Saturday, 29 November 2008

Oh, nuts

Whilst taking a break from trying to lose weight, I've been taking notice of weak spots in my overeating defences. I'm eating pretty well as I'll eat once I've reached the weight I should be and have not reverted to the chocolate biscuit habit. I've already mentioned the cheese thing more than once, which is something I'll have to watch, but there is another.


When it was fresh cobnut season and then wet walnut season, there was an excuse. They're around for such a short time. But now there are the new season chestnuts and walnuts, and Al has just got in a new bag of peanuts. I made the mistake of bringing home a mixed bag the other night. The Sage and Ro ate a few, but I ate more. I wouldn't have been tempted to eat anything after dinner if they weren't there, but as it was I chomped steadily through. It didn't add up to much, but it was unnecessary.

A friend proudly told me he kept a bag of nuts and raisins or some dried apricots in his car, so that he wouldn't eat sweets. Yes, better than sweets, but it's only a 40 minute drive home, why does he need anything at all? Better to wait and eat some raw carrots and celery while you're cooking dinner. I didn't say this to him. If he had been eating toffees, then of course the nuts are better. But WE DON'T NEED SNACKS.

When I was growing up, we didn't have snacks very often. Some people did - there was a girl called Sandra who seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of sweets, which she was very generous at sharing. I didn't get many sweets and longed for them (though rarely accepted hers, because I couldn't reciprocate). Even rarer was a packet of crisps. I remember once having a bad dose of flu and my mother making up a trayful of tempting little eats - a few grapes, some crisps, some tiny cheese biscuits, a few Midget Gem biscuits - and I stared at them longingly, unable to eat a mouthful. Once I was on the mend, it didn't occur to her to offer them again and I have regretted missing those treats ever since.

I'm best eating proper meals and in my thin days (8 stone-ish) it was good for me to have a small in-between snack to keep myself going, as I didn't eat much at a meal. For example, dry toast for breakfast, an apple mid-morning, a salad sandwich and a yoghurt for lunch, a couple of biscuits mid-afternoon, some crudités early evening before dinner. But they were balanced in with what I ate. These nuts the other night were extras. There was nothing wrong with them in themselves, although I ate rather too many, and they were delicious. But, being a healthy, if high fat, snack, it's easy to think they're all right. They are not. I mustn't do it again too often.


badgerdaddy said...

Oh, I disagree - we do need to snack, especially if getting regular exercise. When I was at my fittest a couple of years ago and a svelte (for me) 14 stone 10, I ate every three hours. Just a little, a banana or some oatcakes or whatever, but without that I found my blood sugar, and therefore my moods, seemed a bit cock-eyed. I had more energy as a result, was happier, and ate a sensible amount at meals. But snacking on nuts, sweets or whatever is not generally a great idea.

Oooh, nuts for post-run are great though. A small handful. But as I can never stick to that, I don't tend to buy them any more.

I'm burbling.

Z said...

It's extras that I don't think we need. If I start eating nuts after dinner, never mind that I've eaten a perfectly good dinner, I'll crack and eat half a dozen (or very likely more) just because they're there.

If you're overweight and you have a crisp or chocolate digestive habit, you know you won't lose weight until you stop eating them. But if you're constantly chomping on dried fruit and nuts, it doesn't feel like overindulging because they're supposed to be healthy. It's fine if you are eating less at meals to allow for them, but if you eat as much as ever at the meals, you're still not going to lose weight and it makes it harder to keep a tab on your food intake.

If you're at your right weight and eat fairly sparingly, I agree entirely that you might need to eat something in between main meals. It's the grazing without a limit that needs to be watched, I think.