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decker_bear

Meal Timing if Snacks Needed?

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Day 22 here. My hunger signals are FINALLY starting to work (yay for that). 

Here's my thing: prior to now I was eating by time because I was never hungry. Now that I am feeling hunger sometimes, I find that my meals need some tweaking and I'm in the process of fixing them. 

I know snacking is not ideal. I know a meal should be holding me 4-5 hours. 
I know if a meal is not holding me, I need to adjust something in the meal, most likely fat (though it could be the veg or protein)
I know a snack needs to be a mini template meal - if it is needed - and not include fruit. 
I know if a snack is needed, adjust future meals to get to where you can go for 4-5 hours without getting hungry and ultimately eliminate the need for a snack. 

I know these things. My question is this - if a snack is needed, should I: 

1) plan to have the subsequent meal 4-5 hours after the initial meal (the snack being in the middle somewhere just to hold me over) regardless of hunger level
2) plan to eat again no more than 4-5 hours after the snack regardless of hunger level
3) eat the next meal when I'm hungry (not sure I'm 100% ready to rely solely on my hunger signals just yet) 
4) something totally different or a combination of these things

What I am finding is that if a meal does not hold me and I need a snack, the snack (albeit a mini meal) does too good a job and I'm not hungry for a long time after. This is causing issues with timing meals around my workout, not being hungry for M3 until right before bed or not at all, etc etc. 

Any feedback on timing would be appreciated. Thanks! 

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You know a lot of important things. Good for you!

Keep your meals on a schedule and vary the size of your snack to how long it needs to hold you to your next meal. If it is 3 hours until your next meal, eat a bigger snack than if it is only 1 hour until your next meal. That way you will keep your overall schedule intact. 

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And your mini meal could be very small: 2 bites of protein, a bite of fat, 3 bites of vegetables.

Don't eat the mini meal unless it's really really necessary. Remember that hunger will give you a clue to adjust your meals.

Figure out your schedule and follow it. Your hunger will follow the schedule. 

As an example, my Whole 30 schedule (based on my teaching and exercise schedule) was 7:30 / 1:30 / 6:30 for meals 1, 2 and 3.

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