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The Truth About Snacking


Fruit Loops Snack size

“Snacking” is a term which many people love to hate. It’s normally used to describe the hunger binges that many people (including the strictest of dieters) indulge in, and is something that has been seriously misinterpreted over the years. Heavily influenced by the media and reinforced by pushy diet groups, snacking has quickly become a taboo in our society because of the “unhealthy stereotype” that it’s been tarred with. Because of this, hundreds of thousands of people are inadvertently ruining their metabolisms – and chances to lose weight – by not snacking.

Today, I’m going to lay down the truth about snacking so that you can finally free yourself from the mid-morning, mid-afternoon and night-time hunger pangs that haunt every single one of us.

You see, snacking isn’t this “monster” that needs to be avoided. It’s a gentle, caring creature which you can use to your advantage. Because your body digests complete meals every 3-4 hours, you start to feel hungry every 3-4 hours… This means that if you had your breakfast at 7:00AM, you’re going to start to get pretty hungry around 10:00-11:00AM. Likewise with lunch – if you have it at noon, you’re going to start getting hungry again at 3:00-4:00PM

Because of the way we’ve evolved, our bodies NEED food every 3-4 hours otherwise they start to break down stored fat – and that slows down your metabolism. Although this might seem like a good thing, believe me when I say that a slow metabolism is the LAST thing you want, especially if you’re trying to lose weight… It means that in the long run, MORE of your food will be stored as fat and it will be HARDER to burn that fat off.

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To combat this inescapable problem, we’ve got to resort to snacking. However, regardless of all the horror stories you’ve heard, to keep your figure and metabolism in check, you just need to keep your stomach “topped up” with simple, healthy snacks.

By eating small, healthy portions of food, you will give your body the fuel it needs to keep on ticking over until the next meal. Your metabolism will remain fast because it thinks you’ve got plenty of food to last a long time and you will be able to concentrate and enjoy your day more!

Some of the most popular diets in the world actually get you to eat smaller meals but 4-6 of them a day… just to boost your metabolism. You can mimic these diets by eating healthy snacks when you feel hungry.

But what food can you snack on without the guilt of over-indulgence?

Put simply, you’ve got to keep your snacks as filling but healthy as possible. Typical examples of great healthy snacks include all types of fruit (and anything with a lot of fiber in) and smoothies.

You can get away with almost anything as long as you keep your consumption of it to a bare minimum, just to keep your stomach ticking over.

Editor’s note: This is a guest article by Richard Peck, an Internet author and fitness fanatic. His latest project, 100 Calorie Snacks, is proving to be extremely popular as it shows people how to make delicious, healthy snacks which are all under 100 calories.

*Photo Courtesy of s2art

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About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (40)

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  1. MirandaNo Gravatar says:

    Great post! So many people think they need to completely starve themselves to lose weight and in the meantime they are destroying their metabolisms even more. I try to give people this advice all the time and it doesn’t really seem to sink in but thanks for spreading the word!

  2. I am definitely a snacker, I like to carry nuts with me alot of times, they are great to snack on. This is a topic where we are starting to see some extra controversy recently. I will always be a grazer.

  3. Andrew RNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel,

    I used to believe that multiple meals a day was the best way to boost your metabolism, but in my recent research I’ve come to believe that the mere act of eating more meals a day DOESN’T in fact boost your metabolism, rather it helps people control their caloric intake over the given day.

    In my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that Intermittent Fasting may be a healthier solution, both for the body and for time management. Please check out my post on this and let me know what you think.

    http://www.gohealthygofit.com/intermittent-fasting/

    Thanks for the post!

    All the Best,

    Andrew R

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve done a bit of research on the subject and think it has its pros, and cons. It depends on the person and their goals. I’ve done some IF and loved it. Someone else might not.

      • Andrew RNo Gravatar says:

        I will definitely agree with that… you’ve got to stick with whatever works for you. I’m just glad that there is another option out there!

        Thanks!

        All the Best,

        Andrew R

  4. DDSNo Gravatar says:

    Have you ever tried to eat every 3 hours? It is impossible! I tried it for a while, but if you work in an office, meetings and random distractions keep you from eating.

  5. Andrew ScottNo Gravatar says:

    I have developed a good habit now over the last 6 months to eat every two hours. But boy! it wasn’t an easy thing to do, especially when my life before was eating twice a day; at 11am and 6pm.

    Take care,

    Andrew

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Like I said before, it really depends on the person. I have seen positive results from eating frequently and from not. It all takes getting used to. I am glad you have found something that works for you.

  6. Cookie dietNo Gravatar says:

    My diet is based mainly on snacks. I wouldn’t change it for any else. It’s quite strange in the beginning but after few weeks I’m used to it

  7. dietpillsNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel,I also believe that multiple meals a day is good to boost the metabolism. Thanks for the post! All the Best,Joe

  8. Tom RooneyNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the post

    Hitting that hunger monster around 4:00pm every day is the abosolute worse for me. I’m finding that a few raw almonds around that time can stretch things to dinner and I have no problem from then on.

  9. AcaiNo Gravatar says:

    My doctor says I have high sugar level, not so high yet to call it Diabetes (that’s my personal thought though:) but he wrote prescription drugs for me to consume everyday. He did not give a list of ‘eat this, not that’ foods so I did not come back to him again. I took the drugs for 1 month, but after making me feel groggy and irritable all day I stopped. I searched for ‘health foods’ on the internet–that’s why I found this blog, thanks!–and made my personal list of ‘eat this’ foods. And now, after leaving my heartfelt appreciation for this page, I will be clicking the link to ’100 Calorie Snacks’. Many, many thanks!

  10. Strong OneNo Gravatar says:

    Great thoughts!
    The day I ‘embraced’ my snacking habits and transformed them to become more healthy.. was the day I started to see my results of losing weight!

  11. PaunchinessNo Gravatar says:

    we have a jar of peanut M&Ms at the office and I bet I eat the equivalent of two servings every day when I walk by it.

    I’m going to keep this post in mind to cut down on the extra calories and get some health snacks

  12. Good knowledge about body metabolism and food requirement. I have learned a lot but snaking should be viewed as time substitute of food when we work or busy with something else. Any how a balance should be strike in food and snaking.

  13. MalaNo Gravatar says:

    Great post, but I have to say, even though I KNOW there are healthy snacks out there, when I get a craving, I just cannot get rid of it! I’ve even been looking into self hypnosis, via the site http://www.discoverselfhypnosis.com, in order to get around my binge habits! Not that I have a lot of weight to lose, but those last few stubborn pounds just stay stuck to my hips. Arghhhh!

  14. Mel TNo Gravatar says:

    Totally agree Israel, I think snacking is so important, I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t eat between meals. My favourite is dried fruit, nuts, or seeds.

  15. SueNo Gravatar says:

    I think snacking is important and does take time to get used to it. Once you get it into your head that a snack will speed up your metabolism it makes more sense.

    I always keep apples in the house and because they are small ones I don’t feel guilty at all.

  16. Diet PlansNo Gravatar says:

    Snacking is my most favorite meal of the day. This is the time when I can be lenient about my choices. And I have more portions of it. I keep fit though even with a lot of snacking.

  17. DonutguyNo Gravatar says:

    My problem is that I get majorly hungry around 10-11 if I’ve been eating small meals / small snacks all day. I try to ignore it and eventually go to bed, but I just stay awake listening my gut demanding me to eat. Small stuff doesn’t cut it either…I have to have something big. Argh!

  18. Ben PeiNo Gravatar says:

    Hey I think snacking is not totally bad itself… Its just that people snack and lie there the whole day and thats why health problem surface..

  19. Acai SupremeNo Gravatar says:

    Snacking isn’t bad, it is important imo. If I won’t snack, I’ll feel bad for the rest of the day. You have to feed that hunger, with at least something.

  20. i wish i could snack more on healthy foods, it just kind of sucks how expensive healthy costs compared to junk food :/
    -mike

  21. I Am KingNo Gravatar says:

    I dunno, snacking is essential for me. Of course, you need to snack correctly. ;)

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