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Best Weight-Loss Diet Programs for Hardcore Snackers

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  • By Paul A. Achoa
    KingofHowTo.com Health & Fitness Expert

    11/29/2011


    Most everyone agrees that mindless eating is the fast-track toward weight gain; however, that isnít enough to stop some compulsive snackers from shoving their hands into bags and boxes filled with irresistible delights. For years, dieters have been told to quit grazing and stay out of the kitchen; however, a new study indicates that the best weight-loss diet programs should include some level of snacking, as long as it's not in the morning.

    Diet programs and morning snacking

    According to a recent weight-loss study conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, female dieters who snack in the hours between breakfast and lunch lose less weight than women on similar diets who snack at other times.

    In their findings, researchers determined that mid-morning snackers lost 7 percent of their body weight while dieting, while those who didn't snack in the morning lost an average of 11 percent. Interestingly, the latter group didn't snack any less. In fact, the study indicated that female dieters who snacked more often actually had a greater fiber intake, while afternoon-only snackers were found to eat more vegetables and fruit.

    Best weight loss programs for snack-lovers

    According to lead researcher, Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., the study probably doesn't indicate that snack timing has much to do with weight loss; instead, she says the poorer results attributed to mid-morning snackers have more to do with the brief interval between the average breakfast and lunch.

    McTiernan says the findings indicate that snacking too close to meals is detrimental to weight loss diet programs, but snacking itself might be beneficial. According to McTiernan, though people tend to think they should feel hungry while dieting, the opposite can occur when they snack responsibly on high-fiber, nutritious foods that promote fullness without adding a lot of calories.

    McTiernan also says that snacking could be an important part of an overweight person's toolkit, as long as he or she only eats in response to legitimate hunger. She also recommends that dieters shorten the intervals between eating by snacking intermittently to prevent them from getting too hungry and overindulging when they have their next meal.

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