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Why Even Healthy Snacks Don’t Work for Me

With my current food plan, I stick to three meals a day and snacks are a rare occurrence. In my not-so-distant past, I ate off and on all day long; not surprisingly, this was the same way I drank before I got sober. Getting off snacking was a huge revelation to me for I’d always accepted the folk wisdom that 5-6 smaller meals were better. But to be honest, those meals for me weren’t much smaller than breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Here’s what I’ve learned about snacking. First, I was overtaxing my body, which never got a break from digesting. Second, I thought I was burning off those calories with a lot of activity, but I wasn’t. Although I moved a lot (walking, going to the gym), it wasn’t  enough to burn all consumption. Most importantly, I wasn’t accepting the reality that it is very hard for me to eat a small quantity of food and then stop. I can eat until I’m full or I can abstain from eating, but once I get started, I can’t just stop after a few bites.

Snacking assumes you can stop, that you can eat an apple or an ounce of cheese or a few nuts, and be done. Turns out I can only be done when a full meal is over, when I’ve had enough. So now I rarely snack. Instead, if my schedule changes, I move my three meals around to accommodate and sometimes I’m just hungry.

What’s your experience with snacking? Does it help you stay abstinent or hinder it?

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