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About snacking

Sunday, November 04, 2018

I read through some of the articles posted on this thread and try to summarize the points that matter to me.

* Snacking promoties mindless eating.
* Not eating snacks means looking forward to your meal more and enjoying it more.

* Snacking makes it more likely to eat 'Frankenfoods' (unhealthy snack type foods). If I only eat during a meal I am more likely to opt for healthy foods. (JJ Virgin)
* JJ Virgin: it raises insuline levels. This makes the body store fat more easily.
* There is research that shows that people do not eat less at mealtime if they have a snack. So you end up eating more calories. (Protein snacks do better than other type snacks.) (JJ Virgin)
* You snack for the wrong reasons: such as to deal with emotions. (JJ Virgin).
* There is some evidence (says JJ Virgin, but it's been contradicted, I read elsewhere) that snack food at night is stored as fat more easily.
* And then JJ Virgin writes that there is also evidence that normal weight people DO eat snacks (they ate 5 times per day mostly, while overweight people tend to eat only 4 times per day). JJ states that those normal weight people chose protein type snacks and exercise twice as much as overweight people. (?????).


* Shannon Clark says: Snacking will make you have a raise in insulin each time you eat and that will cause a drop later on which makes it more likely for you to crave more food. This tears at your self-control.
* "If you're just eating three larger meals however and omitting the snacks from your day, you won't get nearly the same insulin release. This means more stabilized blood glucose levels and fewer lows that prompt you to eat more food.
The end result is that you actually have superior blood sugar control".
* Re: the hunger theory: snacking actually will increase hunger because of the lowered insulin levels (after they've been raised when eating the snack). Also, snacking tends to make you do 'clock-watching'; being very aware of the time to know if it's 'time to eat again'.
"Constantly eating throughout the day puts food always on your mind. For some people, this is a recipe for disaster as their hunger will get out of control and maintaining a proper calorie intake will be virtually impossible.
If you have just three or four larger meals in the day, you'll feel completely satisfied after each meal since you'll be able to serve yourself up larger portion sizes and once the meal is finished, you can forget about food for a while. Many people find that after switching over to a less frequent meal schedule, they feel great relief in that they don't have to constantly be worried about getting those small meals and snacks in and they can go about their day more easily. "

"(....) So if you eat a meal and two hours later burn off all the calories that the meal contained, but then still have another three hours to go until your next meal, for those remaining three hours, you're going to be tapping into your body fat stores as a fuel source.
This makes the process of fat loss move along that much more quickly, bringing you the results you desire.
Another interesting point to note is that most people find that once their body is starting to tap into stored fat as a fuel source, hunger does decrease as well. You may initially experience a surge in your hunger level as your body runs out of fuel from the last meal you ate and as it starts to turn to body fat for fuel instead, but once the conversion is made, it's smooth sailing from there."
"Many things are at work when you eat a meal that influence how much you eat. If you're very strict with yourself and your diet, you may serve yourself a portion that you're supposed to and once it's gone, that's it – you don't get any more.

But if you're like many people, you sit down to eat until you're comfortably full.

Now, put this into perspective if you're sitting down to eat six times versus three. With the three-meal-approach, you have three different times when you can overeat during the day. If you do happen to overeat by 100 calories at each meal, that's 300 more than you should have taken in.

If you overeat by 100 calories and sit down to eat six meals on the other hand, now you've overeaten by 600 calories. Do this daily for one week and you've just put on a pound of body fat (or reduced how much you should have lost by one pound). "

"t adds up quickly. The more opportunities you have to eat more food, the more risky your diet becomes. Most people will only eat so much at a single sitting so if you only sit down three times, your food intake may naturally decrease. "

"Finally, the last reason why you might want to consider going for just three meals a day instead of the more frequent six that so many dieters are using right now is because doing so will dramatically reduce the anxiety and stress that you experience.

If you're like most people, you lead a very busy life. As a result of this you likely don't have time to sit down and eat six times a day. But yet you try. In the process though, causing yourself great stress. "

"If you're starving between meals and feel light-headed or faint, by all means, have something to eat. But if you aren't hungry and don't desire a snack, don't snack just because you're 'supposed to'. Remove that stress entirely and you might just find you see far greater diet success. "


- "Everyone hates being hungry and snacking is an obvious solution to that problem. But, hunger is just a symptom. It’s a symptom of poor nutrition, a lack of satiety-triggering macronutrients (fat and protein), hormone dysregulation, chronic caloric deficit, or unmet emotional needs." We should not be trying to solve hunger but the CAUSE of hunger.The unmet need resulting in the symptom of hunger is not resolved with snacking.

- "Another issue with hunger — based on my experience with clients — is that many people misidentify hunger signals. This mostly happens when people have an unhealthy relationship with food and eat emotionally".
"As a general rule of thumb, feeling true physical hunger is healthy. This doesn’t mean you should live in a constant state of hunger as many “dieters” do — that’s not healthy. What’s healthy is having the ability to listen to your body and nourish legitimate hunger signals with a meal that adequately meets physical needs. And to repeat that process two or three times a day."

"One of the first habits of conscious eating is to only eat sitting down at a table, free of distractions. Mindfulness goes a long way toward emotional awareness, which directly contributes to an improved relationship with food and an increase in motivation for physical and mental healing."

"Most people use snacking to pre-emptively strike hunger. In this scenario, you never experience legitimate physical hunger — the hunger you experience is emotional. This further complicates your ability to listen to your body’s needs and meet them."

"Lastly, mindless snacking follows the food version of Parkinson’s Law: your appetite will expand to accommodate the portion available. This is less true if you snack on real food, but you’ll almost always overeat at snack time unless portions are consciously limited beforehand. Even then, portion control is a restriction mindset that can lead to further disordered eating."

" If you want to maintain accurate satiety and physical activity signaling and avoid being overweight (especially without having to count calories), leptin function must be maintained.

Leptin is a circadian hormone — it rises and falls according to a cycle. Snacking interrupts this circadian rhythm and places more stress on the liver as increased periods of eating call for more insulin production. Insulin also increases leptin levels, which contributes to leptin resistance."

"My typical prescription for meal timing, quantity, and so on is to help people identify true hunger and then feed that hunger legitimately at mealtime with a goal of being able to get from one meal to the next relatively comfortably.

One of the biggest objections I had with the eat, snack, eat model (when I tried it) was that it creates a mental prison with regard to food that you can’t escape from. You’re constantly thinking about — and searching for — food. It’s far less stressful to eat less frequently in larger quantity. And contrary to popular belief, eating smaller meals more frequently isn’t a magic metabolic prescription for fat loss."

"If you eat optimally at meal one, you should coast into meal two 5+ hours later with a steady increase in physical hunger that’s not uncomfortable. At this point, you should wait until your hunger is in the 7 to 9 range on a scale of 1 to 10 before eating, which verifies that you’re eating to nourish physical hunger and not emotional hunger.

After a while of eating this way, cravings diminish (especially if leptin sensitivity is restored and insulin is kept in check) and life is smooth sailing."


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EISSA7
    Lots of very interesting info...thanks!
    686 days ago
    here is the link for the thread with all the links: https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark
    686 days ago
  • SEAGLASS1215
    This makes sense to me - the eating 3 meals a day thing. I have found on days when I eat a really hearty breakfast, I am good until lunch, especially if I am not in a trigger situation where a snack is conveniently available (like at work). However, when I try to eat 6 times per day, smaller meals with mini-meal type snacks I am constantly thinking about food and never feel quite full enough. I also noted the part about eating snacks to prevent hunger - this is HUGE with me...I do this all the time! Heaven forbid I get caught off guard (stuck in traffic for example) without something to eat just in case...just in case of what? Well, I can't feel hunger, it's too uncomfortable...so I eat something to prevent it or stop it the minute I feel it starting...

    You've definitely given me some more "food for thought"....
    687 days ago
  • LOF7203
    687 days ago
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