Are these 3 little letters causing you big weight gain?
Lindsey, our nutritionist here at IdealShape, has been tracking the daily snacking habits of people who are struggling to lose weight. What she had to report to us was scary!
Over the course of a week, these little letters B, L, and T can cause weight loss hopefuls to accidentally eat up to 300 extra calories every day. That’s roughly 2,000 calories or a half-pound of weight gain every week, that you could be completely unaware of.
So what do B, L, and T stand for? Not that tasty sandwich with bacon, lettuce, and tomato, although it’s also not the best choice when you’re trying to slim down! For Lindsey, BLT stands for Bites, Licks, and Tastes: the little ones we take over the course of a day. They seem to disappear amongst our busy lives and our “real” meals and snacks:
Just a bite of leftover birthday cake from the fridge.
Just a lick of peanut butter off the knife when you’re making the kids sandwiches.
Just a taste of a donut from the box your coworkers brought in to share.
While they seem harmless in the moment, BLTs can cause your weight loss to plateau… and they can even make you gain more weight. These bites, licks, and tastes really add up!
It comes down to how we think about our food: a Cornell University study found that most people wouldn’t have a clue if they ate an extra 300 calories per day. Lab director Brian Wansink said in his best-selling book Mindless Eating that people underestimate their caloric intake by 20%.
What’s more, those who are overweight tend to underestimate caloric intake by 30-40%. Whoa! That means they think they’re eating 2,000 calories when they’re actually consuming 2,800 calories. That’s not an insignificant difference.
We hate to break it to you, but BLTs are the perfect way for those extra 300 calories to sneak in. Chances are that you would guess that you ate about 100 calories in bites, licks, and tastes, when you’re actually consuming at least 300. And that’s assuming that you’re counting calories at all!
But don’t deprive yourself of treats.
While preventing that sneaky 300-calorie-a-day BLT habit is crucial when it comes to getting the body you want, we’d never suggest eliminating little nibbles of what you love most from your diet. Instead, we recommend a snacking strategy that includes your favorite snacks and treats, plus an ingredient to block hunger and keep your belly satisfied in between planned healthy snacks.
Plus, telling yourself that you can never have chocolate or chips will get you down on your diet. Give yourself snacks and even occasional treats, and you’ll find that you feel more motivated and more likely to stick to your plan for weight loss.
Here’s our foolproof strategy.
Follow a five-meal-a-day plan. We’ve found that when people cut back to two or three meals a day with no snacks (usually to “decrease” calories), they become more likely to fill the gaps with mindless BLTs. Why? Because they’re hungrier! And when you’re starving, it’s hard to stop thinking about food and almost impossible to resist it when it’s right in front of you.
The idea behind a 5-meal-a-day plan is that you eat two snacks along with breakfast (don’t skip it!), lunch, and dinner. Your snacks can even taste like treats with a healthy alternative like our IdealBar! It comes in dessert-like flavors: Double Chocolate, Strawberry Yogurt, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Caramel Crunch, and S’Mores.
Adding two hearty, healthy snacks to your day will keep the BLTs at bay. And since your snacks are planned, you’ll be able to count them into your daily calorie intake and keep close track of how much you’re consuming.
Plan… for real. So many people trying to lose weight make a vague goal to “eat healthy,” but what does that actually mean for you? Ordering a salad with fried chicken on it instead of a fried chicken sandwich? Getting diet soda with your drive-through meal instead of the sugary kind? Or maybe you go too far and try to eat nothing but steamed vegetables and bland chicken breast! You’re bound to fail when you follow such vague rules, or such strict ones.
Don’t just “eat healthy,” eat specific meals that you’ve planned in advance, knowing the calorie content and how the meal will fit into the rest of your day nutrition-wise. Our IdealPlan makes it super easy.
Keep your belly happy to avoid temptation. Research shows that hunger increases high-calorie cravings. Eating roughly every 3 hours will keep you feeling much more satisfied, and that means your willpower will serve you better than when you feel super hungry.
Call in backup with a hunger-blocker that can keep you feeling great in between meals and snacks. Our IdealBar and IdealBoost, a delicious 5-calorie drink mix, contain Slendesta, a hunger-blocker that keeps cravings in check for hours. Now your healthy snacks don’t just fill you up: they actually suppress your hunger and make it easier for you to resist all of the tempting BLTs that surround you every day.
The Bottom Line
You won’t achieve your ideal shape if you can’t prevent mindless snacking. Learn to forego those bites, licks, and tastes and get real results with our IdealPlan.