DISCLAIMER: Snacking is not bad and it will not always hinder your progress.
Some people believe that snacking is the devil and we should never encourage it. Then there are others who believe that we should actually eat a bunch of little meals throughout the day. If that works for you, amazing! But if you’re like me and are somewhere in the middle, keep reading.
Health and nutrition is not a one size fits all approach. It shouldn’t be! This is not a “do as I do” type of blog post. This is, “Here are some ideas and things I consider helpful. Take what works and discard the rest!”
I recently had a client who said she had been snacking more than usual. And upon further reflection, she found that she had been snacking more because she hadn’t been eating enough throughout the day. This sort of reflection is crucial in figuring out what’s working for you and what isn’t.
If you’re a big snacker or a grazer and are having doubts about it, here are some things to consider:
How are you sleeping? Is it always a challenge to wake up?
- A lot of people aren’t going to bed early enough. Then over caffeinate or just remain exhausted. This is where a lot of us replace our sleep with food: I’m just gonna eat because I’m exhausted and maybe that will give me the energy I need! While not all of these things are tied to lack of sleep, they certainly are enhanced by it. Think about how sleep heightens our emotions. You got 5 hours of sleep last night, but have quite a few projects due at work the next day. Your lack of sleep is sure to add to the overall anxiety you’d normally feel. We don’t think clearly and the bad things feel much worse. Rest is a crucial part of how we approach our diet, loved ones, and life in general.
Are your meals big enough?
- Diet culture, meal plans, and 1200 calorie daily diets tell you need to eat “X” amount and no more than that. We tend to undereat during the day when we are mindful of staying in a calorie deficit. This strategy doesn’t work well for most people. Especially in the long term.You may go 1-3 days like this and then on that 4th day, overwhelming hunger and tiredness sets in and you just go crazy. We binge. We overeat. And then we don’t feel very good and have probably eaten 1000 calories over what we allotted for the day. Planning enough food in advance and eating satisfying meals will save you big time. Make sure you’re eating enough. Remember, if you leave a meal still super hungry, your body needs more food.
Check your macros
- Think about your carb, fat, and protein intake. Make sure you’re eating enough protein in order to stay fuller longer! If you aren’t eating a protein source at every meal, odds are you will become hungrier a lot faster. Checking in on your fat intake is another good one. Eating too much fat for your diet can make you lethargic. But on the flip side, not eating enough fats can also leave you feeling hungry after a meal. Here is one of the more reliable macro calculators. No system is perfect, but this will get you an estimate of where should be depending on your goals.
This sort of reflection is crucial before moving forward. Once you analyze these three points, you can play with your diet and sleep amount. But the first step is self awareness. Meet yourself where you are, and go from there. I promise, you’ve got this. If ever you need some extra help, pop over to my member’s page and check out exclusive info that will guide you in the right direction.