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Snacking - Is it important not to?

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Hey whole 30ers!

 

I'm on day four of my Whole30 and I find I'm still snacking! I am eating coconut paste, macadamias and blueberries for these snacks, usually twice a day.

I thought I wasn't eating enough so today I tried to increase my food intake, and found I was still hungry after dinner. I ate:

 

Breakfast

2 boiled eggs

Spinach

2 slices of bacon

broccoli

1/2 avocado

Coffee with coconut milk

 

Lunch

Baby spinach

Tin tuna

1 hard boiled egg

broccoli

1/4 cup pumpkin/sweet potato 

Snack

coconut paste

 

Dinner

Mince

Vegetable bake

 

Snack

Coconut flakes

Macadmias

 

So, is it really not OK to snack? Could that be what's going to undo me and stop my weight loss goals?

 

Thanks!

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Snacking is really a sign that the meals aren't enough, you can't "wait" for the next one as you don't have enough fuel.

 

Are you eating as much fat as it says in the template?

Are you eating enough eggs?

Are you eating a good weight of veggies?

 

When the balance is right, you won't be hungry between meals :)

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There should be no snacking as we know it on W30. If you're hungry between meals, then you're to eat a mini template meal with protein, veg, and fat. Snacking on nuts and fruit and coconut butter will feed the sugar dragon and potentially interfere with fat adaption.

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Eat more fat at your meals.  

 

In general, breakfast looks okay.

 

Your lunch had very little fat in it, except the amount found in one egg.  Put some olive oil dressing on a salad, eat some avocado or olives, or something.

 

For your dinner, depending on what was in the mince and vegetable bake, you may have not had enough fat either.  You would get some if your veggies were baked in oil, but likely not enough.

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Tom Denham

Whole9 Moderator/First Whole30 May 2010

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:36 PM

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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Along with all of the above thoughts, please keep in mind that Whole30 is not about white-knuckling your way through hunger between meals. What we don't want you to do is that thing we in our society call "snacking" - which is mostly just a way of saying "you don't really get to eat, but if you're not virtuous enough to handle the hunger you can have a small amount of this nasty thing which won't fill you up and will make you feel worse about yourself." Snacking ain't your friend. If you're hungry between meals, eat another meal. Really. Just eat.

 

We do want you to aim in the direction of three full meals per day, because it's best for your hormones. If you're not there yet, that's OK. Eat. Also, depending on where you are in your cycle, your body may ask for more or less food. Example: I eat six extremely full meals in the days before my period. Then as my cycle begins, my body has to be convinced to eat more than two meals per day. That's just me, but many women report changes in hunger level depending on where we are in our cycles. We've been taught that this is just self-indulgent, but really we just need to eat lots and lots of food before our periods.

 

You might also look at your activity levels - if you are very active, you'll need to eat more, and include a pre-workout meal of protein and fat plus a post-workout meal of protein an carbs.  Also if you're nursing you're going to basically eat your fridge every day. :lol:

 

I hope you're seeing a theme here: eat. Food is good.  :wub:

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I agree with upping your fat - it is your friend and will not get in your way of weight loss. I can't tell the quantity of veggies you're eating at each meal - the range should be 1-3 cups, toward the higher end if it's the leafy stuff. Shoot, I eat 3 cups of the dense stuff :)

If upping your fat doesn't help, try upping your meat and veggies too. I feel like I enjoy three huge delicious meals a day and my weight loss has gone great!

Something to consider - are you snacking because your tummy is growling, or are you just used to snacking and this will be a change for you to stick to 3 meals?

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If you haven't made homemade mayo yet, it's a great fat source :)

Use it in salads, throw some on your eggs in the morning, mix it with tinned tuna or salmon.

 

Immersion Blender method - you need an egg, 1 cup of olive oil (extra light, not the dark stuff), a lemon or lime and a little salt

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/fail-proof-home-made-paleo-mayo-whole30-compliant/

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I second what everyone is saying about the fat and the amount you're eating. For a while, I HAD to have a snack - but I stuck to the template (except that for a while I was snacking with fruit instead of veggies and probably feeding my Sugar Dragon - oops!). Now I have more fat than I "think" I need at each meal, and I find that I'm satisfied.

 

I always use the "steamed chicken and broccoli" litmus test. If that doesn't sound YUMMY, it may just be your Sugar Dragon growling at you. I bring that up because blueberries, coconut and macadamias are all on the sweet side.

 

Also, how much water are you drinking? Sometimes when I feel "snacky" I'll drink anywhere from 16-32 ounces of water and I find my "snacky" feelings go away. You could be thirsty and not hungry.

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VERY astute, Decker Bear, that macadamia nuts are on the sweet side.  I have been seriously killing the can of dry roasted macs that I bought at Costco...even though too many of them hurts my stomach and makes me bloated. Could not figure it out but now I know....it's that teensy bit of sweetness in them.  Now I get it................dammit.

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I feel you ladyshanny! I actually figured it out with cashews. One of the moderators pointed out the fruit and Sugar Dragon connection, and I quickly connected it to the nuts. Of course, it's interesting what starts to taste sweet once you give your Sugar Dragon a good whippin'. The jicama I'm dipping in my guac right now tastes candy-apple delicious.

 

But I'm eating it with lunch, so we're happy, right??? :wub:

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This is super helpful. I am on day 3 and so far so good. I still get that grumbly tummy feeling around 3 o'clock. Today my snack is anchovies in oil with carrot sticks and a few snap peas. I am not sure it's truly hunger or habit. Tomorrow, if it happens, I may try tea and see if that curbs the beast.

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Thanks all for very helpful advice as I, too, was snacking.  Realize now that my lunches, especially, did not have enough protein and needed fat.  I am starting again after a bad slip so I want to get this right as I felt so much better just in my first week of Whole30.  

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So what I'm reading is that the fat is essential to this plan and to make sure that you have enough of it in every meal? I was going to not eat as much fat but what I see here is that you need it for this to actually work. It's science and all the components need to be there! It sounds like if you were driving a car with 3 wheels, well biff,  you'd never get anywhere! :D  Good inf.!

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Yes, Carly, it's all about balancing hormones and therefore getting your body to burn stored fat rather than sugar for energy. Eating healthy fats (and adequate protein plus veg) facilitates the process and gets you to the point that you can comfortably go 4-6 hours between meals. I highly recommend reading It Starts With Food if you haven't. It's full of great info and thorough answers to the whys.

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Fats help you absorb some nutrients, like fat-soluble vitamins (eg. A, D, E, and K), helps keep your blood sugar even by lowering blood sugar spikes, helps keep you satisfied and keeps you regular. Fat is one of the fundamental components of food: fat, protein, carbs, water.

 

If you find you're often hungry, fat may not be high enough (or meals big enough).

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Fats help you absorb some nutrients, like fat-soluble vitamins (eg. A, D, E, and K), helps keep your blood sugar even by lowering blood sugar spikes, helps keep you satisfied and keeps you regular. Fat is one of the fundamental components of food: fat, protein, carbs, water.

 

If you find you're often hungry, fat may not be high enough (or meals big enough).

 

Haha! I'm so full! I haven't eaten so much in years and I still have one meal to go! lol This is definitely going to be a journey for me that's for sure. Do we stop when we are full or do we need to eat it all? And after 4 hours I was not hungry but ate anyway because it's getting late in the afternoon here and I still have another meal. Should I have just waited and not eaten until I was hungry? I could have easily gone another hour or two. 

 

I really need to get the book like LadyM said, I wasn't going to but I can see that I need to. I have so many questions. Thanks to the both of you for your responses, I do appreciate it.  

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The book makes a lot of things make a lot more sense :)

 

If you're struggling to eat your meals, you can move to smaller ones (5 or 6 mini-meals), just make sure they're always template.

 

If you're feeling snacky, have less meals and make them bigger.

 

Do you keep a food log Carly?

 

If you're not finishing meals or skipping them, you may not get all the nutrients you need.

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The book makes a lot of things make a lot more sense :)

 

If you're struggling to eat your meals, you can move to smaller ones (5 or 6 mini-meals), just make sure they're always template.

 

If you're feeling snacky, have less meals and make them bigger.

 

Do you keep a food log Carly?

 

If you're not finishing meals or skipping them, you may not get all the nutrients you need.

 

I actually just went back to my food log an hour ago (hadn't logged for about 6 mts.) and logged all I've eaten already today. It's too much. It was like 1400 cal and I still have another meal to go. I'm a small lady, size 2-4 and I just don't eat that much. lol  I really like the idea of 5/6 small meals, that's something I'm used to doing. That would really work for me better than 3 larger meals and so if that's compliant I would much rather do that! 

 

And I just started today but I'm in this and I'm going to do this. I'm not one to cheat either, I am embracing this 100%, I wanted a kick start on to a paleo path and this is just the plan to do that. When I found this site I jumped on board. It's the "challenge" part that gets me going and wanting to conquer it, it's my A-type personality and I've tired to work paleo for a couple of months now and I've failed because I wouldn't eat all the proteins and fats and kept eating small amounts of cheese. With this challenge where the dairy is completely off limits I can do that and it challenges me and I like that part. I'm already grain/sugar/legume free and have been for 2 years so that's not a problem but I needed this challenge to get the dairy/whey powder/smoothies off my plate. 

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Don't count your calories, keep a log which doesn't calculate them (there's sections on the forums).

 

Template is the most important, but you want to be working towards 3 meals a day. Some people just need longer, or have medical reasons for more and smaller meals. Just make sure you don't eat unbalanced meals (eg. eating the meat and skipping the veggies and fats).

 

The less number of meals is beneficial to stabilising your hormones. When you eat, your body has a whole pile of things it does in response, so extra eating means extra responses.

 

I'm an ex-dairy junkie, so I know what you mean :) It's actually an opiate in the brain, so it can be quite an adjustment.

You are going to *love* homemade mayo! This one is fantastic with light (not EVOO) olive oil http://thehealthyfoodie.com/fail-proof-home-made-paleo-mayo-whole30-compliant/ (needs an immersion blender)

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I actually just went back to my food log an hour ago (hadn't logged for about 6 mts.) and logged all I've eaten already today. It's too much. It was like 1400 cal and I still have another meal to go. I'm a small lady, size 2-4 and I just don't eat that much. lol  I really like the idea of 5/6 small meals, that's something I'm used to doing. That would really work for me better than 3 larger meals and so if that's compliant I would much rather do that! 

 

 

"Food log" on these forums does not mean myfitnesspal or sparkpeople or whatever other logs that tell you calories and fat and all of that. It means a list of what you've eaten. There are plenty of them here on the forum, or some people keep pics on instagram, or they may have a blog elsewhere, or they could go old school and keep it in a written journal. It's really for troubleshooting purposes -- if you find yourself bloated, or unusually hungry, or get a rash, or have some other reaction, you have a record of what you've eaten to help narrow down potentially problem-causing foods. It can also be good to refer back to for meal ideas when food boredom sets in.

 

Those calorie counting food logs do not know how many calories you need in a day. How many calories you need in a day could change drastically based on anything from exercise, to hormones, to just having a hungry day for reasons that you never really figure out. What you need to do is eat. Make sure, whether you eat three meals or five or six meals, that you eat the equivalent of at least three template meals a day. At least. If you're hungry, eat. Whenever you eat, include protein, fat, and veggies.

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You guys are awesome! I'm going to stick with the 3 meals then if that's what I have to end up doing. I'm just going to do it now and not prolong the inevitable. I get the food log you're talking about Shannon and will get my bum off MFP.  I also just ordered the book from Amazon so it will be here in a few days, meanwhile I'll stay the course.  :)

 

Praxis! Thank you for that recipe! I love mayo!! How did you know!  :D  And I have an immersion blender.  Woot!

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