I wrote an item on smart snacking back when we first started this blog. At that point I was on a weight maintenance diet, endeavoring to keep my weight from going above 165 lbs. The point of the item was that snacking wasn’t bad per se. You can do it and still maintain your weight and eat intelligently. The snacking was kind of like disposable income that you may spend on fun stuff only in the form of calories instead of dollars.
In the three months that have passed, because of my increased biking, I have found myself burning more calories than I was consuming. I ride a different distance every day, but probably average enough to burn up close to 600 to 900 calories per day. As a result, 10 lbs have melted away since early March.
I don’t want to drop any more weight, so I have increased the portion sizes in my meals to raise my regular daily consumption.
I mentioned in the ‘retraining my eating habits‘ item that I was now enjoying apple pie and more chocolate, etc. But to fill up the additional calories I need with snacks like apple pie would be foolhardy in the extreme.
I consider what I do now to be targeted snacking. That differs from regular snacking in that I have a goal of adding calories to my diet. These include healthy, but higher calorie snacks like pepitas. Using the disposable income metaphor, this would be more like investing the income rather than spending it.
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend snacking on 300 calories of pepitas nightly as that would come to 2100 calories a week, nearly an entire pound (3500 calories). But, as I am burning up that and more, it provides a good avenue of replenishment. I enjoy snacking on them and the larger portions allow me to enjoy them more. Check out the write up on pepitas to see how loaded with food value they are. They are truly the opposite of ’empty calories.’
Another target snack of mine is truly a guilty pleasure. I love peanut butter. But it is loaded with calories. When I am on weight maintenance, I need to limit my peanut butter consumption, but since I am trying to add good calories, I can indulge.
I eat at least one and usually two tablespoons of super chunk peanut butter most days. I take it by the tablespoonful straight from the jar and just let it melt in my mouth. This is as delicious as foie gras to me.
For the record, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter amount to 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 140 mg of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein.
This is a reprint of an item from last June.