Will you lose weight if you stop snacking? That’s a hard question to answer. Reducing, stopping or cutting out snacking will certainly lower your daily calorie intake but you could still gain weight instead of losing it if your total calorie intake is too high every day.
On average, a man who eats around 2,500 calories per day will retain his normal weight. He won’t gain any weight but he won’t lose any either. A woman doesn’t need as many calories per day as a man does so, on average, if a woman consumes 2,000 calories per day she should maintain her normal weight.
The trick to losing weight is to eat less calories per day than you need. This causes an energy shortage within the body. The only way the body can compensate for this is by “burning” fat to make use of the calories that are stored inside it. Combine this with an effective fat burning supplement such as Leanbean and you are good to go.
If your diet is already sufficiently low in calories reducing or cutting out snacking could make a big difference to your weight loss results. If you’re presently only managing to maintain your present weight, getting rid of the snacks could tip the scales in your favor.
So, although cutting out snacking may be a good thing, you still need to look at the bigger picture. Many structured weight loss plans, such as Weight Watchers, actually allow certain snacks because the meal plans for each day are designed to be low enough to support weight loss.
Why Snacking May Not Be So Bad
There are arguments that can be made for snacking. For instance, eating a healthy, low calorie snack can help boost energy levels and suppress hunger between meals.
There is also the danger that, if you reduce snacking, you could actually start eating larger portions at mealtimes and gain weight instead of losing it. It may seem an extreme scenario, but it does happen.
Good Snacks Vs. Bad Snacks
The type of snack you choose can also make a big difference. Things like potato chips are high in fats and sugars that provide a lot of useless calories. Cakes, buns, and confectionery are loaded with simple sugars. Milk chocolate and certain other options can be high in fat as well.
Snacking on apples, oranges, and similar fruits is a good way to get extra vitamins and minerals into the body. They also provide antioxidants and dietary fiber. Vegetable options like celery and carrot can be even better because they don’t dump a lot of fructose or other simple sugars into the body.
Surprisingly, plain popcorn can actually be quite a good option for a snack. Though you do need to the types of popcorn that contain butter, maple syrup or any other high-calorie additions.
Plain popcorn is so high in fiber it can keep away hunger for a long time. Three cups of popcorn is actually sufficient to account for around 70% of the body’s whole grain needs for the day.
So, if you want to lose weight and do decide to snack, try to snack sensibly and only choose options that are a good fit for your low-calorie diet.
Mindless Snacking Exposed
Behavioral scientists believe external cues may be one of the main reasons people overeat and gain weight. In an ideal world, we would only eat in response to hunger. We don’t live in an ideal world. According to the scientists, many of use allow external factors to influence when we start and stop eating.
For the purposes of one study, the scientists recruited a team of volunteers and placed them in front of a televised sporting event. They also provided the volunteers with an unlimited supply of chicken wings to snack on.
Half the tables were cleared between helpings. The scientists left the bones to accumulate on the rest of the tables. The volunteers who had bones on their tables ate 34% less chicken wings than the one who did not have any visual reminders of how many wings they had eaten. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17450988)
In a similar experiment, involving soup, some participants ate from normal bowls while others ate from bottomless bowls that refilled to deliver a constant supply of soup. The people eating from the rigged bowls ate 73% more soup than the ones eating from normal bones.
Other studies suggest the type of TV program or movie people watch may also influence the way they eat. For instance, one study, conducted in Australia, suggests the engagingness of TV programs may affect food intake. The study involved three episodes of the TV show Friends and the people watching repeat episodes actually ate more than those watching episodes they were unfamiliar with. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630539/#__sec16title)
So, strange as it may seem, if you to reduce snacking and lose weight, you may want to take note of what’s happening around you and try to avoid letting external factors influence how much and how often you eat.
The Bottom Line
You may lose weight if you reduce snacking. Then again you may not. Bearing in mind the way the body responds to certain external stimuli, it might be a good idea to make a decision to avoid any snacks at all. Or, at least, to be certain if you are eating due to actual hunger and to remain mindful of how much you consume.
Certainly, if you do decide to snack, you should be choosing healthy snacks, such as fruit and vegetables and keeping a close watch on your overall calorie intake for the day. Above all else, your snacks need to work for your diet instead of against it.