Snick Snack Paddy Whack

I have a little problem with snacking.  I tend to do it too often, eat too much, and sometimes eat things I shouldn’t.  My worst time of day is in the evening.  Then afternoons.  Mornings I am usually pretty good about my snacking but on the odd day that I eat something off plan for a morning snack, the rest of the day goes downhill from there.

I’m curious about the snacking habits of others, especially those of you who are successfully eating healthy.  How often do you snack?  What do you eat?  Do you struggle with not over-snacking?  Are your snacks planned in advance?

If I am eating well, my snack day might go something like this:

  • Mid-morning:   Depending on my morning exercise, I snack about 50% of the days.  Usually I have a piece of cheese or sometimes cut peppers.
  • Mid-afternoon:  I have one or two snacks.  It might be yogurt with cereal or a huge serving of roasted veggies or a serving of peanuts, with the second snack often being cheese.
  • Evening:  Most nights I have sugar-free chocolate pudding.  My little chocolate fix of the day:)  If I eat another snack, which is many nights but less now that I eat at the table, it may be fruit or cheese again.

If I am not eating well… you can probably use your imagination.  I have seemingly perfected the art of snacking to excess while managing to eat all healthy foods.  Not something to be proud of.  Bread and crackers immediately come to mind.  You’ve heard the expression “snack attack?”  Well sometimes I don’t know if it is me attacking the food or the food attacking me!

I can’t remember the last time I went a day without snacking.  Maybe never!  The old me would have snacked all afternoon on various junk, not been hungry for dinner, snacked all evening on more crap.  I am glad that I can say the new me is a much better snacker:)  Scooby and Shaggy would be very disappointed.

My snack philosophy, if I were to think about it this way, is that they are a good part of a healthy eating plan; if they are used to satisfy real physical hunger and if they are healthy and eaten with portion control.  Now I just need to work hard to ensure my actions reflect that philosophy.  Which means doing away with the mindless eating and excessive snacking that has so plagued me in the past.  I am getting better about it; I really do see progress.  And change.  Slowly.

What’s your snacking like?

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41 Comments

Filed under food, lifestyle

41 responses to “Snick Snack Paddy Whack

  1. Is this like a confessional? What we admit here, stays here? Oh wait. That’s Vegas. 🙂

    I have the same Philosophy of Snacking as yours. It’s one way I get in my nutrients (fruit, raw veggies, nuts, yogurt). That’s how it works on the good days. Then there are those other days, when I have a few too many nibbles to be considered healthy, even if the foods themselves are healthy. Nighttime is my “danger time”–usually when I’m staying up too late and am overly tired. (I didn’t figure that out until last year.)

    Like you said, it’s an evolutionary thing, with mindfulness at the core of it all.

  2. Karen, I think I have said my mini meals are my “snacks”. It works for me.

    As the day wears on, I think people want those trigger foods they stay away from so it gets hard. I plan for my eve snack, brush my teeth right after that & water only after that!

  3. When I am eating well, I don’t snack a lot. I’ve found I don’t need to, because my meals are full, healthy and keep me satisfied until the next meal. I try to eat around 9 am, 1 pm and 5-6 pm.

    When I am NOT eating well, my most difficult time is late afternoon. I am usually back at home after doing whatever I had planned for that day and settled in with a book or my laptop until time for Mr. B to get home. As you know, I equate those activities with food.

    I have learned that there is a direct correlation between eating well and needing (or not) to snack.

    • Karen

      Maybe I need to eat differently for meals. I can’t remember the last time I was not actually hungry between lunch and dinner. Now after dinner is about satisfying a sweet tooth with the pudding.

  4. sunnydaze

    Evenings used to be bad for me wanting to snack. Now I have a mid-morning snack (usually a banana or natural almonds) and mid-afternoon I usually have a Fiber One bar. I don’t snack in the evenings at all anymore – after dinner that’s it. No more eating. This works for me because after dinner clean up I head out to walk for at least an hour, when I return, it’s shower, a little tv and bed.

    • Karen

      At one point when I was really struggling with the evening eating I suggested to my husband that we take a walk after dinner. Never happened. But it is really too hot here now.

  5. I am a snacker. I actually just wrote a post about this on my blog. It’s almost impossible for me not to snack unless I am super busy. That being said I almost always plan my snacks ahead of time. Because if I don’t who knows what I may end up throwing into my mouth.

    I usually have 1 fruit snack and one salty snack. I eat snacks in the mornining after breakfast and then in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. On occasion I will have an evening snack. Most recently I have been eating grilled pineapple rings as my evening snack.

    I find when I plan my snacks I am more in control. If I just said hey I am gonna snack today but i didn’t bring anything. I’ll end up walking out of the drugstore with something I wouldn’t normally eat and just be upset once it’s already in my stomach.

  6. Ann

    My snacking depends on the day. I always plan my snacks because I have to pack them for work. Some days, like yesterday, I don’t eat them at all. Others, I eat them all. I plan a mid morning, afternoon and on the way home snack. In the evenings if I eat a good meal with protein and lots of veggies I generally don’t need a snack. If I’m hungry and I have room in the budget I eat one. Most of my snacks are fruit, but sometimes it’s yogurt or carrot sticks or one of my oatmeal muffins. I always keep them less than 120 calories. Anything more than that is a meal not a snack.

    • Karen

      I am a big planner when I know I will be away from home and potentially hungry. I even have a mushed protein bar in the bottom of my purse for emergencies. Today we started our morning bike ride later than usual and I knew I would get hungry or at least be starved for lunch when we got home. So I brought cut peppers in the car (since we drove to the trail) and ate them after the ride. That tided me over so that I could eat a healthy lunch eventually.

  7. I try to NOT snack at night cuz that’s when I get out of control- hence the crochet and playing with my pets at night.

    Usually during the day I am good- ocassionally I’ll snack after lunch and between dinner- but it’s ONE snack and it’ll be something like veggies or yogurt or cheese.

    Most of the time when I feel like a snack (at home) I just start making dinner (or whatever the next meal is) and then it’s dinner time so I don’t have to snack 🙂 Tuesday I had a snack aroudn 2:30 pm since I was at work- a yummy and light yogurt 🙂

  8. Late afternoon and after dinner are my witching hours for snacking. When I’m on track, I may have a cup of non fat greek yogurt or a fruit when I get home from work. Same after dinner, but if I’m really doing well, I do only one snack. The late snacking is the bane of my existence.

    If I do a healthy snack like nuts, it’s up for grabs whether I stop with 1 serving. Therefore I don’t usually do them to be on the safe side.

  9. Sorry no words of wisdom for you today. I have to force myself to eat or even snack. So I am not any help sorry. I don’t really like food and the thought of eating a snack doesn’t sound good either. When I do I eat vegs and fruits. I think nuts are too many points so I stay away from them all together. Especially now that I threw out the peanut butter…LOL

  10. I have three words for you: protein, fat, and fiber. I used to think that “snack” meant the same thing as “treat.” Treats, as we all know are things we love to eat–a brownie, lime tortilla chips, cream cheese on triscuits to name some of my faves. But a snack is something to fill in the empty spaces to get you through that time between meals. WW had a lecture themed on this and it made a lot of sense to me. My snacks now tend to include roasted almonds (sans salt), and dried apricots. Or a finger size piece of leftover cold chicken or meat and an apple. This really does do it for me. Like Sharon, I don’t snack a lot if I’m minding my meals. I’ve been being pretty careful with my meals so don’t feel the need to snack. As to protein, fat & fiber–while PNB on an apple would seem to do this really well, I’d advise staying away from your Red Light foods until you are safely in the driver’s seat as to your plan. Good Luck.

    • Karen

      That is a good point – because snacks are not (mostly) treats for me anymore. Except my almost nightly pudding. I don’t seem to eat enough at meals to not snack later. Yep, no PB on an apple for now. Maybe again someday:)

  11. I would be the worst to give you advice on snacking :/ Yup…we really are twins!!! One thing that I know works for be is planning ahead. Waiting until I’m hungry NEVER WORKS 😦

  12. I do plan ahead with my snacking most of the time – try to keep raw nuts, lots of fruit (fresh or frozen) around, the occasional Lara Bar, etc. But here’s the Murphy’s Law moment as I write this. Have been working non-stop on a huge project deadline, just realized I’m starving and have nothing to eat in the house. Better dash out and get sometning good and healthy soon…

  13. Since I got my teeth straightening system in March, they are called Invisalign the (invisible braces) my snacking came to a screaching stop! You have to take them out to eat and then brush and floss before putting them back in. You also have to wear them for 21 hours a day so it just gives me 3 hours a day for eating, just I say! A lot of damage can be done in 3 hours!

    I use to snack a lot, eating every 3-4 hours to maintain a good blood sugar level. I am hypoglycemic which is an abnormally low blood sugar count.

    So in order to keep my blood sugar stable with out snacking I have to make sure to eat higher protein meals that are well balanced with some healthy fats and complex carbohydrates as this type of meal takes longer to digest and less of a drop in my blood sugar.

    I have noticed that since I am at a lower weight I am starting to have symptoms again of the low blood sugar. I think it is because I no longer have those fat reserves to draw on. I have had to have a few snacks recently in between meals. I go for some low fat cheese and high fiber crackers or fresh fruit with Greek yogurt as it contains a higher protein count.

    I think in the past snacking had become a habit for me. I thought I needed a snack even at times when I didn’t have low blood sugar, I was just use to eating more often. I find that sometimes snacking stimulates my appetite for more.

    • Karen

      I do think that for me in the past much of it was habit. Especially snacking at night. I’d love to figure out what breakfast and lunch would keep me full until the next meal. Maybe that will be the post for another day.

  14. I am a snacker. Honestly I could not make it through the day without them. my success with snacking and not overdoing it is to plan ahead. I usually have a mid morning snack of fruit: cut up apple (they are just in season in MN) strawberries or grapes. For mid afternoon I almost always have one serving of milk with a 100 granola type bar or a yogurt. I have found that eating three meals and these two snacks makes all the difference for me and my belly and mind hunger. Michele

  15. Ever since I changed the way I eat, using portion control and a balanced diet, I have to eat every 2 hours or so. I can pretty much tell time by when my body starts requesting a snack.

    I usually try to plan for fruits or nuts or veggies, depending on what servings of each I’ve already had that day and how many calories I can allow myself.

    The danger for me is not knowing what I want. That is when I find myself grazing. So, planning a snack is best in my world. I know I’m going to want to eat something and if I can be ready and avoid getting too hungry, thereby causing me to crave, I can stick to my good eating habits.

    It seems like you’re on the right track. And if you get off the track, don’t get too down on yourself. This will only make you eat more.

  16. I’m a big at night snacker… I eat most calories in the evenings. To “kill” my tendency to overeat on snacks,m I’ve worked my eating habits as such: I graze for the first half of the day then eat about 50% of my calores a day for dinner. I realize this is very “anti” most diet advice, but it works for me and keeps me from killing my calorie goal around 8pm when I otherwise would get the munchies.

  17. I am not an evening or morning snacker, but I used to eat all the way through the afternoon till dinnertime. I no longer do that, but afternoons are still my problem child. My snacks today consisted of a can of Sprite Zero, and 4 spanish olives. Why 4? The jar said that 4 equals a serving….go figure! Luckily I pay attention to serving sizes these days or I could easier eat a whole jar of olives…love them. Pretty soon I’m going to have a cup of tea…I consider that a snack since I use evaporated milk in my tea. Don’t say “ugh!” It’s a family tradition started by my grandmother. Yesterday afternoon was tougher. I was really, really hungry and kept picking at tiny things like an ounce of cheese, an ounce of ham, a couple of tablespoons of Muselix, and (Karen do not read this next one) a tablespoon of peanut butter because Karen keeps talking about her damned peanut butter and I started getting a little obsessed about it!!!! (hahaha) I did compensate by eating a tiny dinner which is what I try to do each time I have an afternoon like that.

    • Karen

      LOL – I am soooo sorry! Kinda like when I kept reading about cupcakes. Maybe we need a pact about not mentioning tempting food in our blogs:)

  18. Amy

    I might snack once a day between lunch and dinner. I want to snack at night but I aviod it with a decaf cup of sweetened hot tea in a super yummy, chochlate flavor.

  19. I forgot one thing that I think makes a huge difference. I drink lots of ice water. If I feel a niggling urge to snack, I have a full glass of ice water before I’ll eat anything. Lots of time, the urge will go away.

  20. Genie@dietof51

    My day is more a series of snacks, with a few larger “anchor” snacks as meals. When I’m doing well, they are of a healthier variety (yogurt, fruit, protein bar). When I’m not, you don’t want to know!

  21. Genie@dietof51

    P.S. I like your posting title!

  22. I don’t snack (anymore). I used to have quite a relationship as well with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly and a spoon. I haven’t had either for ten years which is some kind of miracle. I eat my two fruits at night after dinner, though, which makes me happy since it feels snackish, and I eat them no matter what – even if it’s midnight!

  23. I’ve managed to cut down on my snacking over the past couple months. I still snack, just in a more controlled manner.

    I know I get hungry mid-late afternoon, so I try to always have an apple, banana or some other fruit around for that. Satisfies the hunger/snack urge and boosts the blood sugars around the time they’re starting to drop. And I’ll usually have some soy beans or handful of almonds in the morning. Always portioned out with the rest left at home so I can’t overindulge.

    Water and green tea both help cut the snack urge, as well.

    The other thing that helps is asking myself “Am I hungry?” before eating. If I am, great. Snacktime! If I’m not, I’ll tell myself I don’t need a snack and carry on. The craving usually goes away within a few minutes.

    • Karen

      I am trying to pay more attention to real physical hunger too. Not boredom or emotional hunger. I am getting better. And that is part of what really made me wonder since I never go from lunch to dinner without truly feeling hunger. Maybe the next step for me is to figure out if I am hungry enough that I NEED to eat or if I can wait until dinner.

  24. I find that I don’t really NEED snacks, unless I’m on a 10 day hike around a mountain or riding my bike 100 miles a day for 3 months in Europe (LOL… I’ve done both, but a L-O-N-G time ago). If something is sitting out… like my husband’s peanut butter or a sample tray in Costco or a box of crackers, my snack-need suddenly becomes a six on a scale of one to five. Not! Even though my food plan calls for no snacks, I do fall victim to snack-need psychology.

    However, and this is big, I do believe that different metabolisms require different fueling systems. Look at the animal kingdom. Some eat huge meals and then don’t eat for days. Others nibble continuously. Wild animals are very rarely overweight. So the wide range of fueling systems all work. You just have to determine which is right for you.

  25. Im totally resisting making this comment postlength 🙂
    Im an intuitive eater now but as I worked to get here I did plan in my snacks.
    minimeals.
    6 a day.

    nuts
    trailmix
    laughing cow
    beef jerky 🙂
    fruit
    veggies
    oatmeal
    proteinshakes
    stringcheese
    soybeans 🙂
    hard boiled eggs
    and on and on 🙂

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