3 Tips for Snacking Between Meals

08 July, 2020
Drinking a glass of water before eating, and in between meals, makes you feel fuller for longer. What other tips could you try to reduce hunger?
 

When following a diet, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t eat if you’re snacking in between meals. There’s a fair amount of disagreement about this, but making poor choices could seriously undermine all your progress in other areas.

So, in this article, we’ve put together three tips that you should always keep in mind when you get the temptation to snack!

Always snack on protein

Proteins do many things in the body. In particular, they help to maintain muscle mass and even play a role in regulating hormones.

They’re basic nutrients and they make you feel fuller than carbohydrates. This means that, if you’re going to snack in between meals, it’s best to pick something rich in protein.

But it doesn’t have to be animal protein. You could opt instead for some nuts or even some nut-based creams or spreads. That way, you’ll provide your body with protein and a dose of healthy fats, which according to a study published in 2018, are good for your cardiovascular health.

Drink a glass of water before snacking between meals

This is really much more effective than you might think. By drinking a glass of water first, you’ll stimulate the receptors in your stomach and reduce your appetite. Then, you’ll be much less likely to overeat.

A woman with a glass of water before snacking between meals.
 

Try squeezing the juice of half a lemon in the glass to improve the flavor and add some antioxidants. But avoid falling into the temptation to drink soft drinks or juices. According to an article published in The American Journal of Nursing, these are directly linked to weight gain.

Avoid processed foods

Another common mistake when eating between meals is turning to sweet, processed, or salty snacks. These contain a lot of calories, sugars, and trans fats which are linked to increased body fat and poorer health.

Prioritize fresh produce instead. Fruits and nuts are an excellent choice for snacking between meals. But be careful with the nuts since they can be high in calories too.

Eating more than a handful of nuts a day could unbalance your diet and increase your calorie intake which will stop you from losing weight.

Sweet snacks are OK from time to time, just to give yourself a bit of a break. But don’t do it more than once or twice a week.

The rest of the time, you should choose fresh food. Lean meats such as turkey or cooked ham are fine in moderation, but they do find themselves in a gray area between healthy and unhealthy.

Avocado on toast.
 

Snacking between meals won’t ruin your diet

The most important thing when devising a meal plan is to recognize that snacking between meals isn’t a bad thing. However, this is only true if you avoid processed foods rich in calories, sugars, and trans fats. If you stick to fresh foods such as fruit, or even dairy products, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

Introducing protein is always a good idea as it helps to stop you from feeling hungry. Proteins also play a role in various bodily processes and help to maintain muscle mass.

Another effective trick is to drink a glass of water before snacking. That way, your stomach will feel a bit more bloated and this, in turn, will reduce your appetite. You’ll be much less likely to overeat. Try adding the juice of half a lemon to add flavor.

But whatever you do, avoid soft drinks. These are directly linked to weight gain because of their high sugar content and low amount of fiber!

 
  • Abdelhamid AS., Brown TJ., Brainard JS., Biswas P., et al., Omega 3 fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018.
  • Zolot J., Daily consumption of fruit juice is associated with slight weight gain in young children. Am J Nurs, 2017.
  • Julie E. Flood-Obbagy; Barbara J. Rolls. 2009. The effect of fruit in different forms on energy intake and satiety at a meal. Appetite. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S019566630800620X
  • Lappalainen R, Mennen L, van Weert L, Mykkänen H. 1993. Drinking water with a meal: a simple method of coping with feelings of hunger, satiety and desire to eat. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8287852