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To Snack or not to Snack - Ask your Dietitian the Question

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It would seem to make sense that the less you eat the more weight you lose, but there is a limit to that effect. Research shows that no additional weight is lost when calorie intake drops below 800 Calories per day. If there’s no benefit why do it? Food is enjoyable, so enjoy as much as is reasonable. With most surgeries, it is impossible to consume the volume represented by 800 Cals of healthy foods in only 3 meals in the early days. As time goes by, volume tolerance increases but this is likely caused by the nutritional and recreational drive to eat, resulting in larger volumes being consumed and stomachs effectively stretching.

To me, this suggests that you can afford to eat 800 Calories but only if the volume never exceeds 1 cup.

I recommend planning for a mid morning, mid afternoon and supper snack from the list of vital snacks. The vital snacks contain nutrients that are critical for those on a very low calorie intake and include fruit, dairy, nut and vegetable based snacks in approximately 100 Calorie portions.

What’s your favorite fruit, dairy, nut or vegetable based snack?



Snacking is counterproductive for me, a bander. If my meals are five hours apart or less, I don't need a snack. My appetite goes to sleep between meals. If I delay my meal beyond that, a snack can help bridge the gap and prevent overeating, but the down side is now I've awakened my appetite. For ME, a bander, snacking is not helpful.

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I snack all day and it works well for me. I plan out all my food so I know what I can smack on and I look forward to it. For example, my Snacks today include a small Tomato, skim mozzarella cheese stick, an ounce of cashews and some turkey Jerky. Most of those are slow to digest which is great because I stay satiated. I also include high Fiber complex carbs.

All approved by my dietitian. Everyone is different so you have to find your sweet spot.

My husband, who does not have a weight problem, can be happy with 3 squares a day and not snack at all. I can't do that because I still get hungry and if I get too hungry I make poor choices. Plus I lift weights so my metabolism is burning up those calories.

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so far apple slices, ( recommended with Peanut Butter by my nutritionist but for me apples and Peanut Butter just dont go together) some hummus either with carrot sticks or the like, or there are these great edamame rice crackers at trader joes that go great with hummus, half a whole grain, and flax seed pita with some natural peanut butter on it can be great but i do find it hard to eat peanut butter with nothing to drink, I have to try to find some Jerky i can deal with, with a top partial denture jerky can be somewhat hard to eat.

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I enjoy my Snacks. For me, if I don't snack, I get very hungry and eat more than my sleeve wants me too and then I don't feel very good! A morning and afternoon snack keeps me comfortable with good energy. My favorites are an apple, greek yogurt, Peanut Butter, or a small Protein bar.

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I see both sides. For me personally if I'm making healthy meal choices, I have to snack in order for to consume a healthy amount of calories I need daily. Typically my meals are between 200-300 calories each. I'm in maintenance and need 1338 per day to stay status quo so for me that means adding in 2-3 Snacks per day which are usually cheese, Protein bars, etc. Unless I have a higher caloric meal and then I adjust my Snacks accordingly. Now what I will say on the flip side is that typically when I do go over my calories its because I've had a higher caloric meal and still have a craving for my normal snack so........It can really go either way.

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I find if I eat my Protein I'm not hungry between meals. Sometimes when I snack like on an apple or banana it is more out of boredom than hunger. But... If I wait too long to eat my next meal I find I start grazing. Not good, so focusing mostly on protein now. I was told apples are high in carbs. What to do? It is basically the only fruit I eat

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My Snacks and meals are pretty much identical! Who's to say turkey and cheese roll ups or a greek yogert or shrimp with avocado or the insides of a chicken taco are a meal or a snack? I can't eat enough as a "meal" to not need snacks.

That sounds just fine too Jess!

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I find if I eat my Protein I'm not hungry between meals. Sometimes when I snack like on an apple or banana it is more out of boredom than hunger. But... If I wait too long to eat my next meal I find I start grazing. Not good, so focusing mostly on protein now. I was told apples are high in carbs. What to do? It is basically the only fruit I eat

Hi Arlene, apples are mainly carbohydrate and Water - not much fat or protein in there but you certainly need the nutrients in fruit - you can't get all the protective factors and the fibre from a nutritional supplement. Did you mean that when you eat fruit as a snack you start grazing or that when you don't have a snack at all you start grazing? Cheers Amanda

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Snacking is counterproductive for me, a bander. If my meals are five hours apart or less, I don't need a snack. My appetite goes to sleep between meals. If I delay my meal beyond that, a snack can help bridge the gap and prevent overeating, but the down side is now I've awakened my appetite. For ME, a bander, snacking is not helpful.

Hi there, many people report that when they eat they end up hungrier than if they didn't - do you find that generally? What I've noticed over the years is that a low appetite equals a slow metabolism. Those with a fast metabolism are generally very hungry and that the hunger you can create by eating a small amount can be very beneficial in the long run. As a bander it is really important to protect yourself from the need to overeat - when your desire for food is greater than the capacity of your stomach pouch the first thing that happens is your stomach stretches with the extra food, the second is that you regurgitate. It's the first step that does the longterm damage to appetite control because you possibly have a stomach that has stretched before and can do it again. Once there's repeated stretching, the tension in the stomach wall is not so tight after a standard amount of food and so the message to your brain to say you're satisfied weakens. Regards Amanda

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