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Is it true that snacking can make you fat?

Who doesn't like snacking in their spare time? Eating snacks can fill an empty stomach. Snacking can also be a way to release stress. However, does the habit of snacking make you fat? Check out the full explanation below.

Is it true that snacking can make you fat?

What causes snacking to make you fat?

Various studies find out whether snacking can make you fat.

A study published in Hepatology (2014) found a relationship between eating frequency and body weight gain.

In this study it was found that eating more often in a high-calorie diet can increase belly fat and weight.

If you like snacking, of course, you will eat more often, so you may gain weight.

You are more likely to gain weight if you snack in an unhealthy way.

The following are some of the factors that cause snacking to make you fat.

1. Type of snack

Most people prefer to snack on foods and soft drinks that contain high calories, but low in nutrients.
Just take for example the habit of snacking on fried foods that contain a lot of fat and calories.

In fact, high-calorie snacks can contribute almost a quarter of the calorie needs of adults, which is 540 kcal out of a total of 2550 kcal per day.

So, it's not surprising that unhealthy snacking habits can lead to weight gain.

2. Activities you do when snacking

Activities you do while eating snacks can also make snacking bad for health.

Snacking while watching television is an unhealthy habit.

Some studies say there is a relationship between snacking in front of the television with weight gain or obesity.

A review from the journal Appetite (2017) shows that eating while watching television triggers people to choose unhealthy foods and overeat.

As a result, someone who often watches television while snacking has an excess calorie intake of 106 kcal than those who rarely watch television.

Types of healthy snacks

The good news, snacking habits do not always make you gain weight and lead to obesity.

Whether or not you gain weight depends on the food you eat while snacking. Have you chosen the right snack?

Harvard T.H. Chan suggests that you eat snacks that are filling and give you a feeling of fullness.

Eating the right snacks can delay the emergence of hunger until the next meal, so you don't overeat.

So that snacking does not make you fat, choose snacks that are high in fiber and water. In addition to quickly filling the stomach, this snack can maintain a feeling of fullness.

Below are a number of snack options that might satisfy your hunger and lose weight.

  • Crunchy snacks: raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers, and apples.
  • Thick snack: yogurt and avocado juice.
  • Sweet snacks: fruit salad and dark chocolate.
  • Savory or salty snacks: diced cheese, popcorn, peanuts, and peanut butter.

How to snack healthy

Basically, snacking or eating snacks is needed to complete balanced nutritional needs.

The habit of eating snacks that are high in calories and not balanced with the consumption of healthy foods or physical activity can cause weight gain.

So, snacking doesn't always make you fat. It doesn't need to be avoided. After all, snacking is needed to meet nutritional intake.

It's just that you have to pay attention to the portion and type of snack and when to eat it.

To find out how to snack healthy, follow these guidelines.

1. Snack at the right time

Eat healthy snacks between large meals. You are advised to snack 2-3 times per day so that the body is energized throughout the day.

If you don't have too much activity, you should just snack once. Also avoid snacking or eating at night.

2. Sufficient portion

In general, you should eat a light meal that provides about 200 calories with 10 grams of protein.

The portion of this snack is enough to keep you full until the next meal.

3. Avoid packaged snacks

Packaged snacks are delicious and tasty. That's why people like snacking. However, this snack will make you hungry easily an hour or two later.

Try eating high-fiber protein snacks, such as nuts, yogurt, and avocado.

These snacks can reduce hunger and help maintain weight.

In conclusion, "healthy" snacking can be useful for preventing hunger and meeting daily nutritional needs. However, snacking can make you fat if you consume high-calorie snacks in excess and lack of physical activity.