Safety of snacks

4cbf2-wiawsensiblesnackingbuttonThis blog post has been brewing in my mind for a long time — and what better time to write it than on a What I ate Wednesday in a month dedicated to sensible snacks?

Almond Coco Loco Chobani Flip

2. Have Starbucks; ready to write.

2. Have Starbucks; ready to write.

Cherry Tomatoes Turkey and mini cucumber

Nuts!

Nuts!

It started back in late February, when I won a free week of Diet-to-Go meals during a FitFluential chat. One of my chief complaints about the meals had nothing to do with the food itself (delicious!). It was that they used up too many of my daily Points allowance, leaving me too few Points for snacks.

I am a snacker. Have been for a while now. The photos in this post feature some of my typical snacks, depending on my eating plan of the moment. (You can probably tell at a glance which ones are low-carb vs. Weight Watchers-approved.)

I’m not sure when/why I started snacking. Maybe it was reading so many experts’ advice to eat five small meals … Maybe I just snack when I can’t think of anything else to do with myself.

But this morning’s Clean and Lean Project email gave me something new to chew on — and pushed me to finally write this post.

In it, Amanda advises us to eat meals, not snacks.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to unlearn is grazing. About 10 years ago a new “diet method” became a new rule and we switched from 3 square meals to 5 smaller meals.  In theory this is great, but it’s rarely implemented correctly and usually turns in to 5 daily snacks….or let’s be honest, all day grazing!

Unfortunately, most snacks do not look the same as a meal. Do you put together a salad for a snack? For those that do, a huge high five, for the rest of the world let’s consider why this practice is NOT helping our metabolism as promised.

She goes on to explain that the average 5- or 6-mini-meal day skimps on nutrients — and leaves you unsatisfied and hungry. Yeah. I’ve experienced that.

The email’s conclusion:

You might be surprised to find that switching to 3 bigger meals means you don’t want to snack throughout the day because the well balanced fuel has left you satiated.

I’m all for finding a way to feel fuller, longer. That’s one of the things I love about eating low-carb meals: I’m not constantly thinking about my next meal/snack.

Now, I’m not going to commit to never eating another snack as long as I live. Sometimes you can’t avoid eating a little something between meals. For the times when I absolutely, positively can’t live without a snack, SparkPeople serves up some great ideas to keep you away from the vending machine. I’ll do well to remember those options.

But I am willing to give three larger meals a try. It’s perfect timing, too, as my Diet-to-Go shipment arrived today. I patiently did the Weight Watchers math on each meal, and discovered — to the surprise of no one — that if I eat the meals in the order on Diet-to-Go’s suggested menus, I’ll be consuming 26 to 36 WW PointsPlus per day.

As I’m allowed 33, that’s well within reason … even if the thought of not getting any snacks scares the crap out of me.

Armed with the knowledge that it all evens out over a day, maybe I won’t complain about the meals having too many Points.

Yeah, right. As much as I’m a snacker, I’m also a complainer. I’ll complain bitterly about something before I finally settle down and do it. That might be one of the things the Boyfriend loves about me … or maybe not. 😉

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4 responses to “Safety of snacks

    • They are — and that’s a great idea. My problem is, when I think of snacks, I don’t think of straight-up fruits and veggies. I think of things like nuts/granola bars/pretzels and hummus/apple with peanut butter. I’ll have to redefine the word “snack.”

  1. I’m a snack gal too and always on the lookout for low/zero point options…. I think you’re both right to use fruits and veggies. Costco makes a DELISH spinach dip (with greek yogurt) for 1 point per serving that I’m addicted to — great with carrots for a filling snack.

    • I like the Trader Joe’s less guilt spinach/yogurt/kale dip, too. I’ll have to check out Costco next time I’m there.

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