After Dinner Snacking

Many of you know I’m deeply opposed to snacking at all. The research is all over my latest book.

BUT, hands down, the worst snacking damage occurs after dinner and here is why:

After dinner snacking disrupts the natural production of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH helps:

  1. Build muscles
  2. Keep our bodies leaner by boosting metabolism
  3. Enhances energy levels
  4. Increases libido and
  5. Boost brain power, to name a few.

Why?

I recommend NO snacking to our weight loss clients as all food ultimately becomes glucose, or sugar in our blood.

That sugar needs to then be STORED (remember that word) in either the liver, muscles or cells, to name a few.

The hormone, insulin, is what is called upon to enable this STORAGE to occur. Anytime you eat, either a meal or snack, that hormone comes into play.

What do you want to have happen when you diet, or create a caloric deficit? You want to open up the fat cells and burn the fat for fuel. But, if you have the STORAGE hormone, insulin, in your blood stream, you are sending mixed messages to your body. Your desire to lose weight is thwarted by your behavior, snacking, which produces this hormone. I call it the Snack Smack, as snacking smacks your desire and ability to lose weight.

PLUS, with regard to HGH, the presence of insulin in the bloodstream zaps the body’s ability to pump out HGH about an hour and a half after you fall asleep. Therefore, no snacking for at least 2-3 hours before going to bed or you lose all the needed benefits of this hormone, especially as we age.

Happy Holidays!

–Jim

The Whole Foods Horror

About an hour ago, I did exactly what I tell all of you NOT to do. Here is the good, the bad and the really ugly.
  1. Drinking a big shake at 6:00 AM. Good.
  2. Working out from 1:00 – 2:00. Back and shoulder. Felt great. Good.
  3.  Didn’t drink another shake and instead, ran to Whole Foods as I have nothing in my home (looks a bit like The Grinches refrigerator) and was S T A R V I N G. Bad.
  4.  I usually plan 6 hours between meals and, with the exception of a post-workout meal (usually a shake), NEVER snack. Check out the section in “The Ultimate Diet REVolution” if you need a refresher. Good.
  5. As my blood sugar plummeted, I found myself in front of the prepared sandwich section and looked at a Tuna, Cranberry Wrap. Threw it in my cart and headed to the check out line with my other groceries. Bad.
  6. Since the line was a little long, I was looking at my purchases, organic grapes and apples, asparagus, cauliflower, wild salmon and yes, wine (It’s 30% off, come on….) and saw that the label on the wrap had more info on the bottom. Good.
  7. To my Whole Foods HORROR, guess what the calorie count was – 760. YIKES. Ran back and looked at the chicken burrito and this was a small burrito. 800 calories. Ugly.
  8. This is why Michael Bloomberg gave a love letter to New Yorkers when he mandated that all calorie counts need to be on every chain restaurant, coffee house, etc. Good.
  9. The research on what transpired was interesting. New Yorkers DIDN’T immediately stop eating 480 slivers of lemon pound cake. Instead, with repetition and education, they finally made lower calorie choices. Good.
The lesson to be learned:
  1. DON’T assume everything in a health food store is low calorie as it’s clearly not.
  2. Educate, educate, educate and read, read, read. Go online and download the menus that have the calorie counts. You will see some themes such as VERY high calorie counts for Caesar Salad and others with all the dressing, croutons, cheese, etc.
  3. Don’t eat mystery food.
  4. Don’t go more than six hours in between meals and once again, NO snacking with the exception of post-strength training recovery meal (not a snack).
  5. Beware of sleep deprivation as it creates a hormonal environment where weight loss is all but impossible.
Good luck!