It’s a longstanding debate without a clear answer: 3 vs. 6 meals per day…which is better?

Ask a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym and chances are, he’ll tell you: “Eat six small meals per day.”

Look to Women’s Health magazine or Dr. Google for a revving metabolism, and chances are, you’ll hear the same thing.

But then again, three square meals per day is also the human standard—at least culturally speaking: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner works for many people too.

Should you or shouldn’t you snack?

Answer: It all depends.

snack

WHY WE SNACK

Essentially, snacks are intended to be mini-meals that tide us over to the next meal if we’re feeling weak, hungry or fatigued.

Snacks boost energy—a good thing.

However, snacking becomes not such a good thing when it becomes emotional, habitual, or throws off our blood sugar balance in our body.

Emotional Snacking

Instead of listening to our body we snack:

  • We snack because we’re bored
  • We are sad, so reach for something sweet to pick us up
  • We are lonely, and a pint of Halo Top ice cream or our
  • We are anxious, so turn to Animal Crackers, almonds or something crunchy to calm our nerves

Habitual Snacking

Instead of checking in with our energy levels or our hunger-fullness, we snack because:

  • We snack because the clock says “it’s snack time”
  • We typically don’t eat enough at our meals (often restricting), and thus snacking is necessary
  • We fail to prepare, and often run into the same dilemma most days (lack of meal prep, planning or food availability—so we reach for whatever)
  • When we see food, we eat food or crave food—no questions asked

Blood Sugar Imbalance

Lastly, snacking “gets the best of us” when our blood sugar levels are all over the place.

Snacking frequently creates blood sugar imbalances by demanding more on the body’s glucose (blood sugar) lev