5

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Hack the Snack!?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 02, 2011 at 5:35 PM

I find it odd that we are told not to snack...I would think that if Grok came across berries, or some other form of easy nourishment, while out wandering around he would take advantage and "snack" So why are we told to not to snack? Is it really THAT BAD or is it all just some hyped up theory?

Do you snack? If so, what do you snack on?!

I find that I can either stuff myself to capacity and be full until dinner then stuff myself again...or I can eat 2/3 smaller meals and have a few snacks throughout the day. Ive done both, and neither seemed to have a more positive/negative effect on me. What is your take on snacking and meal timing/size?

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

It sounds like your body isn't adjusted fully to Paleo eating yet. Why not spread your food out over three meals a day? If I ate that for breakfast, then skipped lunch, I'd be a moody, mean, mommy until I got home and ATE NOW! I would have serious low blood sugar issues! No way that would work for me. On the other hand, a 3-4 egg omelette in the morning, and a 4-5 ounce piece of meat at lunch with roughly the same veggies as you describe, would be just fine. No crazy hungries and no mean mommy.

A2cec60e836de2d9dbe43d456cac2dab

(146)

on February 01, 2012
at 04:17 PM

I'm no expert but I consistently hear we need to snack every 2-3 hours to keep blood sugar on an even keel. Maybe your blood sugar dips and that's why you "crash." My nutritionist, who got me started on paleo, saud to divide meals up so I grace on them all day basically....

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 11:54 PM

i started in may (so its been about 8 months since ive been paleo)...ive been pretty compliant, especially for being in college. during the summer i was SUPER strict and since the fall semester started in september ive only had a few slip up days....its just all so frustrating!

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 11:52 PM

its frustrating to me that i wouldnt be fully adjusted...i started in may i would think id be adjusted?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:55 PM

can you pass the mushrooms, please?

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:54 PM

I also relish that feeling of hunger. I've gotten so I don't eat in the morning until I feel the pangs, then I cook up a couple of eggs and some saurkraut or veggies. It feels so good to eat when you're hungry.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:16 PM

my problem is i do get hungry between meals...i had 2 eggs, probably around 5 oz. of pork, spinach, and a tomato at breakfast cooked with coconut oil and butter (around 745 AM) and i came home at about 11:15 hungry..had a tablespoon of almond butter...and now im STARVING. i feel like i havent eaten all day...this is a regular occurrence if i try to keep moderate portions. if i stuff myself i usually get hungry around 2 but cant eat b/c of my job...so by the time i get home (around 8) i literally eat EVERYTHING i have.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Grok didn't come across the office candy bowl every time he left his office. :( I tend only to snack if I'm hungry between meals, or if I come across something particularly tasty that is grain/legume free like chocolate. But I don't do it to excess. My fave snack is jerky! I don't have a weight problem though. If you're watching your weight, mindless snacking/snacking when not hungry is just calories you don't need.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 05:47 PM

@Kent my goal is fat loss...i have a million questions about it...but i find myself crashing 3/4 hours after ive eaten. if i stuff myself to capacity every morning i can go all day, or at least until dinner, without food...but i tend to feel slightly sluggish within a 5-6 hours or so. does this mean im still not effectively metabolizing everything?

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10 Answers

3
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on December 02, 2011
at 05:51 PM

Snacking and compulsive snacking should be differentiated. I do think there's a difference between incorporating intentional reasonable daily snacking vs. the grazing that goes on in my office. There are always cupcakes, cookies, candy, muffins, etc. and people go from cubicle to cubicle sampling this crap.

When I'm very active, I eat more, and some of this is not at normal mealtimes. I don't think this is abnormal or "suboptimal." But I could be convinced otherwise. I also relish my hunger because it makes me appreciate my meals.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:54 PM

I also relish that feeling of hunger. I've gotten so I don't eat in the morning until I feel the pangs, then I cook up a couple of eggs and some saurkraut or veggies. It feels so good to eat when you're hungry.

3
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on December 02, 2011
at 05:43 PM

You'll likely find the advice to not snack coming from a perspective of weight loss, in an effort to combat the old conventional wisdom that you need to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism revved up. This is false, but besides the point. If you have no problem with your weight, then go ahead and snack ad libitum.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 05:47 PM

@Kent my goal is fat loss...i have a million questions about it...but i find myself crashing 3/4 hours after ive eaten. if i stuff myself to capacity every morning i can go all day, or at least until dinner, without food...but i tend to feel slightly sluggish within a 5-6 hours or so. does this mean im still not effectively metabolizing everything?

A2cec60e836de2d9dbe43d456cac2dab

(146)

on February 01, 2012
at 04:17 PM

I'm no expert but I consistently hear we need to snack every 2-3 hours to keep blood sugar on an even keel. Maybe your blood sugar dips and that's why you "crash." My nutritionist, who got me started on paleo, saud to divide meals up so I grace on them all day basically....

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I agree Grok wouldn't have walked past a bush of ripe berries, but this was probably on a day-long or multiple-day hunt. When I used to ride my bike 78 miles every Saturday, I stopped a couple times for a snack too.

On the other hand, sitting under a tree (or in it?) or around the fire, Grok was probably too lazy to get up and go looking for a snack. He probably pulled a chunk of dried meat out of his pouch and gnawed on that.

Around the fire, the guys were probably passing mushrooms or something fermented rather than eating snacks. :-)) BTW, I do believe Grok had fermented things because I've watched birds who get drunk off American Cranberry bushes in late winter so smartie Grok would've caught on to that quickly and the rest is not written down but passed on in the form of kefir, sauerkraut, etc.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:55 PM

can you pass the mushrooms, please?

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 03, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Maybe it goes back to Quilt's leptin reset where he says that if you get hungry too soon during the day you didn't eat enough protein for breakfast. Try a bigger protein breakfast and see what happens with the snack attacks.

1
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 03, 2011
at 03:33 AM

I abandoned the idea of set mealtimes about a year back. I let my body dictate when I need to eat. I carry portable food with me to work, and break to eat when my body finally declares its hunger. Not hungry, don't eat... hungry, eat till I'm satisfied (not stuffed, just satisfied).... get hungry again, eat... if not... don't.

I've had good success with this. I carry jerky, a bit of 100% cacao or 85% cacao-covered bacon, and a couple of packets of coconut butter, just in case. If I don't eat them, they'll last a couple of days in my tote-bag... and the chocolate can be stored in the fridge or freezer at work (in a non-transparent container -- I made the mistake of putting it in a see-through container once... I'll never make that mistake again. Apparently, there is a chocolate-covered-bacon-eating ghost in our office!!!) I bring a 'smoothie' in the morning of goat-milk yogurt, egg yolk, heavy cream, vanilla, and Klamath Lake blue-green algae. I bring some leftovers from the previous night's meal for when the smoothie wears off (usually around 11ish, if I have the smoothie around 6 or 6:30). Sometimes I eat 'em... sometimes I don't. I always let myself get hungry -- but never let myself get ravenous.

If I'm stuck someplace where liquid is my only option, I freeze-pack a spare one of my smoothies -- that way, 'long about the time the 1st smoothie wears off, the 2nd one is thawed and ready to go. That might be an option for you with your job -- you can probably get away with a sipper cup or water bottle -- so fill it with protein and fat in liquid form, and you may be able to coast until solid food is on the agenda without turning into a ravenous beast. winks

1
164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 02, 2011
at 07:31 PM

My personal philosophy (like many others)... I eat when I'm hungry. If it's in between meals, I'll have something small to tide me over only if I get the tummy rumble to eat. Otherwise, I just wait. I won't snack simply because the option presents itself (unlike the ancestors), but I also know I've gotta guaranteed meal later on. If it happens to be a social function & there are snack foods & I'm somewhat obliged to try something here or there (that is as paleo as I am)... then I'll partake out of courtesy. It's not going to throw my whole life/diet/weight outta whack so much that I fall of the tracks. My body is smarter than I am... it knows what to do as long as I give it what it needs.

1
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:33 PM

I think it depends why you're snacking. If it's due to need, and in balance with smaller meals, it makes sense and works for me. But if you're eating big meals and then feeling hungry and needing a snack again then I'd say there's something wrong somewhere. For me it's more important not to be stressing or second-guessing myself. I'm only eating real foods, and I'm comfortable not eating if I'm not hungry.

As with everything, only once you've cut it out for a while you can you really judge the impact of it.

1
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I never deprive myself of food if I am hungry, but since going paleo that rarely happens between meals. Some people have a really big gap between lunch and dinner, so it can make sense to have a snack somewhere in between. My meals are relatively evenly spaced so if I were to start needing to snack frequently I would take a closer look at my meals because I'd guess I was probably not eating enough.

I don't think there is anything wrong with having a planned snack, but a frequent urge to grab snacks between meals would seem to me like a sign that you aren't eating enough at those meals.

If I do need a snack I usually choose nuts, fruit, jerky, Larabars, coconut butter, nut butter, or some leftover meat from the fridge.

0
A83897633eef0383e4ea2add2367314f

(240)

on December 03, 2011
at 02:50 PM

I have found that I no longer require breakfast. I have a large meal at lunch approx 12pm, then I'm hungry again approx 5pm. Then I have a small snack before bed, which is normally half of what I eat at a main meal. Don't forget to eat plenty of fat (really work at eating plenty of fat) and protein.

Snacking too much can be avoided as long as you have a healthy functioning digestive system with no overgrowth of the wrong kinds of bacteria (candida, parasites or whatever) and caffeine will lead to cravings. Lots of sugar leads to cravings also, it feeds bad bacteria as well as causing swings in blood sugar.

0
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:44 PM

I think part of the answer to this question depends on how long you've been Paleo and whether your body has adjusted to being a fat-burner. For those of us who are still trying to heal from excessive carbs and are still sugar-burners (or would revert quickly), I think snacks are a bad idea. If your body is already highly adjusted to Paleo eating, then an occasional Paleo-snack is fine, especially if you opportunistically get the chance to eat some fabulous blueberries!!! In fact, this is one of the rewards of being adjusted! Being able to snack or not without ill affect. This is a similar principle to IF. Once your body adapts fully to a Paleo life-style, you should be able to skip a meal or two without getting ravenous or having low blood sugar issues. If you try to fast and can't do it because of blood sugar issues etc., then you aren't fully adapted yet. Supposedly snacking slows down how fast you adapt. I'm being very strict about my three meals a day with no snacking (except with low blood sugar symptoms a couple times after a poor meal choice). I can't imagine being able to only eat two meals a day. Most of my life I've eaten every two-three hours, even when I was strictly following the Zone Diet philosophy and controlling my carb intake. Now, I'm going 4-5 hours between meals. Someday I'll be healed enough to make it on 1-2 meals a day, or even to fast. At that point, I'll rejoice and reward myself with a snack!

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 11:54 PM

i started in may (so its been about 8 months since ive been paleo)...ive been pretty compliant, especially for being in college. during the summer i was SUPER strict and since the fall semester started in september ive only had a few slip up days....its just all so frustrating!

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