When we snack, we tend to over-eat, and we are never properly satisfied. Snacking contributes to a perpetual increase in insulin which makes losing fat more difficult. Snacks are also lower in essential vitamins and minerals, and healthy fibres and starches than complete, balanced meals. In fact, evidence suggests a strong link between snacking behaviours and both increased obesity and poor quality food choices.3
A better option is to have similar-sized, well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. This fits better with our natural pattern of ‘fight or flight’ (the stress response of sympathetic nervous system dominance) when we are most active, versus the ‘rest and digest’ (or ‘relaxed state’ of the parasympathetic nervous system) phase in which we can digest food optimally.
When we are ‘sympathetic nervous system dominant’ (i.e. when we are active and under pressure at work or play) blood supply is drawn away from the gut to supply the working muscles, while digestive enzymes and stomach acid secretion is reduced, and movement of food through the gut is slowed. So, snacking, especially when we’re ‘on the run’ reduces how well we can digest food and can result in cramping, pain and bloating, the common symptoms of irritable bowel, along with dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance in the gut).
Instead of ‘grazing’ eat 2-5 balanced meals per day
From Carb-Appropriate 101 by Cliff Harvey PhD
Carb-Appropriate 101 gives you 101 daily tips to help you achieve the energy, health & performance you deserve. It includes daily tips for nutrition, movement, exercise, meditation, mindfulness, sleep, stress-reduction, and more! These tips are some of the themes that Cliff has written and spoken about over his decades in practice, in ‘bite-sized’ mini-articles.
Read the book from cover-to-cover, applying a tip a day, or simply open the book to any page to find a valuable health and performance tip to help you feel and perform at your very best.