Skinny Daily Post


Itís not as easy as it sounds. Hereís my so-called plan: Eat every four hours. If I donít have time for a meal, eat a snack, consisting of protein and veggie and about 7 grams of carbs. Not more than 200 calories total. So far so good. This snack is to be followed in 1-2 hours by a real meal.

THEREís the problem. You see, sometimes Iím STILL not ready for a meal 1-2 hours after a snack. Too much work, too much other stuff gets in the way of this schedule, so if Iím hungry, I eat another snack!

This is turning into a major issue for me. Iím eating too often, and getting too many calories, and too many carb grams. I donít worry about the protein or the veggies, but those carbs Ė even the Ďgoodí ones Ė have to be limited [itís the weight loss surgery Ė we have to eat lower carbs than most people].

So, whatís a person to do? Drop everything to eat a meal? Excuse myself from meetings to eat? Set an alarm clock? Quit my job? Now THEREís a good fantasy, if ever there was one!

But itís not practical. Maybe the answer is to eat on a different schedule. It sounds as if I have to take a good hard look at my day, and figure out when I should schedule eating, and then make it stick. The flip side of this, however, is that I want to stop obsessing about food! And having to focus on an eating schedule just doesnít fit with this anti-obsession goal.

We all face this issue, but I know that some of us have it figured out. Please share!!!

10 thoughts on “This whole snack thing

  1. Beth says:

    I’ve been trying to follow the plan this way, too… the 200 calories each “feeding” — it turns out that all of my “feedings” are now “snacks” and I never eat a full meal, ever.

    I don’t know if it’s working, but… I’m doing better…but I can see how it can go sour, with turning the snacks into grazing, or choosing those easily-found carbs because they do fit in that under 200 calorie category, even if they’re a poor choice.


  2. culturep0p says:

    To always have a plan is seen as obsession by many. Planning what you eat and when every day may seem like obsessing over food, yes, but when you consider the benefits — less calories, balanced diet, healthful choices — the planning seems worthwhile. Keep in mind that going “off plan” happens every week. Some circumstances are out of our control. But as juju and others have said, making good choices 80% of the time is all you need. If you plan healthful options, and stick with it 80% of the time, you’re right on target. Now does that make it obsession, or lifestyle? I think lifestyle. What do others think?

  3. Michelle says:

    I try to eat 3 “meals” a day: breakfast around 7 am, lunch around 12 noon, dinner around 6 pm. My idea of a meal is the typical one: I try to have at least 3 food groups, including at least 1 fruit/veg, and I’m trying to limit myself to one “normal” sized serving of each (no seconds!).

    I sometimes have a snack mid-morning depending on how filling my breakfast was; I always have a mid-afternoon snack; and I’m trying to avoid eating after dinner to cut down on acid reflux at night. I consider a snack to be smaller in volume than a meal. I try to have a fruit/veg serving with each snack, in effort to get in those 9 servings a day.

    Of course, this represents an ideal day. Actual results may vary.

  4. QuinnLaBelle says:

    Several years ago I, too, tried the eating a mini-meal every four hours or so. It’s the diet diabetics were instructed to follow, and some twit of a doc misdiagnosed me as “pre-diabetic” — whatever that means.

    I gained weight. LOTS of weight.

    What works for me is the traditional three square meals a day. Plus a smallish snack at around 4pm. Yeah, I do get hungry. By the time another mealtime comes around, I’m ready for it! So, this is where careful meal planning and portion control come in. But we all know how to do that, right? Right?

  5. stretchy says:

    I had the same problem, Jane.

    Instead of going for a snack rather than a meal, I just drink green tea, mineral water, or spring water until I AM hungry enough for my healthy balanced meal. If I crave something sweet, I will have tea with stevia, and I find cinnamon helps. As a last resort, there is gum, something to chew for a few minutes until the craving passes. Experimentation got me where I am today!

    I budget 300-400 cals for meals, and most days I do not snack, but when I fail, I try try again. I have learned to eat just 2 walnuts, a half of a banana, and to divide a small can of salmon into 3.5 servings! I was a slow learner, but I learned, and now it’s easier.

  6. Heather says:

    I am a bit confused about the total number of calories you are aiming for — how many calories in a “meal”?

  7. neca says:

    I simply cannot eat just 3 meals a day without snacks. I get hungry, and physically ill when my blood sugar plummets. But if my snacks are too big then I’m not ready at meal times. So, my snacks are a little smaller than yours – in the 100 calorie range. I try to make them balanced – one lowfat string cheese and a small piece of fruit for example.

    I don’t know what all you have tried, but my suggestion would be to have mini-meals which are all basically the same size, or make your snacks a little smaller if you want to eat larger meals.

    It took me a while to figure out what worked for me, but I was much happier once I hit upon the combination I needed.

  8. Sylvia says:

    I lost the most weight when I was away at college, doing pretty much the opposite of all I’d been told.
    There was that dining hall thing where I could eat all I wanted as long as i was there. So, I ate two huge meals a day and got full, as in full full, like they say you’re not supposed to. And then I’d probably have a little something (popcorn or whatever and usually Koolade) sometime in the night( I’m too much of a night owl to imagine not snacking after dinner.
    I was also eating some sort of meat almost every day, which I hadn’t done before. so that protein couldnt have hurt.
    But, I really think my body got used to that threeish meals a day thing. It was like when I was doing those little healthy snacks every few hours thing, I was never anywhere near full so when my body got a little hungry it would go into panic mode, where I’d be dizzy and grumpy and need to get that 8oz skim milk and 2 graham crckers right away pronto. Whereas I think my body quickly became accostomed to the big meals and when it got late it just kinda told itself “dont worry, you’ll be full of hot pizza in 45 minutes”
    And, sorry if I sound all Deepak Chopra, but once my body was comfortable with the idea that it was gonna get food the big meals got somewhat smaller, although still huge compared to what I was used to.
    I got smaller than I’d been since I was 12 I had all kinds of energy and I was eating like a dude. It was cool, eveyone should got away to school and buy a meal plan. ūüėČ

  9. Rachel says:

    Another great related blog entry is this one by Juju on 200 calorie meals:

  10. jonquil says:

    Jane, go to a camping store or website and look at the options they have for packing food. There are lots of “eskies” and specialized small backpacks that might serve you well, along with a Thermos, some freezer packs, etc. Then you can plan out your meals and pack them the night berfore, maybe using some of Juju’s suggestions for snacks. After that, set reminders on your scheduling device, (Blackberry, computer, notepad, chiming watch, cellphone, etc.) to tell you when to eat.

    Pre-planning your mini-meals should help keep you from being distracted during the work day, trying to figure out nutrient combinations on the spur of the moment. Packing each snack in a separate “unit” should also keep you from eating too much or too little at one time. If the pack is too much temptation, put it in the common room or someplace other than your desk. Good luck!

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