Afternoon snacking: Good? Bad?

My wife swears by having snacks. She typically has some nuts in the afternoons to hold her over between lunch and dinner. As for me, I have adopted a no snack policy unless I’m really, really hungry. This is a hold-over from my early dieting days when I believed that the hungry feeling was a good thing, and that if my body was hungry, I was “Burning fat.” Of course, this is false, and is actually bad for us. Intermittent fasting is one thing: starving between meals is another.

What ends up happening when I get too hungry between meals is that when I do finally get a chance to eat, I tend to eat more than I otherwise would have. It takes longer for me to get that full stomach feeling, so I eat until that feeling comes and by then, I find I’ve eaten too much. Then comes the pain of having eaten too much food. My stomach doesn’t quite hold as much as it used to.

Does that mean I will stick to this no-snack policy? I don’t think so. I’m going to likely start bringing some nuts with me to have between lunch and dinner to try to reduce the hungry feeling I get. So far, I’ve increased the volume of the food I eat at lunch which has helped me stay sated until at least 4:30-5:00 p.m., and I can typically deal with an hour of slight hunger. It’s not uncomfortable, and when I run in the afternoons, I prefer to run on an empty stomach. Besides, if I am hungry when I start a run, that feeling quickly goes away as my heart rate goes up.

What about you. Do you snack in the afternoons? Late morning before lunch?

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