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Amelia Freer's Eating Overhaul: should you remove even healthy snacks from your diet?

February 15th 2016 / Amelia Freer / 5 comments

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Nutritional therapist Amelia Freer explains why all snacking has got to stop if you want to lose weight

I want to explain why I suggest removing snacks, even the healthy ones out of your diet. It goes against conventional advice that suggests that snacking keeps our metabolism going and stops us from getting hungry, and hence making poorer food choices.

This, of course makes sense and if you have heard this advice before, you haven’t been lied to - it’s how I practised for years, and it was how I was trained. However, since the snacking concept became mainstream, I noticed that clients were eating more and more throughout the day. After breakfast, a piece of fruit or a “healthy” fruit juice would appear a couple of hours later, then a cup of caffeine, then a mid-morning healthy snack such as nuts and dried fruit but always a larger portion than necessary and then a taste of a colleague’s brownie and so on till the inevitable mid-afternoon need for something sweet occurs…without realising it, we have begun to consume more and more each day.

MORE GLOSS: 10 ways to clean up your diet with Amelia Freer

This actually confuses our metabolism as well as causing insulin spikes throughout the day - the exact opposite of what we want when trying to keep trim and healthy. Our bodies just weren’t designed to eat a steady flow of food as and when we choose, let alone the neverending cups of caffeine or access to the high sugar and high carbs that now feature very normally in our daily diets.

If your diet has completely succumbed to today’s way of eating high carb, grain, caffeine and refined sugar then it is most likely that using a small, healthy, protein rich mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack each day will initially help to stabilise blood sugar levels. This is something I will recommend in the early stages if necessary. However, slowly, as diets improve and dependency on stimulants and sugars declines, I’ll always remove the snacks, freeing my clients up to just eat three main meals each day. It works. I find that removing snacks and only consuming food and drinks three times during the day is actually more mentally challenging than physically and so really helps clients to become aware of how they are using food.

MORE GLOSS: See GTG’s experience of cutting out snacks here

I encourage you to try it if you haven’t already. However, the key to eating this way only works if you are making healthy choices – if you are eating junk then you’ll continue to crave junk and this will be an uphill struggle. Only consume water between meals and eat only three meals per day – use these suggestions as a guideline.

If you want to make life easier for yourself – prepare! If you get caught out without a healthy meal available then it can all go out the window. This frittata recipe can be used at any meal of the day, is delicious hot or cold and along with being super quick and easy to make, you can make up a few portions that will cover a couple of other meals for the week.

Amelia Freer is a nutritional therapist and author. Check out her Winter ebook in our marketplace and find her latest Cook. Nourish. Glow book here.

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This week's recipe idea from Amelia is for Green Chicken. See the recipe here - check it out and let us know what you think, and be sure to take a look at our Freedom2Train workout videos too.

How are you getting on? Tweet us @GettheGloss and remember to hashtag #ProjectBikini

- See more at: http://www.getthegloss.com/article/freer-nutrition-s-bikini-body-summer-school-week-three#sthash.tHaxZ19r.dpuf

This week's recipe idea from Amelia is for Green Chicken. See the recipe here - check it out and let us know what you think, and be sure to take a look at our Freedom2Train workout videos too.

How are you getting on? Tweet us @GettheGloss and remember to hashtag #ProjectBikini

- See more at: http://www.getthegloss.com/article/freer-nutrition-s-bikini-body-summer-school-week-three#sthash.tHaxZ19r.dpuf

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  • lynne fox
  • February 17th 2016

Hi Amelia,
I've been wanting to ask you this question for so long. The subject of wanting to put on weight seems not to be a one broached by many people, which I totally understand. I have both your books and thoroughly enjoy using your recipes. I love eating this way and finally feel I have found a way of eating and cooking which seems to be more of a hobby than a daily chore. Since stating this new way of eating the weight is dropping off me. However I'm one of those people who needs to put a bit on! Some people may consider this a fortunate thing. But it's quite a difficult task for me. I've always been on the slim side and very active. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth so don't crave those things. I can totally understand the concept of no snacking but wondered what your thoughts were regarding maintaining/putting on weight in a healthy and enjoyable way. Any tips would be so appreciated. Thank you

  • lynne fox
  • February 17th 2016

Hi Amelia,
I've been wanting to ask you this question for so long. I have both your books and thoroughly enjoy using your recipes. I love eating this way and finally feel I have found a way of eating and cooking which seems to be more of a hobby than a daily chore. Since stating this new way of eating the weight is dropping off me. However I'm one of those people who needs to put a bit on! Some people may consider this a fortunate thing. But it's quite a difficult task for me. I've always been on the slim side and very active. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth so don't crave those things. I can totally understand the concept of no snacking but wondered what your thoughts were regarding maintaining/putting on weight in a healthy and enjoyable way. Any tips would be so appreciated. Thank you

  • Elizabeth Miller
  • February 16th 2016

I've heard some say that it is better for our bodies to eat three filling (healthy) meals a day, as opposed to grazing, but I was curious what your thoughts are for people who suffer from hypoglycemia. I've read so many different views on what the best eating plan is to control blood-sugar levels.

  • Holly Skelton
  • February 16th 2016

I am very inspired by your book but would like advice about where to buy a good probiotic ? Many thanks. Maureen

Campbell.

  • Deborah Hunt
  • May 13th 2013

so true, I used to snack so much although healthy and wondered why I couldnt lose any weight. Now Ive almost cut them out altogether (except on run days) the weight is shifting and I am not hungry.

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