Why no snacks?


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Well, you're training yourself to be fat adapted/fat burning, and since your fat reservoir is (for most people) a lot bigger than your sugar reservoir, you're not supposed to need them once you adapt (except for specifically pre and post workout). Also, if you constantly eat little bits here and there, you're constantly sending your body food signals and food processing tasks, and your hunger hormones never get to cycle naturally. I'm sure that a mod can put this in more detailed terms, but those were my takeaways from reading the book.

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Grazing or eating lots of meals distorts the natural rhythms of your hormones. The ideal for them to work is to space meals 4 to 5 hours apart. So the focus on this approach is three main meals with pre- and post-workout meals and snacks as needed. We don't want you to be hungry during a Whole30 and you can eat a snack if you are hungry, but it is best if you eat substantial meals 3, maybe 4 times per day and don't need snacks.

The ideal of a snack is a mini-meal - protein, fat, and veggies. Not a piece of fruit or some carrots. The purpose of eating is to give your body nutrition. A piece of fruit can be part of a meal, but it does not supply enough nutrition to serve as a meal itself.

Once your body adjusts to eating this way, hunger is less frequent and easier to manage. I needed to eat 5 to 6 meals per day when I started doing this in 2010, but now I find 3 meals a day satisfying most days. I even find it easy to go 6 or 7 hours without eating when I am fitting in a yoga class and need to fast 4 to 5 hours before class.

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I have adrenal fatigue, and many signs of insulin resistance. Even with a very low GI diet for over a year now I have not been able to regulate my blood sugar effectively. All of the information that I have come across, including my own training as a Health Coach has indicated that in order to regulate insulin levels and blood sugar, that I should eat small, frequent meals. This has meant always carrying healthy snacks, planning out my days in detail, and created a framework in which I feel a little panicky whenever i begin to sense a little hunger coming on. therefor, throwing something with plenty of protein and fat into my piehole every single time i get a hunger twinge. This is my 3rd day of eating whole30 style, and I must say, it is absolutely working. I am staying fed between meals, and I feel an incredible relief to only be responsible for three meals a day. I was sure this part would be really difficult to adjust to, but all the meat really seems to be keeping my fed. I am questioning so much of what I have held dear over the years. It's awesome! good luck!

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Mini rant:

That whole "eating many small meals" and/or snacks in addition to your basic 3 was probably dreamed up by the food companies, lol.

Growing up in the olden days, we never ate between meals. None of us keeled over and died from lack of food.

It amazes me how people cannot get through a business meeting or a movie without snacking, and how parents have to feed their kids junky/sugary snacks all day long.

If you eat the proper foods during mealtime, there is no reason whatsoever to snack unless you have blood sugar issues, and then a fat and/or protein is a best choice, imo.

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So Pre workout and Post workout meals are in addition to the (3) meals? I workout hard and compete in figure competitions and I'm eliminating all my protein shakes, BCAA's, pre workout drinks, creatine, and the list goes on and on...I'm also used to that type of diet...(6-7) meals a day 300 grams of protein a day...soooo pre workout I just did a tablespoon of almond butter and post I did salmon w/1/4 cup mashed yams and a spinach salad w/1/2 tblspn of oil and vinegar w/ lots of veggies...would I then be allowed another meal??? Sorry...first day and trying to get as much info as possible and retain my muscle mass while "resetting" my mind and body...thanks for any info :)

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Wow Candis, you look amazing! yes the pre & post workout snakcs are in addition to your 3 main meals.

For example post workout I just have half a chicken breast. Cut the fat in your post workout though as it slows absorbption of the protein.

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Wow Candis, you look amazing! yes the pre & post workout snakcs are in addition to your 3 main meals.

For example post workout I just have half a chicken breast. Cut the fat in your post workout though as it slows absorbption of the protein.

Exactly! People who are doing this type of training have different needs.

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For pre-wo, include a small amount of protein (1/2 a meal size or smaller), and (optionally) a small amount of fat (1/2 a meal size or smaller). Do not add fruit or carb-dense veggies to your pre-workout snack.

For post-wo, try a meal sized easily digestible protein, up to a fist-sized portion of carb-dense veggies and little to no fat. Do not use fruit as your primary post-workout carb source, but rather choose sweet potato or yams or squash or pumpkin or beets. Take it with you to the gym and eat it before you leave. Do not wait until you get home. Your post-workout meal is a bonus meal and should not replace breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is designed to help you recover from a high intensity workout.

Take a look in the Whole30 For Athletes section of the Forum and see what works for others.

I hope this helps.

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Derval...lol the pic was taken during training season...I am off season now hahaha but I was carb cycling then so I'm trying this paleo diet out...I want to train smarter not harder and eat healthier not necessarily what will lean me out and shock the crap out of my body...so tired of supplements and chemicals in me :)

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Derval...lol the pic was taken during training season...I am off season now hahaha but I was carb cycling then so I'm trying this paleo diet out...I want to train smarter not harder and eat healthier not necessarily what will lean me out and shock the crap out of my body...so tired of supplements and chemicals in me :)

Yeah, nourish rather than shock :) It'll be a great change I'm sure.

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  • 5 months later...

@candis.... Eat eat eat! I workout at a pro fighter level.... Extremely intense workouts/ sparring/ anaerobic threshold/ HIIT/ two a days, blah blah

Before I started to eat this way I was a slave to eating every 2-3 hours, carb cycling,caloric deprivation, pre workout boosters,you know the routine and I had some of the " best trainers" around.... I would make gains then crash....gains...crash...injury...rehab on and on..

I am so glad I am off the roller coaster! Eating Paleo for eight months and doing whole30 has made me free. I religiously eat pre and post workout meals and I eat three proper for my size meals ( a lot). You will probably need to eat much more than you think you can. For the first time I can go 6 hours without the thought of food. I used to get dizzy,grumpy,light headed.... Now I can do killer workouts and recover so quick it's unbelievable...

As a bonus my body fat has dropped extremely! My workouts are insane, I sleep great and recover very fast.... Give yourself a few weeks to get fat adapted and dial in the amount of food you need so keep your workouts light the first week or two.... Good luck!

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I am a self proclaimed snacker. I work in a restaurant, it's there, it looks good, so i eat it. Since going Paleo the snacking **err** lack of snaking has been... depressing. I am very glad to have come upon this post, as I was still assuming the 'carrot stick' snack was a positive thing. Although compared to a french pastry or piece of herbed cheesey bread it certainly is! I must say the anti snacking has been the most difficult part of my first whole30. Not because I'm starving, but the behavior pattern of it. Replacing water for snacks is just not satisfying, but I'm glad to know it's just my cranium playing games with me :)

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