With the Snack Diet, losing weight by eating 5 times a day  is possible but always if it involves small portions of food and according to the amount of kilos you want to lose.

Extremely flexible, the Snacking Diet is a weight loss plan that allows you to choose between countless meals or snacks and make different extremely tasty combinations.

Experts from the Nutrition and Health Program (NUSA) also recommend eating five meals a day without unnecessary restrictions on what you want to eat while following a diet, as this is often counterproductive.

The physical and psychological sensation of hunger leads to snacking on any snack and therefore it is better to organize the daily menu including two daily snacks with healthy and low-calorie foods, but those that provide essential nutrients to the body and provide a feeling of satiety will always be chosen. .

Healthy snacks or appetizers will help to manage the appetite, maintain a balanced diet and not go hungry, so they should always be rich in protein and fiber.

More and more people are abandoning the habit of eating only three meals a day and are replacing this habit with another way of eating known as “snacking” or “pecking”, a healthy habit that has more and more followers. Sounds interesting right? Well, read on so you know what you should eat if you want to lose weight without going hungry and healthily.

What is the Snack Diet, lose weight by eating 5 times a day

The snack diet consists of eating 5 times a day, a plan that activates the metabolism and makes it more difficult for the body to store fat, does not starve and avoids the unpleasant state of constant anxiety.

The feeding of this diet is based on eating at least 5 times a day but controlling calories, being much more effective than traditional low-calorie diets because you do not go hungry and therefore it is easier to control anxiety while burning more fat.

Many people wonder if a diet to lose weight and snacking are compatible and the answer to these questions is yes, but including certain healthy habits in the day to day, such as maintaining a regular meal schedule and avoiding spending more than three hours without eating. .

The snacking diet plan consists of three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks or appetizers at mid-morning and mid-afternoon, a formula that other weight loss diets have copied precisely for its effectiveness and good results for lose weight healthy.

How to do the Snacking Diet

It has been proven that when more than four hours elapse without eating food, the level of sugar in the blood drops and, in return, energy decreases. It is at that moment that the body begins to produce hormones that stimulate the appetite and the more time has passed since the last meal, the more hormones are activated and the appetite grows, therefore the result is that you eat more.

Therefore, if you take the habit of eating every 4 hours, you eat up to 15% less on average. Thus, eating 5 meals a day is a much more practical and less radical way to lose weight than fast diets that produce unwanted effects such as anxiety, excessive hunger and after completing the plan, the weight lost is usually regained.

However, to follow this diet to lose weight like any other you need a balanced menu, this translates into low calories and divided into 5 meals with these two budgets it is possible to lose weight in a healthy way and avoid the dreaded rebound effect.

Thus, if you want to lose more than 5 kilos, it will be necessary to follow a diet of 1,550 calories distributed: 150 at breakfast, 300 at lunch, 400 at dinner and two 250-calorie snacks, following the plan for about six weeks.

Breakfast is very important in the Snack Diet, as it will help you better resist the cravings for high-sugar foods in the middle of the morning. It is advisable to start the day with a full breakfast and continue eating every 3 to 4 hours.

The only care you must have if you decide to do this Snacking Diet  and eat 5 times a day is not to consume more calories than necessary, since otherwise you will not lose weight, and for this, healthy snacks or appetizers should be included mid-morning It is already mid-afternoon and they should not be very caloric.

What to eat on the Snacking Diet

A basic meal plan of the Snacking Diet allows you to take unlimited fruits and vegetables daily, remembering that it is necessary to drink at least two liters of water, a delicious and low-calorie snack to take into account is gelatin with fruits, as well With a high protein content, it also provides water to the body, it is simple to prepare and delicious. 

Other healthy snack options are half a glass of skim milk or a cup of green tea, and once a week, 50 grams of chocolate and up to 30 grams of light potato chips are allowed.

The Snack Diet adds calories up to a limit depending on the kilos you want to lose. It can be a stricter 1200 calorie daily menu or a slightly broader 1500 calorie one.

Below we share some menus to organize the Snacking Diet, including breakfast, lunch and dinner without forgetting the snacks that can be consumed mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

If you choose to follow the 1,300-calorie Snacking Diet for a month, a basic plan you can do is:

  • 150 calorie breakfast.
  • 300 calorie lunch.
  • 400 calorie dinner.
  • Snacks consisting of 1 snack + 3 pieces of fruit.

If the option is to follow the Snacking Diet for a month but with 1550 calories, the appropriate plan would be:

  • 150 calorie breakfast
  • 300 calorie lunch
  • 400 calorie dinner
  • Snacks 2 of 250 calories

The Snacking Diet is a really flexible and healthy plan that allows you to choose the snack or food to organize your daily menu. Anyway, having some menu proposals and different options is always good to organize breakfast, lunch, dinner and also snacks. Let’s see below simple and delicious proposals:

150 calorie breakfasts

Breakfast with fruits

  • 1 Serving of roasted fruits (50 to 70 grs.) Can be raspberries, blackberries, apples.
  • 1 Cup of low-fat cream cheese.
  • 1 Cup of unsweetened green tea with sweetener.

Breakfast with carbohydrates

  • 1 whole wheat toast.
  • 150 grs. Apple cut into slices.
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese.
  • 1 cup of coffee with sweetener.

Breakfast with cereals

  • 1 Cup of oatmeal mixed with a little skim milk.
  • 60 grams of fresh strawberries.
  • 1 glass of unsweetened orange juice.

300 calorie lunches

Lunch with fish and vegetables

  • 100 grs. of fresh sardines prepared on the grill or roasted in the oven.
  • 1 Tomato salad, onion, lemon juice, salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Lunch with pasta and vegetables

  • 150 grs. dry pasta (macaron, penne or spaghetti).
  • 100 grs. of steamed broccoli with 50 grs. of York ham and 15 grs. of Parmesan cheese, mixed with the dry pasta cooked al dente.

Sandwich lunch

  • 1 Sandwich prepared with whole wheat bread with 50 grs. of York ham, cherry tomatoes and black olives.

400 calorie dinners

Menu 1

  • Chickpea salad, steamed vegetables and brown rice.

Menu 2

  • Whole wheat bread sandwich, 100 grs. roast turkey and cheddar cheese.
  • 1 baked apple.

Menu 3

  • 1 soy and tofu burger.
  • 1 Tomato and onion salad.

250 calorie appetizers

Appetizers or snacks are a fundamental part of the Snacking Diet, since the order is to eat five meals a day to keep the metabolism activated and avoid the accumulation of fat, in addition to losing weight in a healthy way. 

A diet based on 5 meals a day but controlling calories makes any plan to lose weight in a healthy way more effective since, in addition to keeping the metabolism active, you do not starve and anxiety can be controlled more easily by burning more fat.

Breakfast and the two main daily meals are important but the snacks or appetizers in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon are what really make the difference from the proposal to lose weight that the Snacking Diet presents.

Here are some snack ideas that can be eaten on both the 1,300 and 1,550 calorie Snack Diet.

250 calorie snack options

Option 1

  • 2 wholemeal flour crepes (total 50 grams).
  • 60 grams of fresh peach cut into slices.

Option 2

  • 2 slices of toasted whole wheat bread (70 grs.).
  • 40 grams of Edam cheese or similar.
  • 50 grams cherry tomatoes with a pinch of salt.

Option 3

  • Tuna salad (125 grams of canned tuna) with 60 grams, of lettuce, 60 grams. of cherry tomatoes, 30 grs. of cooked green beans and 4 pitted black olives).

Option 3

  • 175 grs. of Potatoes and 175 grs. of carrots in sticks (roasted with ½ teaspoon of ground ginger, sweet paprika and 1 tablespoon of olive oil).

Variants of the Snacking Diet

The Gourmet Diet is a good example as a  variant of the Snacking Diet since it proposes to lose weight without starving through a system that seeks to create eating habits based on the balance of healthy meals.

Thus, the Luzón Method (Gourmet Diet) was developed by Dr. Ana Luzón, a specialist in nutrition and a lover of gastronomy who created this method that helps to lose weight in a balanced way and with appetizing meals.

It is not a miracle diet since it helps to change eating habits thanks to a studied design of recipes that are included in the Gourmet Diet, aiming to change the traditional treatments that fail due to monotony and abstinence from countless foods.

The secret of this Gorumet Diet is to eat everything, but control the amount of food and fix the times of its intake. It is a plan to lose weight with clear benefits that are weight loss, not depriving yourself of the pleasure of food and achieving greater satiety, with recipes that include vegetables and greens in tasty preparations, balancing caloric foods with others low in calories but within the same intake.

The adequate weight loss established by the Gourmet Diet is around 1 or 2 kg. per week, although the first week is usually lost more, allowing for example to eat a slice of bread accompanying lunch or dinner but as long as the first course is not pasta, rice, potato or dried legumes.

Other foods allowed in the Gourmet Diet are a glass of wine a day but on condition of cutting out the bread and only having fresh fruit as dessert, while for snacks (snacking between meals) pickles, onions, canned aubergines are allowed, cherry tomatoes or a tomato with a little salt.

A portion of mollusks, natural tuna (canned), pickled anchovies and grilled seafood or packed broths are also allowed as appetizers and if you need to eat something sweet, it is recommended to consume 30 grams. of dark chocolate or a small flan made with skimmed milk.

Among the important tips to keep in mind to do the Gourmet Diet are:

  • Avoid having tempting foods at home.
  • Always use small plates for main meals.
  • Avoid sweets, industrial pastries, fried foods in general, battered foods and fried potatoes. 

Advantages and disadvantages of the Snacking Diet

In reality, the Snacking Diet is not one of those weight loss meal plans that has contraindications since the plan is based on the premise of eating varied and healthy foods at least 5 times a day, with the sole condition that to lose weight. weight is respected a number of calories and foods that are generally unhealthy such as fried foods, industrial pastries, sugars or fats in general are avoided. 

One of the main advantages of the Snacking Diet is that it allows you to maintain a regular meal schedule avoiding spending more than three hours between each of them, including snacks or appetizers that avoid starving and feeling anxiety 

Another advantage is that it is a healthy option to lose weight and stay in shape, avoiding anxiety and hunger attacks as it includes two snacks, one in the middle of the morning and the other in the afternoon.

It could only be a disadvantage, in the Snacking Diet, the issue of having to calculate calories daily or every week to organize daily menus, something easy to overcome with a little practice and buying all the foods that are necessary for meals and snacks and have them always available, or leave prepared recipes that can be kept frozen. 

Snacking Diet Recipes

There are numerous easy recipes to prepare and that can be part of the menus of the Snacking Diet, below we share some preparations that are low-calorie, varied and very tasty.

Sardines with tomato

This recipe is prepared with fresh sardines and other ingredients that make a total of 272 calories.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams of fresh and clean sardines.
  • 170 grs. of cherry tomatoes.
  • 1 small onion.
  • juice of one lemon.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.

Preparation

Wash and dry the fresh and clean sardines and place them in a baking dish.
Wash and slice the cherry tomatoes.
Peel and slice the onions.
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a bowl.
On the sardines, place the tomato and onion slices and bathe with the mixture of lemon juice, oil and salt.
Cook in a preheated oven at 200º C until the sardines are cooked.

Pasta with broccoli and garlic

Pasta is allowed in the Snack Diet but always combined with vegetables as in this case or accompanied by a natural tomato sauce. This dish has 300 calories and is low in fat.

Ingredients

  • 150 grs. of dry pasta.
  • 100 grs. of steamed broccoli.
  • 1 clove of minced garlic.
  • 50 grams of York ham.
  • 15 grams of Parmesan cheese.

Preparation

Boil the pasta in boiling water with a little salt.
In a frying pan, place a drizzle of olive oil and add the minced garlic, the cooked broccoli, the York ham cut into strips and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the dry, cooked pasta to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
Serve sprinkled with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Whole wheat bread sandwich

A tasty sandwich ideal to eat for lunch, especially when you need to bring food to work. This dish has 300 calories and is delicious, as well as easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread (100 grs.).
  • 20 grams of serrano ham.
  • 85 grams. of tomato.
  • 12 grams of pitted black olives.

Preparation

On one of the slices of wholemeal bread, place the Serrano ham, the tomato cut into thin slices and the pitted and chopped black olives, finishing with the other slice of wholemeal bread.

If desired, you can use whole wheat bread previously toasted.

Greek salad with chicken

A delicious 400 calorie recipe this Greek salad with chicken is a very simple preparation to make and you can either take it in the Snack Diet as lunch or dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 50 grams of fresh spinach.
  • 30 grams red pepper.
  • 30 grs. of cherry tomatoes.
  • 20 grams of onion.
  • 100 grs. mozarella cheese.
  • 100 grs. of boiled chicken.
  • 4 pitted green olives.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • Shall.
  • Pepper.

Preparation

Wash and cut the spinach leaves in Julienne.
In a bowl place the spinach, and add the red pepper cut into thin strips, the cherry tomatoes cut into thin slices, the cheese cut into small cubes, the shredded boiled chicken and the chopped olives.

Mix the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

Add the vinaigrette to the salad, mix all the ingredients well and serve.

Fruit smoothie with banana and peach

Smoothies are always a good option when you don’t have much time to make a more elaborate meal, as they provide immediate energy and are easy to prepare. In this case, this fruit smoothie also contains yogurt and has a total of 282 calories.

Ingredients

  • 100 grs. banana.
  • 60 grams peach.
  • 125 ml of fruit juice.
  • 125 ml of low-fat plain yogurt.

Preparation

In the blender glass, place the banana and peach previously peeled and cut into cubes.
Add the fruit juice and natural yogurt.
Process everything for a minute and serve.

Snacking Diet Video

As explained, the Snacking Diet is based on the principle of having five meals a day and thus accelerating the metabolism to avoid accumulating fat and therefore calories.

In this video a simple explanation to understand how metabolism can be an excellent tool to help you lose weight, without starving and without being subjected to very strict and boring diets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN858bRgTL8

Conclusions

Following a weight loss plan like the one proposed by the Snacking Diet ensures you lose weight in a healthy way, without starving and without rebound effect, but you must remember that you also have to change some eating habits so that, once you have managed to reach your ideal weight do not regain the lost kilos and get to follow a varied diet and a balanced diet, good for being in shape and staying healthy. 

Sources and References:

  • Hospital Nutrition

Why can’t I lose weight?

  • UVA University Library

Analysis of the pecking or snacking carried out by the students of the University of Valladolid

  • Cervera P, Clapes J, Rigolfas R. Food and diet therapy

Importance of eating 5 meals a day