Don’t Snack By Doug Joachim

By on January 30, 2013

Many nutritionists and dietitians tell their clients to snack in between meals in order to speed up their metabolism, regulate their blood sugar, and prevent overeating during meal times. They tell that this is a good method and along with exercise it will speed up the weight loss process.  I used to tell my personal training clients to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.   After working with clients trying to lose weight for over 17 years I have never seen dramatic weight loss in people who snacked throughout the day.  So I’ve changed my tune.

If you are eating the right food your blood sugar should never bottom out.  Snacking poses many problems for the average weight loss client.  Food begets food.  Have you ever eaten when you weren’t hungry and then became hungry?  Many foods, especially simple carbohydrates, will spike your blood sugar and increase your hunger.  Scientists have even noted that one’s hunger hormones will elevate just at the sight of food, not to mention the smell of food.  I detest fast food yet when I pass a chain restaurant on the street and smell meat cooking (if you can even call it that) I get hungry!

Most ‘snack food’ is chock full of sugar and salt.  These snacks will add to your total calorie intake and may make you eat more in the end.  If you are in the habit of snacking, try a breakfast full of fiber and fat i.e., oat bran made with whole milk (or unsweetened almond milk with coconut oil); sprouted toast with hummus and avocado; plain full fat yogurt with nuts.  This should get your day off right and satiate your taste buds until lunch time.  Striving to get fiber and healthy fat in every meal will do wonders for your appetite, health and your ability to go long periods without eating without eating any unwanted snacks in between.

A caveat: There are two groups of people who may need to snack – Athletes and diabetics.  Some athletes burn so many calories during their training sessions (think Michael Phelps) that they need to supplement their eating with extra energy whenever possible.  Diabetics or people with glucose intolerances may need to eat every two or three hours until their cells can utilize insulin better. If you are diabetic or if you have any other medical condition then it is advised that you consult your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

Doug Joachim is a leading New York Personal trainer and you can learn more about him at Joachimstraining.com

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