There are mixed opinions when it comes to snacking. Some argue that frequent small meals throughout the day can curb hunger and help you eat less. Others insist that it’s best to have 2-3 complete meals, and avoid snacking as much as possible.
I LOVE my snacks. In fact, prior to becoming a health coach, I founded and ran a healthy snack food company. Snacking is my jam!
It turns out that snacking is actually not great for our bodies, and specifically for that flat belly we are seeking.
Here is what happens…
Fat storage vs. Fat burning
When we eat, our bodies go into fat storage mode. According to Dr. Satchin Panda, In order for our bodies to burn fat, rather than store it, there needs to be a break in insulin secretion.
“As soon as we eat something, our pancreas releases insulin, which does two important jobs for metabolism: it helps absorb sugar from our blood into our liver, muscle, fat, and other tissues, and it signals these organs to convert some of the sugar to body fat. This process continues for up to 2 to 3 hours after we eat, every time we eat. So, as we keep on snacking, our body remains in fat-making mode.” — Dr. Satchin Panda, The Circadian Code
In order to start burning fat, we must take a break from snacking.
When we are constantly eating, our bodies do not have ample time to digest food. Backed up undigested food can lead to gas and bloating.
When the body is always digesting, it is never resting. The proper boldly functions that need to take place are on constant pause.
While I have been doing Intermittent fasting for years now, I never thought about “time restrictive eating” during the day. In fact, I often grab a snack as early as only one hour after having lunch. Did I mention how much I love my healthy snacks?
I decided to see what happens if I take a 3 hour belly break after lunch. After just one day, I was amazed to see what a huge difference it made.
What to do
Here is the good news: you do not need to ditch your snacks. What is life without some crunchy salty snacks, right? Just make sure you are giving yourself at least a one-three hour window of not eating each day. You can even have a little snack right after lunch. We never want to deprive ourselves, but rather make mindful healthy choices.
Not all snacks are created equal. Here are my favorite Pantry Swaps.
Do you find that you have a hard time not snacking? You may be hungry for something other than food. Schedule a free wellness consultation today!