Probably. The plain answer is, yes you probably are, but that’s not because you’re doing anything different to anyone else. It’s because no-one has found a truly fool-proof way of snacking that makes you lose weight or builds muscle for you. There are obviously better/worse things for you to be eating between meals, and there are plenty of healthy options that will support what you’re trying to achieve. This is not to say you should starve between meals then binge when you eat, just be sensible about what you’re putting away between meals and make sure it suits the rest of your diet. We’ve found out the hard way in the past that, as with any part of your lifestyle, not tailoring your diet specifically to your own needs only ends up one way!
Firstly, let’s talk about the common misconceptions around snacking, it’s worth remembering the ‘GP way’ is not for us to tell you what to do and what not to do, and we’re certainly not about to challenge every chef/lifestyle coach out there in saying that snacking is bad. Just discussing what we’ve found out along the way combined with what we’ve read up on. When we started training we thought that snacking was swapping cakes for shakes – sounds easy, right? It was the same when we were told to consider eating nuts instead of crisps, dried fruits instead of sweets, the list goes on. If you take one thing away from this piece, the advice would be to swap bad snacking for healthy snacks – yes, but don’t just eat healthier snacks because you think they’re going to help you achieve what you need to.
An example of this would be to look at the difference between ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’. Yes, you’d be right in saying that the naturally occurring fats in things such as nuts and seeds are better for you than the fats in chocolate or crisps. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to stay lean, you’d be much better suited meeting your needs in your meals and keeping yourself full between meals or picking snacks that are lower in any type of fat.
Now, all apparent scepticism aside, snacking is absolutely something that you can use to your advantage, this is not one big no-no to snacks. There are definitely groups of foods that you can use to your advantage to keep you going between meals and minimise the ‘damage’ done by grazing. To make the most of this it often takes you to think outside of the box. Some of our favourites have been dried BBQ green peas, chickpeas, edam beans and corn kernels. Tasty, low fat, low sugar…low anything really, nevertheless the sensation of snacking is sometimes enough to satisfy the urge without overindulging. Another key pointer would be to really read up on your favourite snacks, they could be holding the key to where you’re going wrong.
We hope that this was useful and that you find the right snacking method for you. Remember it’s about making sure every part of you is working towards the same goal!