Anyone on a diet, yet still struggling to lose weight, may want to ditch their mid-morning snack.
A new study has found that participants in a 12-month study of overweight or obese women lost less weight if their regularly indulged in snacks between breakfast and lunch, as compared to those that didn't.
In the research published in this month's issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 123 women between the ages of 50 and 75 either strictly dieted or dieted along with five 45-minute workouts a week. The dieters lost about 10% of their initial body weight, while the exercisers lost 11.5%.
The snack-related findings were discovered after analyzing the participants food log in which they recorded the time, type and frequency of meals on a normal day.
Those who reported mid-morning snacking only lost about 7% of their total body weight, but those who avoided morning snacks lost 11.5%!
Study author Dr. Anne McTiernan believes snacking may be more appropriate in the afternoon when there is a greater time period in between meals, explaining:
“Snacking, per se, isn’t bad, it’s more what you eat and when you are snacking. If you start snacking in the morning, you might be eating more throughout the day and taking more food in.”
Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, agrees:
“The study shows that appropriate snacking can help with achievement of nutrition goals and aid weight loss. While it isn’t conclusive from this study, it appears morning snackers may not lose as much as those who snack later in the day. More studies are needed to assess if this connection is real, is about food choices or if it is just a difference in the individuals.”
She adds that the key to healthy eating is "choosing the right snack choices."
McTiernan is on the same wavelength and advises that dieters limit their snacks to 200 calories or less. Try working low-fat yogurt, string cheese, nuts, fruit, non-starchy veggies, and whole grain crackers into your snack menu!
[Image via WENN.]