Popcorn during a movie date. A mid-afternoon smoothie on a hot summer day. A handful of candy on the eve of Halloween. There are definitely times to treat yourself to a timely snack. But it is vital for your health that you do not make snacking a regular part of your daily routine.
While some of your favorite snacks might taste really good, the excess sugar, carbohydrates, and calories found in common snacks do more harm to your body than good.
Here are the top reasons you should stop snacking today and instead focus on eating healthy, nutritious meals.
- Your Body Needs a Break from Digesting Food
While you may be an expert at multitasking, your body is unable to multitask when it comes to food consumption. Your body can either digest food or take time to heal itself, but it can’t do both at the same time. So, when you snack throughout the day, and don’t go long periods of time without consuming food, your body is unable to rest and heal itself.
If you stop snacking and experience extended periods of time without food, you will find you have increased focus, more energy, and balanced hormones.
What You Can Do: Your body is an active machine, always working in some way to keep you alive, breathing, moving. You can do your part in caring for your gut by minimizing snacking and switching to intermittent fasting (IF).
To learn more about IF, check out my free video series, The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting For Women.
- Easy to Grab Snacks Are Usually Unhealthy
If you are a daily snacker, you may have started the habit with good intentions: to consume more nutrients in your diet throughout the day by choosing healthy snack options, such as fruits or nuts. Unfortunately, if we are being honest with ourselves, even with good intentions, the snacks we end up reaching for in the moment are not the healthiest choices.
Instead of healthy options, we go for the easy to grab snacks, which often consist of package and processed foods, such as chips, crackers, and sweets to satisfy sugar cravings. This addition of unhealthy food into your diet is not only bad for your overall health but it can also have a negative impact on your fitness and weight loss goals.
What You Can Do: The most effective way to stop snacking on unhealthy food options is to not buy them in the first place. When you are at the grocery store, steer clear of the chip aisle and stop browsing the candy shelves in the checkout lane. If you don’t have unhealthy snack options at your house, you will drastically minimize your intake.
- Snacking Can Cause Unintentional Weight Gain
You may have heard that six small meals a day is ideal for optimal health and fat loss. However, increased studies are finding that is not true. Instead, snacking throughout the day is more likely to cause unintentional weight gain due to an increase in caloric consumption.
Rather than cutting your meal portions by the amount of calories that have already been consumed during snacking, most people will eat the same amount of food for their regular meals, as if they didn’t have a snack. A study found this to be true in men with excess weight. Those who ate a 200-calorie snack between breakfast and lunch only consumed 100 less calories than normal during lunch, increasing their overall caloric intake for the day.
What You Can Do: If you find yourself needing a snack throughout the day due to hunger, opt for healthy options. Also, be sure to factor the calories consumed into your next meal so you don’t end up overeating.
- We Often Snack When We Are Not Hungry
Have you ever been at a work meeting or other type of social gathering where they entice you with snacks throughout the day? It is common for snacks to be used as a source of entertainment and interaction, especially with large groups of people. It’s hard to say “no” when the snack is easily accessible, sweet, salty, and appealing, and everyone else is doing it.
While hunger can be a main factor in choosing to have a snack, other factors such as location, availability, surroundings, and time of day play a role in the decision to snack.
It is important not to deprive yourself of food when you are hungry, which is why being intentional about the main meals you prepare is vital.
What You Can Do: Prepare meals for yourself that will keep your body sustained between meals. By ensuring you are not undereating during your main meals and are consuming healthy, nutritious food options, you can minimize additional hunger and stay away from the snacks. And if it’s not hunger that has you reaching for the snacks but boredom or social pressure, distract yourself with another activity other than eating.
Keep Yourself From Snacking with Intermittent Fasting
Snacking can turn into a vicious cycle if you are not careful. When we mindlessly eat throughout the day–rather than intentionally feeding ourselves for each meal–we start to develop an unhealthy pattern our bodies become quickly accustomed to. If you are not eating, you are thinking about eating, causing you to grab snacks more often than not. By eliminating snacking, you not only give your body a break but you give yourself a break mentally as well.
The best and most effective way to stop snacking is to ensure you eat the right amount of the right foods at every meal. Undereating often leads to overeating because you are not giving your body the nutrients and amount of food it needs to keep you energized throughout the day, causing you to snack more and more. In the Burn Fat and Feast program, I teach my clients everything they need to know about intermittent fasting and how to incorporate IF effectively, curbing the snacking cravings. Start your healthy eating journey now by watching my FREE video series, The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting For Women.