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Strategic Snacking



I can tell without even looking at a clock, when it’s close to 10:30am.




Because my stomach starts grumbling a bit and my focus is a little off—I’m getting hungry. It’s time for my mid-morning snack!


I eat a modest breakfast at 7:45. So, no surprise, I get hungry by mid-morning.


  • Do I wander into the breakroom and grab whatever donut or bagel is lying around?


  • Do I resist the hunger, ignoring it until it gets so big that I drive through the closest and fastest place I can find ordering the biggie sized lunch to match my appetite?


No. (Because experience has shown neither ends well if I want to maintain my weight loss)


Instead, I plan for this inevitability. I make sure I have an appropriate snack waiting for me.


If you know it’s going to rain, you bring an umbrella.

If you’re going on a trip, you make arrangements for a hotel room.

If you need to wake at a certain time, you set an alarm.


There’s no doubt you’ll get hungry in the day, so have food ready. Plan for it.


The big 3: breakfast, lunch and dinner are more obvious to plan, but snacks are just as important.


Not everyone needs a midmorning snack. It depends on many factors including whether you have coffee and if you’re a morning person, but almost everyone will need an afternoon snack.


If you have lunch at 1pm, a reasonable lunch with veggies and protein, and you didn't over eat, you'll be hungry by 4pm. Even for us older folks, that’s a bit too early for dinner.


We need a snack.


Denying afternoon hunger, in the hopes of holding out for a big, rewarding dinner, ends in weight gain every time. Here’s how:


An appropriate afternoon snack runs about 150 calories (I recommend squeezing as much protein as you can into the 150 calories). Since you won’t be out-of-your-mind-empty by dinnertime, you’ll more be able to choose satisfying but not overly fatty foods.


But if you skip that snack, by dinnertime You. Need. Food.


And it could look something like this: The bread from the breadbasket feels like a must, so does a couple of glasses of wine and it just seems like time to order the lasagna you’ve been craving.  


All that will be many more calories than one glass of wine, the chicken breast with veggie medley and sorbet for dessert you would order, and be satisfied with, when you have all your faculties.


The 150 calories of snack saved you at least 500 dinner calories, conservatively.


Do this over and over and you’ve got tight pants in a matter of weeks.


Or you can get in the habit of planning for and eating an afternoon snack.


I highly recommend the snack option.



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