Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Snack Triggers

Tuesday Tip: Snack triggers 🍪

Snacking can be a real issue when trying to lose fat. Being aware of the triggers can help to keep it in check.

# 1. Social Media

A recent study showed that socialising online with friends (via Facebook, Instagram etc) causes more snacking. It temporarily raises your self esteem, which lowers your self control, leading to increased snacking afterwards.

# 2 The News

Another study showed a link between watching/reading ‘bad’ news and high calorie snacking. The survey found that contemplating economic hardship and being subconsciously primed with messages to ‘live for today’ makes us seek out higher calorie foods.

# 3 Environment

The environment can trigger food cravings. A study showed that moviegoers would eat the same quantity of popcorn regardless of whether it was fresh or very stale, simply because they were ‘at the cinema’. In the same way sofa time after dinner can trigger snacking on chocolate or crisps etc.

# 4 3.23pm

3.23pm is the most likely time we are to snack, usually due to boredom, stress, and a dip in energy levels. To combat this have a balanced lunch (with protein and fats), plan in a healthy snack and save more enjoyable tasks for after lunch if you can.

# 5 Stress

Lower levels of serotonin when stressed also lead to carb cravings. Salt inhibits the body’s responses to stress. Craving salty food is the body’s way to cope with stress, so a salty, carby snack can help.

# 6 Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep reduces your self control and willpower, and stimulates production of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lowers leptin levels (the satiety hormone). Studies found that those who are sleep-deprived eat 300 more calories per day.

# 7 Red 

The colours red, yellow and orange are appetite stimulants, making you snack and eat more. Research shows that eating in a blue room reduced calorie consumption by 33 %. So try going for bluer hued lighting, blue crockery etc.

Being aware of the possible triggers can help you to not only recognise why you’re snacking more than you want to, but make changes to prevent it.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: To snack or not to snack?

Tuesday tip: To snack or not to snack? 🍪

To snack or not to snack .. that’s the question! Conventional diet wisdom promotes regular snacks as an aid to weight loss, however the evidence is mixed.

Pro snacking – when there’s a large gap between meals, your blood sugar drops making you tired, and likely to over eat later. So regular small snacks in between meals will stabilise blood sugar and prevent this. Research shows that this can help people lose fat, particularly those with type-2 diabetes. In this context high protein and fibre and low carb snacks are best. Snacking can also help people who struggle with portion control as it prevents you getting overly hungry and bingeing.

Anti-snacking – whilst snacking can help some people, studies show inconsistent results and it can derail your fat loss. The more you eat the more your insulin levels fluctuate; this rollercoaster can cause cravings and fat storage. To avoid this increase fibre and protein in meals to smooth out the insulin curve and keep you full for longer. Although internet experts often recommend 5-6 meals a day to “keep your metabolism running” research doesn’t support this. Instead of controlling appetite several studies show that snacking can have the reverse effect by causing people to eat more, rather than less. Plus it’s good to feel hungry; you shouldn’t graze all day. The key is a little hunger, but not too much.

Everyone is unique and the desire and need to snack are influenced by age, emotions, activity, main meals etc so you have to work out what’s best for you. Experiment; if you always snack twice a day, try reducing it, and vice versa and see how you feel with different eating patterns, often we eat the way we do out of habit.

So ignore the hype; to snack or not to snack is up to you; your goals, work schedule, food preferences etc and it’s not a requirement for weight loss. But it can be a helpful strategy when used appropriately. One good approach is strategic snacking at around 3/4pm to help stave off evening hunger, and there is some scientific evidence to suggest a plan of three balanced meals and one snack works well for weight loss.

Happy snacking! 🤗xx