Thursday, May 31, 2018

I Gave Up Snacking For a Whole Week, and Here's How It Affected My Fitness Levels

POPSUGAR Fitness
I Gave Up Snacking For a Whole Week, and Here's How It Affected My Fitness Levels

Photographer: Maria del RioEditorial and internal use approved. OK for Native and co-branded use.Photographer: Maria del RioInternal and Editorial use approved. OK for Native and Co-Branded use.

For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of snacking. I know it's not uncommon for people to enjoy snacking, but my love for noshing exceeds the norm. I could live off of crunchy, salty, or sweet, chewy snacks for the rest of my life, but I realize this does not equal a healthy, balanced diet, so I try my best to snack in moderation.

There isn't anything inherently wrong with snacking. In fact, it can help you maintain a healthy diet, satiate hunger, and satisfy your cravings. But like anything else in life, snacking in excess doesn't lead to anything good. And I found that my love for snacking was getting in the way of eating full, well-rounded meals. I wanted to see what life would be like if I focused solely on healthy meals rather than putting all my attention on snacks. Here's what I learned from refraining from snacking for one whole week.

I Wasn't Really Snacking Because I Was Hungry

This wasn't rocket science to figure out, but it was nonetheless a revelation. I realized I was only reaching for food when I was feeling overwhelmed at work or bored at home. This was hard to realize in the moment, though, because snacking had become such a habit. But once I removed snacking from the equation, I realized I could get make it all the way to my next meal without feeling famished or too hungry to concentrate. I used to think I had to snack in between meals or else I'd collapse in a pile of misery. But that painful hunger never appeared.

I Enjoyed My Meals So Much More

Because I was actually hungry for my meals, I ended up loving every second of them. Food tastes different when you're hungry, and it felt like I was eating in technicolor. It also made social outings much more enjoyable. Showing up to a dinner or birthday party without an appetite prevents you from partaking in all the fun with your friends because you just don't end up eating as much with them. Overall, I found that going into a meal hungry made the whole thing much more worth it.

I Had More Energy For My Workouts

My snacking was surprisingly preventing me from putting out maximum energy in my workouts. It wouldn't necessarily happen every day, but if I spent the afternoon snacking and then went to an evening workout, I noticed that I felt heavy and a bit sluggish. Of course, I didn't really notice this until I gave up snacking and instead went to my workout with a slightly empty belly. I was able to get through my run or HIIT workout with much more power and energy. It felt so good, I decided to give up afternoon snacking for a while and see how my fitness levels improve.