Snacking is Not Bad

Recently I had a discussion with some people on Twitter and Facebook about snacking during the day. I was looking for ideas for healthy snacks. I was surprised at many people considered snacking a bad thing. They said that they only snacked when stressed.

I learned  years ago when I was trying to lose my weight that snacking was a good thing. Snacking kept me on track. It kept me from binging.

When I first started I only ate the three meals a day. I found that I would get hungry in between the meals and I’d start to think about eating bad food. In an attempt to avoid falling off the calorie counting/losing weight wagon, I started splitting up some of the foods I ate. Instead of eating a bigger lunch, I’d eat some of my lunch earlier.

For example, for two years my lunch consisted of a turkey sandwich, a serving of Wheat Thins and an apple or some carrots. You better believe I got burned out on turkey sandwiches (and now I can’t really eat them much). I started eating my apple mid-morning instead of eating it with my lunch. My stomach was growing smaller and honestly eating all of the food at lunch time was too much. It worked better for me to ration it out.

I still do this to this day, even in maintenance mode. I eat my normal breakfast (scrambled eggs and some protein). When I get to work I drink one cup of coffee, which gets me through to about 11am when I eat my morning snack. My morning snack could either be an apple, banana, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. The morning snack is about 100 calories or less.

Then I have lunch around 1pm. I don’t always eat another snack in the afternoon. I really only eat that afternoon snack (about 4pm) when I’m heading to the gym. Then after the gym I eat dinner. It’s been working really well for me for 5 years now and it’s basically how I eat: smaller, more frequent meals.

There is one clarification I should make, however. When I say “snacking is good” I mean the healthy snacking. I’m not talking about hitting the candy bowl at work, or eating a bunch of junk food. That kind of snacking is not good for anyone (especially me).

Some Healthy Snack Options:

  • String Cheese
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Nuts (one serving)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Peanut butter and crackers

I think snacking is a GREAT way to stay on track. It also keeps my blood sugar steady throughout the day. The trick is to not snack on those candies and treats and to eat the snacks in small portions.

QUESTION: Are you a snacker? What do you eat? Do you avoid snacking because you think it’s “bad”?

14 Responses

    1. Everyone is different and sometimes 3 meals is better for them. It never really worked for me.

      And YES, there’s a difference between regular snacking and “mindless munching”. I struggle with the latter sometimes.

  1. I snack. Mostly the healthy kind. But I do struggle with snacking too often, like out of boredom when I’m not really hungry. I don’t eat large meals either and just can’t get from lunch to dinner without legitimate hunger. I have really changed what I eat for snacks over the past couple of years. Most afternoons I roast up a pan of “green bean fries” and also add some cheese for protein. In the past my snacks would have always been a carb – cracker or cereal. Now I try for veggies and protein and sometimes fruit.

    1. I hate the boredom munchies. They usually hit me at work and I go into the candy room. 🙁 I try to avoid it the best I can. Having healthy snacks at work helps me a lot. For example, today I had a small fuji apple for my morning snack and this afternoon I have some cheese–total calories for my snacks about 150 calories.

  2. My daily routine typically consists of breakfast at my desk around 9-9:30, lunch at my desk between 12-1, afternoon snack at 3:30, dinner at 6:30, bedtime snack at 10:30.
    I find that protein intake is most critical at breakfast, afternoon snack, and bedtime snack – if I eat only carbs during those times it is BAD NEWS for me.

    My favorite snack is a 1/2 C Fage 2% greek yogurt, topped with partially thawed frozen raspberries (fresh in the summer), and a drizzle of agave nectar. I eat this before bed every night and I never get sick of it! Considering I used to have a cup of ice cream before bed, this is progress! 🙂

    1. I’ve noticed that when my breakfast is high in protein I am much more satisfied all day long, and desire snacks less.

      I recently discovered agave and I love adding that to my greek yogurt too!

  3. I do snack, but I have to have structure in my snacks. As you stated, hitting the candy bowl at work is not a good idea for a snack.

    What works for me:

    1. Planned snacks- pre planned snacks that I bring from home. Fruit, veggies, or Medifast snacks (higher protein, limited carbs)

    2. No sweets or crackers, snack bars (high carb), None- slippery slope here. No eating of stuff in the break room. Somebody’s birthday? Well brew some coffee or tea for me and let me sign the card. That’s it.

    3. Keeping my regular meals lighter, with more protein.

    4. No tasting at Costco. None. Nooooo- more slippery slope ideas and off -plan eating at home by doing tasting in stores. And buying. Junk. And eating junk at home.

    I’ve read that eating smaller meals spaced 2.5 hours to 3 hours through out the day helps maintain your blood sugar at a more even rate- without spikes too high and too low.

    Great topic.

    1. Oh my god, Costco. SO TRUE! I cannot tell you how often I get tempted into trying the samples and before you know it, I’ve has several hundred calories in snacks. Thankfully Michael is so annoyed with the stopping for snacks I try to limit it. 🙂

      Higher protein meals are much more filling.

      Thanks for sharing Karen!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge