Snacking - Killing the Progress

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(Matt Rogers) #1

Hello everyone, the hurdle that I constantly deal with is my snacking habits. Back in the beginning of this journey I was having trouble getting enough fat in my diet and I started to eat additional fat on the side. I would eat cheese and Mayonnaise. I know that this combination is not very appealing but it has become an addictive go to “snack” for myself.

However, the problem is that it it turns into more than a snack and is more like a meal as I can’t stop eating it when I start and calorie wise it adds up quick. I exercise regularly but I do not burn enough to balance out this bad food habit. I am sure there aren’t many people with this exact problem but may have a similar situation with some other food item.

My question, does anyone have any advice to overcome this habit? Tricks or tips to eliminate this from my diet as I am tired of sabotaging myself for this simple yet frustrating habit that I constantly battle. I would love any advice or thoughts that could help. Thank you in advance keto family!


(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #2

The advice circulating when I joined the forums four years ago, was that, if you needed a snack, to make it something low-carb (so, pre-cooked bacon, pepperoni, cheese, and so forth), then eat more at the next meal. The goal is to eat enough to be able to go several hours between meals. A well-formulated ketogenic diet is not a low-calorie way of eating.

If you are having trouble getting enough food to satisfy you, you may need to tweak your protein/fat ratio to find what works best for you. Even if you are getting plenty of fat, you won’t feel satisfied unless you are also getting enough protein. If you are getting enough protein to meet your body’s needs, then at some point the fat you are eating will satisfy you. If you look at the study used to set the recommended daily amount of protein, you will see that, while the graph shows the average protein requirement, the individual data points vary considerably, with some people needing far less protein than the average, and some people needing quite a bit more.

P.S.—There are researchers who claim that all mammals have an instinct for getting the necessary amount of protein. For human beings, it seems to average around 15% of daily calories. But again, your mileage (kilometrage?) is almost certain to vary.


(Laurie) #3

I have trouble with some snack habits (mostly eating at night). All I can suggest is to keep trying and not give up at the first failure(s). Eventually you may find your “not snacking” days outnumber your snacking days. Then you’ll be on your way.

You might also wish to tackle adjacent habits. For example, can you stop buying mayo or cheese? Or buy less of each? Sure, you might find yourself doing an emergency run to the grocery store to buy more cheese. But this will happen less and less often. Good luck!


(Robin) #4

Lots of talk about snacking on here. I was always a night snacker. When I stopped, I immediately noticed how much better I slept. So… start noticing how you feel after you DO snack. And then notice how you feel when you don’t. Sometimes the benefits of not snacking are significant enough to change your habit.
I also like the above advice… if you must snack, make it something totally harmless that you can’t really over-do… like a hunk of meat. And ask yourself if you are bored, truly hungry, or just following a well worn path (habit). Self awareness should get you where you want to be.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

Salted water. I don’t mean imitation sea water, just salted water. Instead of eating something. Plus everything Paul said.


#6

Yes I have this challenge too. I snack mostly on nuts, yummy cheeses and berries. Not things I want to be overeating on. It is easy to eat several handfuls of each every day, and tell yourself they are harmless simply because they are keto-friendly. But actually it can perpetuate mindless habits and emotional eating.

Here are some things I am trying at the moment:

  1. Structured and predictable meals. For those of us who’ve had eating disorders in the past, this is common recovery advice - consistently feeding your body a predictable pattern of nourishing meals over many months, helps to overcome the restriction/starvation pattern. Sometimes it means eating before you’re hungry, which I know is anathema to many on this forum, but some of us have less reliable appetite and satiety signals than others. When I maintain a regular routine of 3 meals a day, it stops me bingeing and helps me snack less too.

  2. Being intentional about kitchen and grocery store time. If I wander around the kitchen aimlessly outside of meal times, guaranteed I will start opening the fridge and pantry purely out of habit, and that is when snacking happens. It’s practically automatic. I am trying to cut this habit down. Likewise, going to the grocery store just for something to do is a surefire way to end up with an “interesting” basket of snacks. (Luckily this was a last resort for lockdown boredom, and rarely an issue in normal life)

  3. Using herbal tea as an “end of meal” signal or palate cleanser.


(Doing a Mediterranean Keto) #7

I am trying with psyllium husk, water and vinegar. Maybe a placebo, but it works for me.


(Marianne) #8

Oh, dude - I can help you; I LOVE fat!!! :heart_eyes::rofl:

Seriously, if you eat enough and get enough fat at your “meals,” your body will naturally not want (or need) a snack. How about having a bulletproof coffee or two in the morning with your breakfast (or alone, if you don’t eat breakfast)? If you’ve never had one, they are delicious. Use butter and heavy cream. I wouldn’t mess with a blender (minimal cleanup), but would just put it in a container and shake it until frothy. Early in my journey, I would have 1-2 of these as my breakfast, and they would carry me until lunch or dinner.

I’ll list a recipe for cream soup. A cup or two of that at lunch or dinner will give you enough fat and carry you. I use breakfast sausage, but it really can be a base or anything that is your favorite, even chicken or seafood. Again, I don’t fuss with anything and just quickly throw everything into a pot and heat quickly.

1/4 stick of butter
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. water
6 breakfast sausage, diced (or protein of your choice)
1-1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. hot mexican chili powder or reg. chili powder
cayenne to taste (last night, I made it really spicy and my husband and I loved it!)
1/2 boullion cube
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (add last to hot soup, but don’t overheat or it will separate)

Lastly, when we were eating veggies, I would steam like brussels spouts and add salt, butter and bacon grease. Our vegetables were always just a conduit for fat, which is my preference. If we had a salad, it would just be romaine with lots of home made blue cheese dressing - only heavy cream, whipped, blue cheese crumbles, worcestshire, salt, lemon and some spices.

Good luck to you!


(Robin) #9

Yes, yes, and yes! All of this!


#10

If newer to plan than snacking is a habit that your meals will fix then ya gotta bring your brain around to the fact that snacking is off the table :slight_smile:

Your meal will keep the snacks at bay. Eat bigger and more fatty til ya can’t take another bite…then no snacks will be required.

Many come into thinking XYZ as a meal but a meal should be totally nourishing and satisfying and FILLING and not some fluff meat that ‘just gets ya by’ til ya hit the snacks.

My personal toughie was night time snacking. Pure habit. Oh yea, relax, some tv, dead time and EAT the snacks and it was hard to disassociate it but the way I did that was ALL thru the meals of my day. Once the body changes and we get more nourished and healed up the hormones and guts and more and we eat very well on our meals we enjoy, your snacking becomes a thing of the past, but yea darn it, it can take time to establish this.

and good thing is your snacks show you personal body wants…high fat and protein. It tells you while my late night snacks I wanted chips, popcorn and crap so you are in a WAY better scenario then I was…just eat bigger fatty meals to true satisfaction and fill the belly :slight_smile:

keep on!!


#11

I don’t see anything bad in snacking, per se (I can’t usually do tiny meals so most of my snacking happened during mealtimes) but if it causes overeating or other problems, that’s bad, sure.

I know the problem of unsatiating items, I can’t afford them so I simply minimize them. if you know you eat in a nearly endless loop without any need if you start eating some item, don’t eat them. Or if you can do it, put a very controlled amount on a tiny plate and don’t eat more.

It was already mentioned but very true: if you eat properly, much enough, enough protein, enough calories, the right satiating items, with the right timing… Then you simply won’t want a snack. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone but probably the vast majority of us can say it works. I am a hard nut and eating a proper very low-carb OMAD sized meal does WONDERS!
I still could eat a ton afterwards, not immediately but a bit later using wrong items but I don’t do that. it’s not hard as I am in a perfect satiated state for a day. OMAD is for me and not all the time, of course it may be 2, 3 or whatever meals for you, it’s individual. Main thing you eat a big enough satiating meal and you will be fine for a while. If you are peckish, maybe you did something bad. I lose all desire when I am very satiated, it’s so cool… No hunger, no appetite. Perfect. And if you get properly hungry again, eat again. It may be in 2, 3, 6 or 10 hours, it’s individual again. I never last for long unless I ate a substantial meal. So just because you get hungry soon, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to force-feed yourself next time to eat more per meal or that your chosen food is wrong, maybe you need more frequent meals…? I say this as I saw so many times that people thought one on keto must eat rarely. My body doesn’t work like that, only on OMAD. I often eat quite frequently in my eating window. 1 meal per hour is a tad annoying (and never happened until I went very low with my carbs), it’s usually a sign that I need to wait for longer or choose my food better. But not getting hungry in 3 hours, that’s super rare unless I ate a biggish meal :wink: I don’t know how people should do it with a big eating window, I rarely eat before mid-afternoon… A big eating window with many meals probably means one is happy with small meals… Or if not, the food choices should be off, maybe the timing too, eating not out of need.

If one just want to consume something but no food is needed, there is tea, sometimes it’s the best route I suppose…


#12

One more thing that’s worked brilliantly for me on nighttime snacking - but probably only works if you’re a true morning person - is going to bed earlier. I’ve been getting up at 5am for an early gym class 4 days a week, and so I need to start getting ready for bed around 8.30pm the night before, because I faff around and take a while to get to sleep.

When you only have 2 hours between dinner and bed, it makes it so much easier not to snack. (And a spare hour to me at 6.30am is worth way more than one late at night - on a good day, I’m full of optimism and energy all morning, and not thinking about food in the slightest. But that’s just my body clock.)


(Edith) #13

I also find that if I snack, the snack can turn into a meal, so what I have started doing is just that - turning my snack into my meal. If I notice that I just want to keep eating, I will just go a head and have my dinner. Even if that makes my dinner a little earlier than usual, I find I will be good until the next morning.

So, maybe your snack is telling you it is meal time.


(Robin) #14

Good points that I also share. I have learned there’s a huge difference between actual hunger for more food, and the old bad habit to satisfy emotional urges. Since I was always a night time slacker, I just put an absolute stop o any food after dinner. and then I was so surprised at how well I slept, it’s not even tempting now. YAY!


(Robin) #15

Interesting. I hadn’t thought of that.