How does snacking affect weight loss?

Kirsi Bhasin
Nutrition & Dietetics

Snacking can be an effective way to lose weight when done right.  Eating 3 portioned meals and 2-3 healthy snacks every day has helped many of my clients lose weight. Eating first thing in the morning and then every 2-3 hours is an effective way to keep your metabolism going strong and to ensure that your energy levels remain constant throughout the day.

What Happens When You Skip a Meal or a Snack?

  1. Your body's metabolism slows down to make the food/fuel you gave it hours ago last longer.
  2. Your blood sugar drops, leaving you feeling cranky and light headed.
  3. You overeat at the next meal, to make up for the dip in blood sugar.

Here are some delicious, healthy snacks to check out:

  1. An apple OR banana OR an orange OR whatever is in season
  2. Rice cake with almond butter or spreadable fruit
  3. 8 slices of carrot/celery and hummus


Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Snacks can help keep your blood sugar stable to help decrease the urge to eat high caloric foods, although snacks must be included in the total calorie consumption each day and not as “extra” food. If you consume an extra 100 calories per day, you will end up gaining about 10 pounds in a year. Choose foods that are rich in nutrients instead of rich in calories. Snacks should be thought of as a mini meal suing foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy or lean protein foods as the source of best snack choices. Low calorie snacks are the lower calorie vegetables such as cucumber, celery, bell pepper, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower. Choose the lower calorie snack foods like 0 calorie beverages or raw vegetables to help curb your appetite and keep the weight off.

Nibbling a snack while you check e-mail, grabbing leftovers off your kid's plate—such habits can add a lot of calories to your day and wreck your diet. In one United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, women underestimated their daily consumption by 700 calories! Keep a food journal and track everything (yes, even that Fun Size Snickers you grabbed off a coworker's desk). It's a small habit that can help double your weight loss.

Continue Learning about Snacking and Weight Loss

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.