Snacking Verses Three Big Meals: April 28, 2019
When it comes to food, it’s important to focus on what you’re eating, but health experts say it’s also important to consider when you’re eating and how much you’re eating. “If you’re trying to cut back and you have finished that plate, and you almost have that desire to go for seconds, wait maybe 10 minutes and ask yourself, do I really want more? Drink a little bit of water and sometimes that feeling passes. It allows the body that time to catch up to say you know I think I’m ok,” explained Erika Graziani, a registered dietitian and outpatient nutrition program coordinator with Lee Health.
How we eat can become a habit. “For some people, they just need more of a structure, and if they just stick with three meals a day they do better because a lot of times, with snacking the calories start to accumulate, and the snacks get a little bit bigger,” she said.
Keep in mind meals should be around 500 calories, while snacks should be fewer than 150 calories. Planning your snacks and meals can also help you make healthier choices. “What makes a good snack is, include whole foods. Snacks don’t have to be a packaged food, and they really shouldn’t,” said Graziani.
If you’re snacking throughout the day, it’s important to make sure you’re still giving your body a chance to be hungry. It’s important for your body to experience hunger—and to eat when you start to feel hungry. “When you notice you’re starting to get hungry and you eat at that time, it’s much easier to control the quality and the amount of what you eat,” she said.
If you prefer eating three meals a day, as opposed to snacking, she says, that’s fine too. Just make sure you’re not overeating at each meal. “Being a little bit more mindful and aware of what’s on your plate and what you’re eating, and just taking your time, you’ll likely feel fuller sooner,” said Graziani.
Eating slowly and eating until you’re full can help you maintain control during meals. Tips that can help you find the structure that works best for your lifestyle.