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Snacking - Good or Bad?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

Everyone snacks, but does snacking help us to reach our fitness, nutrition and weight loss goals?

For our purposes, snacking can be defined as eating or drinking outside of our regular meal schedule. We snack because we are hungry, bored, anxious, stressed, or because there is food available or out of habit. 

Many fitness experts even recommend snacking throughout the day to boost your metabolism and keep your body burning calories at a higher rate than normal.

Unfortunately, the evidence does not support this type of snacking. How often we eat actually has little to do with how fast our body burns calories.

Is Snacking good for Weight Loss?

The evidence on weight loss and appetite control is mixed and the response seems to vary by individual. Some people feel more full after snacking and eat fewer calories as a result, while others actually eat more calories when snacking.

Snacking can affect our blood sugar levels. Eating high protein or high fiber snacks can provide more even energy levels and keep our blood sugar from spiking and dropping rapidly.

Eating a healthy snack can help us from becoming extremely hungry and overeating or making poor food choices.

Snacking is really a personal choice, but if you decide to snack choose healthy options that are in line with your goals.

Snacking Guidelines

Snack only when you are a little bit hungry. Choose snacks of 150 to 250 calories that are high in protein and fiber.Snack mindfully. Focus on the food you are eating.Keep healthy snacks on hand.Pick snacks that are portable that you can take with you.Avoid high-processed sugar foods that can leave you craving extra calories.

Controlling Cravings

There are times when we just crave something sweet or salty to eat. Stress and fatigue are two big culprits that leads us to craving and unwanted calories or worse, binge eating.

Try these techniques to curb your cravings:

Get more sleepTake a walkReach for a book or listen to your favorite music to relax before reaching for the cookies or ice-cream.Change your environment. Keep food in an inconvenient place so you have to work to get your “food fix”.

If you decide to snack, here are a few healthy snack ideas:

String cheese and fresh vegetable slices

Sunflower seeds, nuts and an apple

Cottage cheese with fruit

Cherry or grape tomatoes with low-fat or fat-free cheese

Plain, low-fat or fat-free yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit

Unsalted almonds, walnuts and other nuts

Try one of these snack challenges:

Add a healthy post-workout snack that includes protein and a complex carbohydrate.

Eliminate late night snacking

Substitute a high fiber, high protein snack for your usual sweet or salty mid-day or evening snack.

If you are tired of the diet roller-coaster and want to finally be healthy, email me at to see if the Strength for Life Total Transformation Program is for you.

Here’s what you will get with the Total Transformation Program:

8 Interactive Presentations on Nutrition, Fitness, and Healthy behaviors

8 Small Group Personal Training Classes

Unlimited access to our small group fitness classes

Recipes and Food Logs

Newsletter with Fitness and Nutrition Tips

Goal Setting

If you are ready for your new life, email me at to get started.

Who am I?

I am Jim Gallagher, the co-owner of Strength for Life, a personal training studio in Springfield, PA. Over the past 30 plus years, I have been helping people become their best selves by adopting a regular program of exercise.

At one time or another, I have worked in every segment of the fitness industry and have seen the good and bad.  Unfortunately, many fitness centers exist only to line the pockets of their owners with money taken from members who do not show up. That why we developed our own studio, Strength for Life, to make sure that we focus on getting results for our clients.

My mission is to help as many people as possible get in the best shape of their life, so they can be the best version of themselves.

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