To Snack or Not To Snack?

There seem to be 3 pools of thought.

1 - Snack instead of eat - ie eat a snack every 3 hours no meals

2- Add snacks between meals - ie eat 2 snacks a day 1am and 1pm

3 - No snacking - ie stick to your 3 meals and be done.

Im trying to loose over 100 lbs those who have done this or are on track to doing it .... Advise?


  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    Do which ever you prefer. None of them are wrong. Whatever works for you. Although, I don't really agree with "no meals". That just doesn't seem sustainable.
  • scrapbookingtm
    scrapbookingtm Posts: 1,916 Member
    I eat all day long. I never let myself stay hungry. Just count your calories and find what you like that fits for you.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
    I'm a big fan of eating before blood sugar drops, i.e., eating before I feel famished, or shaky, etc.
    I eat:
    midmorning snack
    mid afternoon snack
    dinner and wine
    or dinner and a snack later

    have for years, first while dieting, and now since maintaining.

    YOU have to decide what works for you.
  • minionman
    minionman Posts: 308 Member
    I try to eat two to three meals a day. For me to sustain I need about (according to this app) 3000, so I try to make all my meals around 1000 or more, that way I don't get hungry through out the day. Just my opinion
  • minionman
    minionman Posts: 308 Member
    But I do cheat sometimes.
  • AmazonMayan
    AmazonMayan Posts: 1,168 Member
    I snack if I'm starting to get hungry and a meal can't be done right then. No rules to it at all other than not being over calorie total at the end of my day :)
  • BWBTrish
    BWBTrish Posts: 2,817 Member
    I eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks...or 4 or 5
    As long it fits in my calorie allowance.
    I eat what i want and when i want. ( i eat pretty balanced)

    Lost 66 pounds this way so works perfect for me.

    Everybody is different, and every body has its needs
    You have to find your own way's and habits so you can lose at this point and easily maintain when you are at your goal weight.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
    I generally eat 3 meals. If I snack it's something right before bed just to get to my calorie goal.
  • MythicalMe84
    MythicalMe84 Posts: 80 Member
    I eat 2 or 3 snacks a day but I'm diabetic and have to. See what works best for you.
  • zeal26
    zeal26 Posts: 602 Member
    I don't really fit in any of those.

    I have breakfast around 8am, then a whole bunch of small snacks (string cheese, nuts/dried fruit, fresh fruit, cereal bars) throughout the morning, lunch around 3, probably another snack after that depending (usually an apple or banana), dinner around 6, then another 2 snacks (chocolate pudding, crackers, popcorn) before bed. Works for me!
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
    Firm believer in snacks!
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited February 2015
    It really depends on what works for you. I don't like snacking--I think in terms of meals and tend to like larger meals and just prefer meal-like (cooked) food. If I were forced to do the mini meal or grazing plans some recommend I'd either hate it and quit or overeat. I've also found that cutting out unnecessary eating between meals is a really easy way for me to keep calories down without feeling like I'm missing anything and to break bad habits of emotional/stress eating. It's usually easy for me to remember I am eating in just a few hours and wait.

    That said, sometimes my schedule is such (if I work out earlier and have a late dinner, which I often do) that my will power can get weak or I just feel more hungry than I'd like during some time of the day (usually late afternoon), so if so I decide to build in a snack then. It functions more like a meal in that I have planned food (with macros that are balanced), I don't go foraging for something to snack on.

    (I started with about 100 to lose, and have lost 95. One thing I've learned is that different things work for different people, so experiment and see what appeals to you to try and be as aware as possible of what your challenges are and why and when you tend to eat well or overeat. It's been an interesting learning experience.)
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    I've done both ways.
    A lot of it depends on what my days are like. When I am working 12 hour shifts, I tend to do better on 6 smaller meals a day or 3 meals and 3 snacks. Now that I am off work for awhile, I tend to eat 3 meals a day, sometimes only two with a snack at night.
    It is all a matter of personal preference outside of a medical issue. Try different ways and see which works best for you to keep you full and hitting your calorie goal.
  • Liftin4food
    Liftin4food Posts: 175 Member
    I like 2 big meals a day. No snacks. It works for me. Other people like to eat every 1/2 hours.

    As long as you eat less calories than your body uses you will lose. If sticking to that is easier if you eat something small every hour - do that. If you like big , satisfying plates of food works then 1/2/3 meals a day might be better.

    To:dr. CICO is what matters. Bunch the calories into chunks that suit you.
  • sympha01
    sympha01 Posts: 942 Member
    It's a mistake to think there is only one right way, and every other way is wrong and blasphemy and will stall progress.

    Either is fine. Whichever you find easier to stick to. Some people (like me) cannot imagine giving up substantial meals, and avoid snacking to save up the calories for a nice dinner or whatever. Other people can't handle going more than a couple of hours without eating /something/ and don't mind picking at tiny little meals when they eat. To each his own. But there is no question really of one way or another having a meaningful impact on metabolic processes or efficiency.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    I eat breakfast then have lunch about 3 or 4 hours later. I might have an afternoon snack between lunch and dinner. I often have a snack betweeen 8 PM and 11 PM. I don't usually eat after that. My snacks are planned just like my meals.

    Find what works for you. As long as you stay with your calorie goal and are functioning well it doesn't matter how you split up those calories really.
  • fengkycar
    I was a snacker previously, and during previous weight loss attempts (which were successful in terms of losing weight, just not keeping it off - I just never quite to goal and then regained). This time I am not snacking as much. I have breakfast, lunch, sometimes an afternoon snack depending on how busy I am. Then I have dinner and depending on calories left I might have a snack before bed, or a glass of wine, or nothing. I'm preferring it this way- I can have bigger meals (a big breakfast really sets me up for the day, previously I'd have a small breakfast to leave calories for snacks). I get moderately hungry at times, but nothing unbearable, and usually means I'm thirsty, not hungry.

    Actually, thinking about it, days I am at work I don't have an afternoon snack unless I am starving. Days I am at home (I work part time and stay home with my young children the other days) I often have a sweet snack (like a skinny cow) an hour after lunch, while my kids are napping.
  • Emmaofoz
    Thank you All for sharing your experiences!
  • Angierae75
    Angierae75 Posts: 417 Member
    As someone said above, I eat when I want, what I want. I generally have breakfast around 9:30. I eat lunch at 12:30 or 1, so if I get hungry before that, I have healthy snacks available to me to have. I almost always need an afternoon snack, since we don't eat dinner til about 7, so there's something around to eat around 3:30 or 4.

    Nighttime snacks depend on how many calories I have left and how hungry I am.
  • fat2strongbeth
    fat2strongbeth Posts: 735 Member
    I try not to snack, but if I'm hungry then I add a small snack I adjust my calories for meals accordingly. I've learned to listen to my body.