Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is snacking a good idea if you are trying to lose weight?

The Study
Many of my weight loss clients ask me if they are permitted to snack if they get hungry in between meals. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the impact of snacking on total daily calories. In this investigation, 3,777 men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were studied. These subjects each filled out two 24-hour dietary recalls. In one of the recalls, the subject reported snacking in between meals. In the other, they did not. Total calories were compared between the two days.

On the days that the men snacked, they consumed an extra 239 calories. The women consumed an extra 219 calories on the day that they snacked. Added sugars and sodium were significantly higher on the days that included snacking. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019;109:1145-53.

Take Home Message
I have never been a big fan of snacking for my weight loss clients. If you are eating 3 good, blood sugar stabilizing meals each day, there is really no need to snack. You should not be at all hungry in between meals. The additional calories that snacking adds can have a dramatic impact on body weight. The 200 plus extra calories found in this study would result in nearly two pounds gained each month. 

Eat three balanced meals that include a healthy source of fat, protein and low glycemic carb. You won’t be hungry in between meals and it will be much easier to lose weight.

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