The cave man survived on 2 meals per day and most paleo dieters try to follow suit. He spent most of his time hunting and gathering hence no much time to snack in between. These two meals included breakfast before he went gathering and dinner for when he came back home. Just because he did this does not mean that we should imitate because life today is very different from back then. This is only meant to give you an idea of the paleo kind of diet and not to imitate.
Truth be told, some people can easily get by with two meals a day while others can’t. This mainly depends with the kind of career that you are in. Construction workers need heavy meals and snacks in between in order to continuously boost their energy levels through out the day. On the other hand, people who’s jobs are less tedious can easily get by with three square meals without snacks in between. Snacking is acceptable as it prevents binging on unhealthy foods.
To Snack or Not to
Some people can get through a day without snacking while others can’t. Just like the caveman ate twice a day, some people can follow suit without starving themselves. Some simply cannot get by with just 3 meals per day hence eating smaller portions during the main meals and snacking in between. On the other hand, people that can effectively survive without snacks prefer eating larger meals during the main meals. It is therefore true to say that snacking depends on one’s eating habits. What works for one person might not work for another. It is due to this reason that there aren’t strict rules for or against snacking.
Is eating 6 small meals better than 3 large meals
Eating three large meals instead of six small meals (includes main meals and snacks) does not make you a better eater. The six small meals are simply a breakdown of the three major meals. This is simply spreading out the calories/food consumption as opposed to eating them in one sitting.
Snacking and Weight Gain
This is a common misconception. Studies have been conducted on this matter but the bottom line is that what you snack on determines your weight gain or loss. As long as you know and understand the kinds of foods to snack on, chances of weight gain are less likely. Some people ignore snacks but end up eating large portions for main meals hence piling on the calories. Vegetables and fruits are not only healthy but also contain less calories. When you eat these before meals, they reduce your appetite hence eating smaller meals. This translates to less calories consumption during main meals.
Snacks should be in small portions. This paired up with wise snack options determines whether you’re on the right track or not. A more filling snack is a better choice. It means that you will remain satisfied all through the day. In this case, fiber filled snacks especially those made from vegetables are a suitable choice. The fiber not only aids in digestion but also keeps you full and satisfied for longer. This is because the digestion of fiber is slow hence staying in your tummy longer. Fiber will also help you eat less during the main meals hence aiding in weight loss. ‘Some fruits such as apples and pears are also rich in fiber hence a great snack option.
As much as paleo snacks are acceptable, you need to be mindful of the portions. A big portion will of course see you falling off the\maintenance caravan. You can determine the appropriate portions depending on the calories and the nutritional value of the snacks. Everyone has their own daily nutrient/calorie requirement that is determined by their age, nature of work and age. A nutritionist may help you with this one. A person trying to lose weight requires less calories than one that’s trying to maintain their weight. Your BMI will guide you.
Acceptable Flavoring Options
For a paleo diet, no artificial seasoning is allowed. If you need to use something to make your snacks tastier, it has to be naturally grown, collected or made. In this case, use sea salt, dried herbs, tomato sauce, lemon, lime and natural spices. Salads would be tastier if you sprinkled lemon juice instead of salt. Dried herbs would also be ideal. Pan fried snacks would need a little bit of sea salt though.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Snack Ingredients
Always keep in mind that theis very strict and excludes food groups that most people consider healthy, with reasons of course. The acceptable foods include; red and white meat for protein and vegetables and fruits for vitamins and fiber. The prohibited foods include; dairy products, beans, peanuts, processed oils, refined sugar, salt, alcohol, coffee, tea and grains. These are not only unhealthy but unnatural too.
To Buy or To Make your Own Snacks
You can buy ready-made snacks that obey the rules of the paleo diet. Do not assume that just because they contain meat and vegetables, they are good for paleo dieters. Some contain processed salt, vinegar, and all sorts of unnatural ingredients hence compromising your loyalty to the diet. Remember that the ingredients list isn’t always truthful. Some companies emit some details.
The paleo snack idea differs from an ordinary person’s. While they opt for the usual cookies, chocolate, burgers and candy bars, paleo dieters opt for healthier options. There are many paleo snack recipes that you can explore to make your own easy paleo snacks at home. Sugary snacks give you the energy boost to keep going while salty paleo snacks reduce cravings and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Remember, snacking should be used for energy boosting and fighting hunger pangs and never for entertainment or fun. As you get used to the diet, you can reduce the number of times that you snack as well as the portions during main meals which results to maximum.