Calories….. and those stupid 100 calorie snack packs
I admit it, I used to be ALL about watching my calories. If you read my "About me" on my homepage it gives you a little insight to this. I would always have the sugar free/fat free doesn't count because it is zero calorie sweetners, and/ or snacks. Those 100 calorie snack packs, when they first came out on the market I was ALL over them like a fat kid with cake. Little did I know those suckers were really wrecking havoc on my body and actually causing me to crave more, tricking my body into thinking it needed more of these flat chips like Chips Ahoys, and Oreos (to think I actually ate flat Oreo's :/ ) . I was in fact "addicted" and I guarantee many of you who swear by these because they help you reach your "points" with Weight Watchers or keep your calories low are too! As a result I was the epitome of "skinny fat" a skinny girl, who did too much cardio, had no muscle, but still had a relative bodyfat % while being pretty "skinny".
WHY these suckers are bad…. And Addictive:
Have you ever taken a look at the ingredient lists on these packaged little gems? Well I guarantee you cannot pronounce half of what is listed AND you will find Sucralose (Splenda) and other artificial sweeteners and fats listed.
Some common artificial ingredients:
- Acesulfume Potassium aka Sunnet
- Aspartame aka Equal and Nutrasweet
- Saccharin aka Sweet and Low
- Sucralose aka Splenda
- Olean (fake fat)
Those are just a few to name, but anything labeled fat free/ sugar free is bound to have some of these. Now why are they bad? Well here is what happens when you consume these bad boys…
Your insulin spikes which then leads to fat being stored in your body. The fat is then prevented from being released by cells. You then have an immune response from your gut to attack these toxins leading to inflammation and decreased blood sugar causing you to crave these cardboard tasting "snack packs" again, to which you will consume them and then start this cycle again…. And again. These things also lead to disruption in your metabolism and how you are able to lose and gain weight in the long run (bodys ability to break down or build up substances properly). This happens because your body uses carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other micro nutrients as fuel; it is what keep you going. When disrupting your body's response to certain foods with fake crap, it disrupts its ability to break down substances properly and can lead to fat gain versus weight loss even with cutting calories.
I am not saying I do not EVER eat things with artificial stuff in it. I promise I am not perfect, but I do try my best to stay away from most of them keeping my diet as nutrient rich as possible. My overall message I want to give is when trying to lose weight go for a LIFESTYLE change that involves eating more whole foods, reference my blog on grocery shopping and how to if you need help ;). Living is about doing everything in moderation. Pay attention to ingredients versus calories, have snacks rich in good nutrients, and a good combination of lean protein, complex carbs and fats. Snacks should not be just something to hold you over but think of them more as mini meals. And if you are doing weight watchers, not that I do not commend you for making an effort to lose weight, but screw the points, pay attention to what you are putting in your body! If you are going through 100 calorie packs and microwavable meals like they are going out of style you probably need to reevaluate ESPECIALLY if you are not losing weight. In the beginning these programs are great as cutting calories will make you lose, but mostly water weight and then you will hit a road block in a few months. To get real sustainable weight loss you have to eat the right stuff, make a habit of it and the weight will stay off!
Hope this helped! Sorry to all my 100 calorie snack pack lovers if I ruined your day… but not really ;)