There have been diets that suggested that you only are allowed to eat two, maybe three meals each day. These meals are spaced far apart with the premise that it would allow your body to completely burn off each meal before you ate another one. Not only does this not work effectively, but it also causes other problems as well. Spacing your meals out that far apart can leave you feeling like you are starving during the day. Not only does your stomach feel like it is starving, but your brain will become convinced that that is exactly what is going on.
The whole process of digestion does not start when you chomp on food or when that food hits your stomach to be broken down further. It starts in the brain. High protein snacks can play a vital role in your healthy diet and can keep you on the trail of weight loss as well as keeping you more active every single day.
This Is Your Brain on Good Food
Everything that you do affects your brain in some way. You fall in love and your brain is flooded by the happy hormones including serotonin and dopamine. Your brain also is flooded with these same feel good hormones when you eat certain types of foods and when you exercise. Your brain gets an endorphin rush during exercise that can be similar to using illicit drugs, the so-called "runner's high." These hormones allow you to run farther, harder, and beyond what your body should really be expected to do. It is that feeling of euphoria that we run for. It becomes that feeling that we eat for, especially for those who become addicted to certain types of foods.
The brain protects us from starving to death. At least it is supposed to, but there are glitches in this system. In a regularly working digestive system, the body runs like a well oiled machine. When the stomach realizes that there is no food to process, a hormone is released, sending the message of hunger to the brain. The brain will then send out corresponding hormones and messages to the body that will either motivate the person to eat or to delay food until it is time. The body may pull back on the feelings of hunger at this point at least for a little while, but the stomach, still empty, will send up the message once again, and the brain will kick in with the feelings of hunger in a stronger way. In those people who are dieting or avoiding food for any number of reasons, the body will send out the signal, stronger and stronger, several more times. Eventually, the brain will get the idea that there is a problem and that starvation is imminent. In coming to this conclusion, the brain will shut down the metabolism. You stop feeling hungry because the body is not working correctly from the inside.
Once you stop eating foods or the right amounts of foods, other issues will begin to surface as well. After the metabolism shuts down, the body and brain will both go on their version of autopilot, with the non-essential functions ceasing to operate. If you starve your body for long enough, even the essential functions will stop as well.
More Foods, More Often
High protein snacks are a healthy way to keep your metabolism going and to stay strong and healthy. If you are eating a meal when you first wake up, then not again until noon and then a final meal in the evening, you are going hours and hours without any food in your body at all. A high protein snack keeps your metabolism working all of the time because there is a constant source of food in your system. By going from a meal to a much smaller snack you engage in calorie confusion. Your body does not know what is coming or what it will have to deal with.
A high protein snack also has the advantage of keeping you from feeling hungry between meals because protein takes much longer to digest than other foods. A small protein based snack can be a great way to stay nourished throughout the day. There are a number of high protein snacks that you can use, some better than others and some that might actually be shocking to many people. For instance, one of the very best, high protein snacks, especially immediately after a work-out, is a glass of low fat chocolate milk.
It is important to keep in mind that the amount of protein that you need each day varies depending on your size, your gender, and your activity level. You also have to calculate the amount of protein and calories from each of your high protein snacks into this total daily count. You do not get extras just because they are considered to be healthy and necessary snacks.
High Protein Foods as a Night Time Snack
There are several diet plans that suggest that you stop eating between four and eight p.m. the problem however is that it leaves you without food in your system for as long as sixteen hours or more. If you are going to bed on an empty stomach on a regular basis, you may find yourself having restless sleep at the very least. Eating a relatively small, concentrated high protein snack before you turn in for the night keeps you from feeling like you are starving and may help you sleep better as well. A small bowl of cereal with low fat milk, or even string cheese and a small glass of milk can all be good choices. They're not too heavy and not too light: just enough to get you through to the morning.
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