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Snacking in the Morning May Hurt Weight Loss

Quick Tip: Think Before You Snack in the Morning

The next time you reach for that midmorning snack after breakfast, think about it: are you really hungry? If the answer is no, that unneeded morning snack may be the reason why you're not losing weight, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, followed 123 overweight women on weight-loss plans and found that the women who ate a snack between breakfast and lunch lost seven percent of their body weight over a year, while those who didn't snack in the morning lost more — 11 percent of their body weight during the same time period.

The women who snacked in the morning, between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., ended up snacking more frequently throughout the entire day. Researchers think that the morning snackers lost less weight because they were eating unneeded calories: reaching for a snack during the short time between breakfast and lunch could be motivated less by hunger and more by mindless eating and could be a sign of less healthy eating habits overall, they said.

Not all morning snacking is bad, especially if you are an early riser, since the amount of hours between your breakfast and lunch — or the fact that you had a light breakfast — may necessitate it. And snacking, in general, is a great tool for weight loss (read three healthy reasons to snack here). But the study shows how mindless eating and other bad eating habits can affect your bottom line when trying to lose weight. Here's a reminder: think before you reach for that handful of pretzels tomorrow morning!

Image Source: Thinkstock
leemorg leemorg 5 years
Hi there, This is certainly an interesting article. As noted, not all snacking is "bad," in fact, strategic snacking can actually help you in your weight loss goals. The "what" is probably an equal consideration. As the end of this article mentions, there's definitely several other factors to consider, like how long you've been up for, and so forth. Going long periods of time without eating isn't good for your body, so as we know, this study is best taken with a grain of salt. I think what we can take away from this is to be mindful of WHAT, if anything, you're munching on, not necessarily WHEN you're actually doing the eating. Legitimately hungry at 10 am? That's perfectly fine, so long as you don't immediately turn to chips, candy bars, soda, and so forth. A healthy well-portioned snack should be okay to fuel your body. I think the study's right to point out the importance of "gauging" how hungry you are as well; are you REALLY hungry, or are you just looking for a distraction? This question should come up whenever you find yourself randomly opening the fridge door, and not just in the morning. :) Thanks for the interesting article! Best, Lee @
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