I love snacking. I eat every 2-3 hours and not because I am just kind of hungry, I am starving! However, not everyone is like this. I have a fast metabolism and a lot of that is due to how much I workout.
One of the most popular weight loss strategies is to eat every two hours to keep your metabolism going, but I have found that this is not a one size fits all solution to helping with weight loss. Not everyone’s bodies are the same, especially in the beginning of a weight loss journey. New “secret” ways of eating are always coming out, claiming, “this will help you lose weight.” But people forget that the human body is smart. When a person tries to control how his or her own body wants to function, the body continues on the path it wants.
Each person is different and listening to your body is the key to losing weight. The idea that you need to eat a snack every two hours may work for some people, but not for everyone. I have worked with people who are actually hungry every two to three hours, therefore they eat. However, I have seen others try this method when they were not hungry, and it led to weight gain or a plateau of their with loss. Once you stop snacking because of a clock and listen to your body, you will find that your body will tell you when it is hungry. The trick then is to eat mindfully and in moderation.
Snacking when hungry can prevent overeating at your next meal. If you are hungry every couple hours then eat! If you don’t and try to ignore your body’s signals you will eat twice as much at the next meal because you will be ravenous. Starving yourself and only eating a couple meals a day will not give you the results you want. Feeding yourself only one or two large meals a day does not allow your body to utilize the food correctly.
On the other hand, if you are not hungry every couple of hours that is fine too, that is the way your body wants to eat. As your weight loss progresses this may change and your metabolism may start to speed up, which may then mean you are hungry more often.
Don’t force your body to do things it doesn’t want to do, especially when you are trying to make a lifestyle change, this will only lead to struggle. Check-in with yourself to make sure you are eating mindfully when you are actually hungry, not just eating because you are bored or because your latest diet tips tells you it is time. Make steps to become healthier and don’t forget to let your body have a say.