. eating more, but snacking less .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on January 11, 2013

If you’ve been reading my blog for any extended period of time, then you’ve probably noticed that I’m a huge fan of snacking

Favorite Snack Combo

Almond Butter and Honey
Toast with Cream Cheese and Jam

Homemade Snack Mix

Popchips
Poppin' Corn

Banana, Chocolate, Almond Butter Mess

Kashi and Applesauce
Chocolate Pudding and AB

Watermelon Rations

Aaaand I’ve just successfully managed to make myself extremely hungry. Nice. But I digress.

The point is, I’ve always been a snacker. As far back as I can remember, I’ve never been a fan of eating big meals, preferring to have smaller ones a lot more often. It wasn’t actually until I started recovering from my eating disorder that I starting bulking up my meals in order to gain weight, adopting the more traditional breakfast – snack – lunch – snack – dinner – snack eating template in the process. Before that, most of my ‘meals’ just resembled really big snacks and I ‘snacked’ a lot in between.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, a few readers have commented that my ridiculously ravenous days might be caused by the fact that my meal portions are on the smaller side, and that it would be a lot easier to feel satisfied for longer if I just bulked up my portions a bit. Fair enough. Wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.

Cookie Dough Bites

In all honesty, eating bigger meals and snacking less is something that I’ve been considering trying out for a while now. As much as I love to eat, sometimes it’s just plain annoying to feel like I have to grab something that often; and it doesn’t help that there are days where I feel like I’m constantly hungry and unable to concentrate on anything other than snacking.

So it’s time for another eating experiment. It’s time to see if eating bigger meals as opposed to constantly picking away at smaller ones throughout the day makes a difference in my satiety levels, or if those ravenous days are just unavoidable. Either way, I’ll be keeping you guys updated with how things go.

Happy Friday!

. – . – . – .

Are you a constant picker/snacker?
Do you find that eating bigger meals less often helps keep you more satisfied?

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Olivia @ Life As Liv January 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

Can’t wait to hear how this works for you! I’ve always been a snacker as well and lately, it’s really annoying only being able to go 2.5-3 hours before dying for something else to eat, so I’m veeeerrrryyy intrigued to see how you respond! It’s almost like you’re being a guinea pig for me (which I love you for). ;)
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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

I figured that I should probably try something new because sometimes I can’t even make it to 2.5 hours!

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3 Ellie@Fit for the Soul January 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

ahhh I had that happening to me quite often in the past. It can become tedious! I’m curious to see how things turn out for you Amanda :)
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4 Laura Agar Wilson (@keephealthstyle) January 11, 2013 at 8:08 am

I think experimenting to see what works for you is a great idea. I’ve gone from 6-7 small meals a day to 4-5 slightly bigger ones, but sometimes it just depends on what I have going on that day such as work meetings. Interested to see what you find works for you!

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5 Caitlin January 11, 2013 at 8:08 am

I am such a snacker, too. I’ve been wondering the same thing, though, so I’m interested to see how this goes for you. Perhaps, I will try it, as well :)
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6 Lucie January 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

Good Luck with that experiment girl, can’t wait to hear how it goes!I like small meals but i also like to give my body a break for a few hours in between so it has time to digest. But I mostly have my 5-6 eating times a day too so I try to keep my meals small but balanced which in my opinion the most satisfying factor – to have enough healthy fats or proteins in the meal that holds you over for a few hours. Besides that, I totally have these ravenous days too but also the others when my appetite is small. I think this is just pur body and as long as we listen to it we’re fine. Happy Friday Love!
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7 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

In the past few years, I’ve definitely bulked up my main meals and feel hungry way less. It works, I promise! :)
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8 Alex @ therunwithin January 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

hmm I am with you, I am a snacker at heart and while I did try the big meal thing my stomach couldn’t handle it. It did take though some trial and error to see what my body wanted, some people just need the smaller meals every so often, that is how I function. see what works!
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9 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 11:56 am

My stomach has never been too fond of bigger meals either, but I’m wondering if it’s just something that takes getting used to? Either way, trial and error is definitely the way to go… I just hope I don’t have to suffer through too much error!

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10 Katie @ KatieEnPursuit January 11, 2013 at 8:42 am

I got famished just looking at your eats….delish! I snack also, to the point where some folks I work with ask “You’re eating again…” I get to be an a$$hole if I don’t eat when hungry. Can’t wait to hear how your “experiment” turns out ;) Happy Friday!
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11 Rachel January 11, 2013 at 8:51 am

I’ve actually never been a big snacker… my sister is though but I usually do 1-2 snacks a day. So I agree, bigger meals in between def works to keeping your hunger down lol
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12 Amanda, RD- The Nutritionist Reviews January 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

I am definitely a huge snacker! My whole family always jokes with me that I can’t go an hour without food.
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13 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

That’s basically what I’ve been dealing with! Although sometimes I can manage to make it 2 ;)

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14 Karey @ Nutty About Health January 11, 2013 at 8:55 am

I think I like to snack just because I like food & that’s basically all I think about all day long. Sad, but true. I think bulking up your meals may help you, but one other thing I’d like to suggest is eating more fat. I eat a lot of fat in my diet now & it leaves me feeling fuller longer & much more satiated, plus it’s very pleasing to the palate. I try to add more avocado, nut butters, organic butter, & oils. It’s made a difference for me, so just a thought. ;) Good luck w/your food experiment!
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15 Nicky January 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

I’m definitely a major snacker. I know it’s because my meals aren’t too big though but I guess I’ll be honest and say I’m sorta scared to make them bigger in fear that I’ll still snack as much just out of habit and boredom! I’ve done it for such a long time now it is definitely almost a habit for me! I’d be interested to hear how you find your experiment and I look up to you for giving change a go :)
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16 Alex January 11, 2013 at 9:01 am

I’m doing the exact opposite! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a strict 3 meal a day person, but now I’m trying out snacking in the middle!
I used to think that eating bigger meals helped keep me satisfied, but then I got too cranky in between meals and my stomach rumbled, so I’ve begun snacking :)
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17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm

There’s nothing wrong with snacking in between meals! I just felt like I was -constantly- picking at something, which is why I decided to switch things up. It’s al about finding what works.

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18 Sarah @PickyRunner January 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

I’ve actually always been the opposite. I hated snacking. I like eating substantial meals and I’m learning to incorporate them back into my diet to form a more regulated eating pattern. I think everyone is different- some people need to snack throughout the day and others just don’t. I’m learning that I need small snacks to get me through between means and that’s fine!
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19 Jessy January 11, 2013 at 9:06 am

I prefer eating 4 bigger meals as opposed to snacking. You should probably also increase overall intake (calories).

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20 Elizabeth@myneonrunningshoes January 11, 2013 at 9:32 am

Definitely let me know how this goes for you! I’m more of a meal person myself but I always have a night snack too (dessert or something sweet!)
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21 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin January 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

I’m a snacker when I am by myself and don’t have any meals planned with friends/family, but whenever I am at home I seem to always be having lunch or dinner with people. In that case, I don’t snack much and just eat bigger meals. I think it’s normal to vary between the two “types” of eating depending on the day and your schedule. But it’s worth a shot to see if the bigger meals help with feeling more satisfied! And I’m sure you will still get in lots of Amanda cereal messes :)

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22 Allison @ Life's a Bowl January 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

I totally am a… Whelp, I don’t know what I am? I tend to eat a bigger breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, a bigger dinner, and something sweet before bed. What does that make me? I’ve been on the fence about trying different eating habits myself, more so to see if it helps with whatever the heck is going on with my digestive system, and trying more/ less of certain food groups but that’ll have to wait until after our cruise. I hope you’re able to find what works best for you and not let everyone else’s opinion influence your decision!
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23 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I’m pretty sure that eating that way makes you normal :P It’s definitely worth experimenting if you’re having any kind of stomach issues, though. Those are just… ugh… not fun :?

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24 Sonia the Mexigarian January 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

I do relatively big meals. One that fills up a salad plate piled high. I do snack in between if a hunger craving hits and it’s usually a handful of almonds or date. But then again, since I have larger”meals” I don’t snack that much. I think I average about 4 to 5, depending on my hunger cues. And bigger meals do leave me more satisfied. I tried having a grapefruit for breakfast yesterday (bad idea #1) and by the time I was done, I only managed to eat 1/2 and was inverting my purse in a hungry fit looking for a protein bar. Thankfully I found one and that filled me up more than any freaking grapefruit. :\
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25 Hollie January 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

I’m actually a three square meals type of gal. (Which I have found not too many people are anymore). Though reading some of the comments, it seems about half and half. Either way, I never was much of a snacker. Now that I’ve been running mid afternoon, I’ve been eating a snack right before and that is the extent of my snacking LOL. Maybe we should just merge to become one person to be the “perfect” eater LOL.
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26 Anna @AnnaTheApple January 11, 2013 at 10:27 am

Is it wrong that I both snack and eat quite big meals?? I’m a big portions kinda girl – what can I say, I’m greed! But I eat healthily and snack healthily so it’s all good for me. I think I get bored a lot which is why I snack – it livens things up :)
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27 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Wrong? Pft no. If you’re keeping it healthy and feeling good (and still eating tonnes of apples ;) ) then why change it?

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28 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness January 11, 2013 at 10:27 am

Best of luck! I like my snacks too but do find that overall I am much more satisfied with bigger meals and less snacks! I hope this helps you!
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29 Meghan @ After the Ivy League January 11, 2013 at 10:34 am

I usually have a pretty decent sized breakfast, and a bigger dinner, so I’m not very snacky or hungry before lunch or after dinner. My smaller meals/snacking usually happens in the afternoon, and it seems to work for me so far. I’ll be interested to see how this goes! In the past I probably wouldn’t never considered snacking less and eating bigger meals because food was all I thought about and how could I not eat all day little bits at a time? haha! How things have changed :)
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30 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie January 11, 2013 at 10:36 am

I am a snacker for sure, my stomach doesn’t seem to handle larger meals very well and I’m very indecisive when it comes to eating so I like to have a lot of options instead of having to eat 3 main meals. I think it’s worth a shot to see if bulking up your meals helps you feel less ravenous. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about increasing the size of my meals and snacks too so I don’t have to rely on snacks so much.
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31 Me again January 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

I think you can STILL have snacks , but just “beef” up the meals at the same time.

My bedtime snacks in particular are ginormous because I am very “attached” to my poor, poor habits…

I’m freaking out. I’m not an exerciser, but at least a couple of walks a day are a relief and value for my sanity…and today is a MAJOR snowstorm…major…like the winds are HIGH and the roads are a mess. I can’t walk outside. I can’t leave the apartment (600 square foot apartment), I can’t “walk” inside or do circuits inside because I live with a retired person in TINY place and she would freak out at the noise, however tiny…obviously no equipment. AND it’s going to be like this for 2-3 days. OH Amandaa, I am struggling with this bigtime. I am an “eater” and tend to “lose control” with food, despite my lowish weight, and I can’t stand this being “trapped”. SORRY, but really struggling today….

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32 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hang in there, Jill <3 One day of being inside isn’t the end of the world.

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33 Sara @ fitcupcaker January 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

I am a snacker, but I dont think thats bad…Keeps your metabolism up and working harder..as long as they are 200-300 calorie healthy snacks, (low carb, sugar for me) then you should be good! :)
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34 Brittany January 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

I go back and forth between the two. Some days I snack AND eat big meals..ha! I hope this helps!

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35 Khushboo January 11, 2013 at 11:22 am

Ohh I can’t wait to hear your results! Since the start of the year, I’ve traded in the snacking approach (e.g. eating 5-6 a day) to 3 significant meals and a snack before bed (can’t give that up) and I’m loving it! I rarely think about food during the day and I also don’t have many cravings- I guess my body is finally satisfied! There are some days which I’m out and about and snacking is the more feasible option, and on such days I just roll with it.

I want to blog about it all but thought I’d give the whole thing a month first and then discuss it! So take it from someone who thought she couldn’t do the whole 3-meal a day thing- it’s pretty damn great and my energy is through the roof :)
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36 Khushboo January 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

Oh and I also meant to add that give yourself a while to adjust- it took me a few days to figure out portion sizes that were big enough to last me till the next meal without making me feel stuffed in the process!
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37 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Thank youuuu! I remember you mentioning that it’s something you were doing and I was really hoping that you’d fill me in on how it’s going! Puts some of my fears to rest for sure. I never thought I’d be able to do the 3 meals a day thing either, so it’s encouraging to hear that it’s going well for you :)

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38 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

I am pretty certain that I would love to get my hands on every single one of the snacks pictured in this post. Um, yum!!

I am a huge snacker, but I definitely still eat well-rounded meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I guess that since the majority of the time I eat fairly healthy, I am able to incorporate more snacks into my day. I could never just eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I live for snacks! ;)
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39 lindsay January 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

confession… i’m not a big snacker either. I like 3 bigger meals and 5-6 hrs between. Although i do drink tea/coffee/cream/etc. in between.
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40 lindsay January 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

and lick the bowls of healthy bites after!
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41 Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset January 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I’m definitely a 4-6 smaller meals per day girl ;) I always feel satisfied and never stuffed, so it works for me :)
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42 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles January 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

It’s hard to find that “sweet spot” between being stuffed after meals and feeling snacky all day. Right now I’m doing 5 meals a day, and that seems to be working pretty well for me. I’m not usually stuffed, but I’m rarely starving either.
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43 Missy January 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

It’s good to experiment — especially because from what I can gather of you, Amanda — you know what works for you and what you enjoy to do so at the end of the day you’ll be fine either way.
I tend to get easily swayed by others and can spend months trying to follow a way that works for someone else and I know you are WELL beyond that. *applause*
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44 Alouise January 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I am the exact same – because I’m a very small person (not as in thin. I’m a healthy weight but only 5 foot) I can only take little amounts of food, but I’m hungry quite often. It can be really hard when I stay with people because they eat these huge meals and don’t snack, and wonder why I get hungry like an hour after dinner.
I tried the whole ‘bigger meals less snacks’ but it just hurt my stomach because I was trying to put too much in my stomach at one time and I found I had less energy because I also get low blood sugar a lot (thanks ED!). I’m interested to hear how you go!

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45 Lisa January 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I’m a big snacker as well! It’s not a problem right now, but when I worked in a restaurant is certainly was. It’s hard for me because I have hypoglycemia so I need to snack in between meals, but sometimes it’s hard and annoying when I’m out with friends. I feel like I don’t have time to be eating 5 times a day, but I have to for now since I still suffer from this. You’ll definitely find what works best for you! Sometimes we just need to play around with meals/snacks/foods to find the “perfect” combo for us.
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46 Megan @ runningonjava January 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Ugh, your pictures make me so hungry. And I just ate lunch! I used to be big on small, frequent meals…but I realized they just made me hungrier. Now, I pack tons of fruits and veggies to create more voluminous, filling meals. It’s all about finding what works best for you! :) PS…send me some cookies? Noms.
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47 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Gladly! I’ve been wanting to experiment with my stand mixer more, but I’m afraid that I’ll end up buried in cookies! I think I’m going to end up having very happy neighbors soon…

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48 Sara @my less serious life January 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

i hope this works for you – but personally….my sensitive and incredibly picky tummy doesn’t like large meals. especially at lunch. plus, they make me lethargic! but, i think if your stomach allows you – go for it! it might be nice not to have to constantly fix snacks all afternoon. hellloo chocolate cottage cheese bowl just saved my afternoon hunger beast! keep us posted!
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49 Miss Polkadot January 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Your post hit the spot for me once again, Amanda! Exactly this has been one of my goals to work on throughout the next months. Snacking itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. But it becomes one when I’m not at home and able to prep a snack whenever I feel like it. Especially the past week with classes pretty much all day has made me realize I need to change this. By the end of classes I’ve been seriously ravenous and unable to think.

So my aim would be to be flexible in how many meals I have per day depending on what I have scheduled. Hope I’ll find a way to get there because larger main meals are still a struggle. I’m afraid that being used to my many snacks I’ll still have all of them additionally …
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50 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm

That was my fear as well, but from what I can tell so far (I just started experimenting today, mind you), eating more during your meals keeps you fuller longer and you don’t even really think about snacking additionally. I’ll keep you updated on how things go, but so far so good :)

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51 Miss Polkadot January 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Yes, please, definitely keep me updated. I’ll sure have to try it myself, too.
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52 Alexis January 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Okay so this was huge for me at one point. When I cut out grains, it forced me to learn how to eat differently. I was a snacker all the time. As soon as I made the transition (slowly mind you! we both know completely changing the way you eat doesn’t happen over night ;) ), I found I only had to eat breakfast (sometimes) lunch and dinner with a nighttime snack. I love it. I don’t have to worry about snacks, and bringing food with me and all this other jazz. Doing this actually helped me because it freed me of the eating disorder even more so.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think cutting grains will cure anyone it just helped me stabilize my blood sugars and helped me feel less hungry all the time.
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53 Cassie January 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I was just talking to my trainer today about switching to Intermittent Fasting. I thought it may be an issue (with my body, not my mind), in terms of seeing results from my training if I wasn’t feeding my body mini-meals constantly, but I really hate having to eat all the time, and I never really feel satisfied from these “smeals.” I think I am going to start “combining” my meals or really just eating bigger meals less frequency. I think food obsession definitely can be an issue in recovery when you’re eating all the time, too, at least for me. You get to a point where all you think about is eating next, so the last thing you want to think about is cooking/food. I still want to nourish my body, so I don’t want to reach for convenience junk. I always had a big appetite, so I think this will work better. Curious to see how you do with it, too. Good luck!
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54 Devon @ Health in Equilibrium January 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

This is something that I have been trying to do as well. I have always been a constant snacker, eating relatively small breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I think my ED has been largely to blame for this. I am afraid to eat more than I am comfortable with in one sitting, but then I am hungry and have to keep picking away all day. My dietician and I are working this out. Please let me know how it goes!!
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55 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables January 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I have recently increased my portion sizes and it really helped. I also upped my fat and protein intake!
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56 Nicole January 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

My eats when I was sick were basically snacks because they were so tiny… but now that I’ve been recovering, I realized that if I do tend to eat smaller meals that resemble snacks, I’m constantly thinking about food because I’m hungry just 1 or 2 hours later. Being hungry that often is annoying and not fun, especially if you work or go to school and have a lot going on where it’s just not convenient to keep picking at snacks. So to avoid that and just to feel more at ease, I tend to eat “normal-sized” meals, not just like half a sandwich for lunch and a bowl of veggies for dinner, and it’s definitely made things easier!

Let’s face it, the less you eat, the more hungry you are. If you eat small portions, you’re going to get hungry quicker! It’s a no-brainer to me ;) So I’m hopeful you’ll feel a bit better too with this new experiment :)

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57 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) January 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Your snacks are always so beautifully photographed (just like all of subjects in your photos, but particularly the snacks, haha).

I eat 6 mini-meals a day, as per instructions from my gastroenterologist and general practitioner/doctor (since eating small meals more frequently helps me manage my Crohn’s and keep my blood sugar levels stable).

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58 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I think that’s partially because snacks are my favorite :mrgreen:

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59 Jess January 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

If I truly listened to when I was hungry I think I could get by easily on 3 meals per day because my portions are so large, and I am a total volume eater. I still have to, most likely unnecessary snacks per day to try to prevent bingeing though, because managing this particular eating disorder means that I am so, so scared of getting too hungry to the point of it triggering a binge that I do end up stuffing myself too full sometimes. Lesser of two evils, perhaps, but I could actually do with switching eating styles with you for the sake of my digestive system! I have so many GI problems which I am sure could be solved by coaxing my stomach gently, and eating little/often.

Good on you for giving something different a try – I really do respect you for that. I can’t imagine many other bloggers (including myself) being so open to experimentation for the sake of their mental/physical health. You’re a star.

xxx

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60 Amanda Fraijo-Tobin (@FraijoManda) January 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Oh geez, I’m the same way. Any longer than 2.5 hours I feel like I’m gonna hulk out on someone unless I get some food.
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61 Rebecca January 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm

It’s funny because I’m the exact opposite! I hate snacking, I’d rather just have a large meal where I can eat a larger amount and feel ‘full.’ Whenever I snack, I feel like it stimulates my hunger and I just end up eating all day, and I am constantly thinking about food all day.
I prefer to space out my meals, every 4 hours or so. I don’t really get hungry in between meals, and when I do eat, I get to really eat a lot until I’m actually satisfied. This has been somewhat of a problem with me lately, going back to school and all, since my family is big on grazing throughout the day and having a HUGE dinner at night, so to adjust to their lifestyle I would have tiny meals and save up all my calories for dinner. With school and living on my own, this doesn’t really work since I don’t prepare myself huge dinners, and I’m more active during the day. To increase my energy I’m trying to incorporate snacks, but it’s annoying because they do make me hungrier! I guess it’s a good thing though, keeps your metabolism up!

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62 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I’ve found that I was having the same problem with snacking – it would just make me hungrier. Good for the metabolism or not, it’s annoying to be thinking about food all day and unable to concentrate on anything else. Fingers crossed that larger meals will help!

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63 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate January 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I do three large meals and 2-3 snacks.#runnerproblems
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64 Aimee January 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I am a constant snacker especially at night. although I eat three meals a day – at night it’s all downhill – I eat like three snacks before bed!! It’s my favorite time to snack – I guess during the day I’m too busy but once I’m home the snack attack hits!! By the way I approve of all of your snacks – especially the trail mix. Almonds are a particular favorite of mine!!

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65 Kailey January 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm

AH I can so RELATE to this. When I was snacking, it was because my meals were smaller, but to be honest, I really hated feeling like I always had to have food with me. Thus, like you, I bulked up my meals and it made a WORLD of difference. Now I am a solid 3 meals a day girl and have never felt more satisfied :)
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66 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 10:18 pm

That’s really encouraging. Thanks, Kailey!

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67 andrea January 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I am like this as well and am curious to hear how your experiment goes! Good luck :)

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68 kris January 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I try not to snack too much and keep my meals larger, but sometimes I just love snack foods more. I guess for me it depends on the day. Hope your experiment goes well! :) Have a great weekend!!
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69 sarah January 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I did the small meals/snacks thing for about 15 years (!!), and only a year or two ago I decided to try three squares and no/minimal snacking. I love it, and I will never look back! Not only did it not make my metabolism slow down as my silly brain thought it would, but it gave me the opportunity to eat hearty, satisfying meals and not have to think about it in between. It actually helped my digestion too. With IBS you’re always told to eat small meals, but for me, giving my body a rest between meals has been key. Good luck with your experiment!

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70 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Thanks, Sarah! I’m hoping that I have the same luck with it as you did :)

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71 Chelsie S January 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm

When I’m at home all day (not often), I tend to be more of a grazer, enjoying the smaller snacks often and the smaller meals. However, that isn’t even close to being an option at work, so I make the breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner-snack model work. I have to say that mentally, I’m okay with both scenarios because logistically, they make sense. There’s no way that on a work day I could have a small breakfast and make it FOUR hours to snack. Not gonna happen. On the days when I’m home, it goes a little more intuitively, but make sure that I still get in all my exchanges (plus compensation, if necessary, and it usually is) before the end of the day and reasonably well balanced (no “saving” and then “forgetting” ;) ). I’m still at a point where I need to follow a meal plan regularly, and that’s okay. To each their own.
But I think that if you think this will work for you, give it a shot!! I know that you’re at a point where you won’t be purposefully undereating, so I have faith that whatever decision you decide to stick with will be what’s best for you. :)
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72 Erin January 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I’ve been a reader for a long time… and have always loved your posts! This one is a great inspiration…. because I’m an eternal snacker too (though for me it’s a bit of lingering ED tendencies). Your post might have given me a little oomph to try something new!

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73 Molly@This Life Is Sparkling January 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm

What might that concoction of a snack be in the 7th picture from the top?? It looks amazing!
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74 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

That might be Greek yogurt mixed with a banana, a chocolate muffin, and almond butter on top. Was very amazing :)

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75 Kate January 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Hmmm this is an interesting experiment! I know everyone works a little differently and sometimes it takes time to figure that out. I personally was brought up in a house that’s very “3 square meals a day” + a little dessert, but no snacking. It really doesn’t work for me – I just can’t fit that much food into my stomach at once for some reason. SO i eat small-ish meals but also snack a lot. My best friend on the other hand eats 3 meals a day andd a bedtime snack. One time we calculated it and it turns out we both eat basically the same amount of food! So it’s really more about your body’s rhythm. And who knows, maybe bigger meals might be the answer for you to really fine-tune your rhythm (which you’ve already done a great job with!). I’m definitely looking forward to seeing all the delicious bulked up meals you come up with. And you can just send those english muffins with jam and AB right over to this snacky girl over here…. :-D

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76 Jessie January 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Can’t wait to hear how this challenge works for you. Fingers crossed you figure out how to help your endless hunger days =)

I’m definitely a 6 meal type of person. I find that when I eat bigger meals I actually get more hungry throughout the day. That’s just me though. I think it’s just how your body reacts, and what your body needs Everyones different :)
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77 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 12, 2013 at 6:49 am

There’s nothing wrong with eating smaller meals and snacking more if that’s what works for you! I mean, as long as you’re eating enough calories, who cares how you eat?

That being said, I’m a fan of bigger meals and smaller snacks. I like the feeling of being quite full after my meal because if I finish a meal feeling not totally full, I just won’t be able to get food off my brain until I AM full. :P
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78 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm

That’s actually exactly why I’m switching things up – the feeling of fullness doesn’t last long enough so I end up constantly having food on the brain :?

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79 Crystal@TheFastFitRunner January 12, 2013 at 7:31 am

Where is watermelon in my life lately? That is one of the best snacks. Need to find some ASAP!
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80 Laura January 12, 2013 at 7:34 am

I’m a snacker, for sure. And it works out perfectly fine for me until I’m out and about with friends. Then it becomes more of an annoyance and harder for me to blend in with what they’re doing. Ultimately, however, I think it’s about what works for YOU and what YOU want. I know snacking WORKS for me but I’ve also been trying to increase my meals because snacking tends to get in the way of work and relationships.
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81 Lauren January 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

I definitely snack ALL the time. For me, right now, it’s easier for me to eat constant small snacks than sit down and eat large meals because the “full” feeling is not something I enjoy; however, maybe the “full” feeling I feel is the normal feeling for most people when they are just satisfied.

I find it’s a challenge (for me) during recovery to remember what it feels like to just… eat. I’ve completely lost the feeling of being “satisfied” and portion sizes.

Oh, and is the little ball of deliciousness the protein bites you used to have on your blog? It looks very, very yummy!
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82 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm
83 Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I don’t kow where I would be without my snacks. They are kind of a big deal in my life.
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84 Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I don’t know where I would be without my snacks. They are kind of a big deal in my life.

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85 Haley @ The Saucy Apple January 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I love this post because I’ve pondered the same question: To snack or Not to Snack? Big meal? or Small meals? And I think I’ve learned that even though I LOVE snacks and all the variety and opportunity that exist there, but I’ve noticed that when I eat bigger meals, I have better nutrition… not as many cravings, more energy, etc. Good luck with your experiment!
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86 Sara @ Nourish and Flourish January 13, 2013 at 12:26 am

I’m so happy you’re giving the bigger meals thing a try. As you already know, this approach has helped me tremendously! I don’t feel peckish throughout the day, and when I do reach for something (usually a piece or two of dark chocolate), it’s not because my stomach is growling, but because I want a small taste of something sweet. :) Not only do I feel more satisfied, but my digestion has improved ten-fold as well. I think my body is relieved that it finally knows how much food to expect at various times throughout the day. I’m looking forward to hearing how this goes for you! <3

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87 Katy January 13, 2013 at 1:36 am

I have the same problem when it comes to meals. Some days I find myself ravenous and it’s because my meals aren’t big enough. I’m adding more things to my meals so I don’t have to always run to the supermarket downstairs to grab a snack. It gets expensive! (FYI, I work above a supermarket. It’s dangerous.)
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88 Shreya @ rushofendorphins January 13, 2013 at 3:21 am

I usually have 3 substantial meals, but I have a pretty big snack when I get hungry between lunch and dinner, and a satisfying bedtime snack as well. Of course this all doesn’t include the fruit I eat during the day. It all keeps me going!
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89 Albizia January 13, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I am a serial snacker too. Even worse when I’m nervous. My stomach is like a ball that refuses to accept more than a few bites at the same time so I have to go back to eating every 2 hours or so.

I remember you posted about your snacking habits a few times before. I remember one post particularly well – the nightly noshing one. I even tried to use the term in a conversation with somebody. I. Am. Never. Going. To. Do. It. Again. If you ever go to the UK, never, I repeat NEVER talk to a guy about nightly noshing. That was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life :D

Good luck with the experiment!

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90 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Haha okay, I can’t help but ask… what happened?! What does it mean in the UK?

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91 Albizia January 18, 2013 at 4:50 am

Just leaving this here…

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nosh&defid=5515231

(Don’t kill me. You asked.)
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92 Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 18, 2013 at 9:20 am

:lol: I had a feeling it would be something like that. Omigosh you poor girl.

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93 Irina @ Chocolatea Time January 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I’m looking forward to seeing how this works for you! Ever since I started work one year ago I’ve been having a very hard time figuring out the eating schedule that works best for me. One work days I eat more structured meals (3 main meals + snacks) but I suspect I don’t eat enough because I’m too hungry at the end of the day! On the other hand, on days I work at home I snack too much and am still hungry at the end of the day because I don’t feed my body the nutrients that it truly craves since I snack on random things too much. Ahhh it shouldn’t be this complicated! I don’t actively think about it, I just always notice how I feel at the end of the day. Good luck girl!
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