There was a time when I had breakfast (um, pregnancy), a snack at 9am, a snack at 11am, lunch, a snack at 3pm, maybe another snack at home, and dinner. Wow! And I really didn’t think much of it, but in writing that sounds like a train wreck. The thing was, I’d have an apple or banana for morning snacks and a granola bar in the afternoon. It didn’t seem harmful. Once I got to adding up all those noshes though, I was amazed. How could fruit be sabotaging my diet? Well, it wasn’t.
It was all those extra little bites of things here and there. I’d get home and grab a stack of Pringles and then grab a few more (because once you pop…). Dinner would consist of a pile of meat and plenty of sides. I’d sometimes drink several glasses of milk with meals. And all meals were topped off with at least a little bit of sugar for dessert. This all added up to way too much.
I started slowly, removing a snack here and there until I was comfortable enough to go between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and quitting time, without snacks. Then, I added those apples and bananas to my meals so my plate was more full of healthy fare instead of things like fries. I eliminated most of my liquid calories except for about two glasses of lowfat milk per day. That was the trick!
It’s difficult though to remove all those snacks once you’ve gotten used to eating them every day. But that’s the thing! The only reason I ate all those snacks was because I was used to them. I’m not famished in between meals now and I still snack when I’m feeling a little too hungry, but the desire for those constant snacks disappeared once I got used to not having them. Now, tea and gum keep my taste buds satisfied when I feel like I just need something in my mouth, not necessarily nourishment. It can be smart to spread 3 meals into 5 smaller ones throughout the day for some people, but it’s crucial to keep those portions pared way down and not let all that snacking get out of control.