkee, made with beef and ostrich. Only one gram of sugar! If protein bars are more your thing, check out our Control Bar, complete with 12 grams of protein and only one gram of sugar!

Snack Smart: Top 10 Healthy and Portable High-Protein Snacks

Got the munchies but want to avoid weight gain? Read up on our top 10 healthy high-protein portable snacks.

1. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate Milk is high in protein, but has lower calories than an actual candy bar. We recommend Nashua Nutrition’s HealthSmart Chocolate Drink.

2. Protein Bars
Many protein bars are high in protein but also high in sugar.  We recommend protein bars that are low in sugar like Control Bars – peanut.

3. Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are healthy and portable snacks.  Here is a blender-ready recipe to get you started:

Berry Breakfast

nashua nutrition berry shake recipe
www.tastyplanner.com

4 scoops Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Protein (Vanilla Ice Cream flavor)
1 c. frozen strawberries or 1 cup peaches or 1 cup raspberries
1 c. frozen blueberries
2 tbsp. flax seed oil
1/2 tsp. green stevia powder
14 oz. water
2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice

4. Ostrim Jerky
Many jerky products on the market are dry in consistency and high in fat.  There are some jerky products that are high in moisture and low in fat like Ostrim high-protein meat sticks.

5. Grape and Cheese Kabobs
Grapes are high in potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants, while cheese is high in calcium and protein. Combine both of these foods into one healthy snack by placing grapes and cheese chunks onto toothpicks or shish kabob skewers.

6. Edamame
This superfood has 17 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. For fresh edamame: steam for approx. 6 minutes. For frozen edamame: defrost in microwave for approx. 2 minutes.

7. Trail Mix

ostrim trail mix

Nuts are a great source of fiber and protein, so try trail mix for a great healthy snack. Try to avoid trail mixes that have chocolate pieces in them, they tend to be higher in fat!

 

8. Apple-Butter Sticks

Apples are fiber and antioxidant rich;  nut butters are high in protein.  Combine both of these into a snack by cutting apples into sticks, spreading the sticks with nut butter (peanut, almond, or cashew butter), then covering the sticks with raisins.

9. Soy Nuts
A portable snack that is rich in Omega-3’s, fiber, and protein!

10. Pretzel Chips and Hummus
The fiber, protein, and iron of hummus paired with the satisfying, salty crunch of pretzel chips.

Top Health Habits to Cultivate

Whether your goals are to lose weight or to maintain your current figure, adopting some healthy habits can help you succeed. Here are a few suggestions to help prevent weight gain:

Eat Breakfast                                     
Make sure to eat a balanced breakfast every day.  Eating a healthy breakfast will help you start the day feeling satisfied, kick start your metabolism, and will help minimize food cravings throughout the day. 

Drink Water
waterResearchers state that drinking water increases the rate of your metabolism. Most experts recommend drinking about eight 8oz. glasses of water a day.

 

Eat Smaller and More Frequent Meals
Instead of following the typical American habit of eating 2-3 large meals a day, experts recommend eating smaller portions every 3-4 hours.  This will keep your metabolism “engine” running on high speed.

Basic Weight Training
Incorporating basic weight lifting into your exercise can have a large impact. It can be as simple as using hand weights or using your gym’s weight machines. Weight lifting increases muscle mass, which in turn raises your daily metabolic rate.

Eat Spicy Foods
Try adding spicy foods to your diet. Some say spicy foods have chemicals that can increase metabolic rate.

Prioritize Protein
nashua nutrition control snacks drizzlesMake sure to incorporate lean protein into your diet each day —  protein burns more calories than high-fat or high-carb foods.  Control Snacks has a variety of protein-rich drinks and foods sold on our online store.

For other high-protein foods, check out our blog post Snack Smart: Top 10 Healthy and Portable High-Protein Snacks.

Record What You Eat
Write down exactly what you eat during each day. Buy a small notepad to use as a food diary.  If you have a smartphone, try using calorie counting apps like MyFitnessPal.  Knowing your daily calorie intake will help you know when you might need to adjust your diet.

yoga

Keep Moving
Another way to keep the weight off is to stay as physically active as possible.  Take regular breaks from your job during the day.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Try to exercise 30-40 minutes, a few times each week. We recommend doing activities you enjoy, since that will encourage consistency. Try activities like running, swimming, dancing, karate, Zumba, hiking, or rollerblading.  The opportunities are endless!