After reading this article, you may continue your indulgence if you wish. Sorry for the interruption.
Snacking is a widespread habit in the western world.
It may be good or bad, depending on our metabolism, health conditions, and lifestyle factors. Some people eat ten times a day, and they don't gain a gram of fat. Some eat only three meals a day, and they struggle with weight management. I was the one in the second group as a carb intolerant person.
Interestingly some people snack to lose fat. Some nutritionists and dieticians advise it. The merit is the thermic effect of food. It has scientific backing, but when hormonal effects of frequent feeding factored in, the thermic effect of food becomes negligible. Not knowing this fact was my mistake.
Snacks never worked for me. I found the reasons later, after suffering a lot.
I used food for emotional numbing rather than using it as a fuel.
I used to snack several times a day without knowing its adverse effects on my body. I thought my body needed fuel to function.
My office desk was full of celery cuts, carrots, sandwiches, low-fat cookies, and many snack packs purchased from health shops. While typing, I was stuffing something to my mouth. Sometimes with no awareness!
There were times I thought my snacks were stolen by colleagues and asking the who pinched my snacks. There were a few embarrassing moments blaming others, but the culprit was me. It was no one, but my mindless eating was consuming them.
One day I had an epiphany.
My snacking was entirely emotional eating. By snacking, I was trying to feel void.
My uncomfortable emotions were driving my hunger and appetite.
I was rationalizing to snack by associating it with health reasons such as it would boost my metabolism and initiate fat lost.
An empty stomach was causing discomfort. Something was missing all the time.
When I get angry, upset, ashamed, and disappointed, I comforted my hurtful feelings with food. Food was a source of perceived healing. However, it was poisoning my body.
Eating three meals a day and supplementing with three snacks were overloading my digestive system.
Bloating was obvious and getting worse and worse.
My thinking was to burn the calories with my usual 10K run. I was running after lunch and dinner. Running gave me instant pleasure, but my joints and ligaments started feeling the pain with severe inflammation after a while.
My focus was on calories. I was counting calories taken and spent.
I was burning the calories with my extensive cardio, but that was not my issue.
The issue was excessive glucose in my bloodstream caused by constant feeding and no fasting. My digestive system did not have a chance to rest and heal.
Worst of all, constant and excessive glucose in the bloodstream were triggering insulin. High and frequent insulin release to my bloodstream created the central issue. When insulin is high, our bodies do not burn fat. Insulin was taking the sugar from my bloodstream and converting them to fat molecules.
Insulin is an essential hormone for doing its job. But too much insulin can have metabolic issues. One notable mention is diabetes two. My parents and some relations struggle with diabetes. We are all carbs intolerant.
So my problem was high-level glucose in my body converting to fat with spiked insulin. The fat building was mainly abdominal fat. I was young and doing a lot of cardio, but my belly was growing.
Calories confused me a lot. I was calculating my calorie intake and outtake diligently. But not losing fat with calory deficient did not make sense to me. According to my calculation, I was supposed to be lean and no fat. But my fat ratio was increasing day by day.
The more snack I eat, the more hunger I felt. The more I ate, the more glucose was in my bloodstream. The more glucose in the bloodstream, my insulin was created. With the more and frequent insulin releases the more fat I was accumulating.
When insulin removed the glucose from the bloodstream, I was starving and craving for more food.
I revisited my habits. Every three to four hours, I was replenishing my fuel tank. I did not know I was adding garbage to my body. My body did not need more carbs. It needed more protein and healthy fat. The emotions were compelling me to eat more carbs and sugary food.
Finally, I decided to cut the snacks.
Eating more protein and healthy fat in my meals relieved the hunger.
Whenever I feel like eating a snack, I asked: do I need more sugar in my bloodstream?
Pausing and asking questions to myself turned to habit.
After a while, I learned about intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. When I was fasting 16 hours, and eating in the 8-hour window made a tremendous effect. Fasting with the ketogenic diet was a double whammy. My body became fat-adapted and learned to burn fat naturally. I never felt hungry again.
When I break my fast at dinner time, the food was delicious.
Food was for fuel not for emotional numbing anymore.
In three months, I lost ten pounds of fat. I shared my experience in an article on News Break titled: I Was Overweight When I Was Not Doing These Things.
Losing actual fat, especially from the belly, was a remarkable achievement. I felt healthier and happier.
Since then, I am on one meal day. I keep my optimal weight and emotionally feel wonderful.
Saying goodbye to snacks and frequent meal healed me.
I hope my story provided you with useful insights.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
If you enjoyed this article, you may check my other articles on News Break.