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Monday, 18 April 2016

Is It Ok To Snack?


Snacking, it's something I think we all do and it's something a few people have asked me about recently. Is snacking good or bad? Will it prevent weight loss? Will it speed up your metabolism? Is it bad for digestion?

There's arguments to say snacking is a good thing, that it keeps our metabolism ticking over and stops us over eating at meal times but there's also arguments against snacking because it's harder on digestion and it can lead to our bodies expecting constant snacks. When I looked into these arguments more actually neither really matter; contrary to the nutrition-myth eating more frequently does not bump up your metabolism, yes it's true that if you go very long periods of time without eating your metabolism will slow down but this won't happen just between meals and while it's correct that if you constantly eat something every hour it's harder on digestion it shouldn't effect you if you're sensible and only eat when you feel hungry.



My opinion is this, snack if you feel hungry but if your body doesn't want food don't force feed it. Listening to your body is so important and if your body needs some fuel don't deprive it of that because you think snacking will make you put on weight and don't have continuous snacks because you believe it will miraculously kick your metabolism into going super fast (it won't).
We all have different lifestyles, pressures and routines and what's right for one body might not be right for your body. If you're someone who lives quite a sedentary lifestyle then you won't need as much food to fuel your body, whereas if you're someone who exercises everyday and is on the move all day then you'll more than likely need a couple of snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels up - you're exerting more energy therefore you need to keep topping it up.

That being said, if your meals are healthy ones that contain complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein and nourishing greens you should feel nice and satisfied for a good time afterwards therefore your snack cravings shouldn't be very regular.
I eat 3 balanced and healthy meals a day but yes I do snack, I probably have 2-3 snacks a day depending on what I'm doing. On an active day I'll normally exercise between breakfast and lunch so I'll have a snack at around 11am to refuel me after a workout, then I'll get hungry at about 3pm and maybe again in the later afternoon as I do tend to eat dinner fairly late (something I need to change!). On a more stationary day I don't tend to snack so much but I still do get peckish between meals so I listen to what my body is telling me and provide it with a nourishing, wholesome snack like apple & almond butter, a banana or homemade energy ball.

Don't overthink snacking, just eat to fuel & nourish your body and you'll be doing the right thing.

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