A lot of people grab a latté, an energy bar, a juice, a muffin, or a 100-calorie pack of something without reviewing the macronutrient content and thinking about what it will do to their hunger. The answer is, not much. Snacking isn’t eating to satiety; it’s a stopgap and, depending on what you choose, it might actually make you hungrier later.
Many of the snacks (even protein bars!) that people reach for are carbohydrate bombs. When you look at a nutrition fact label, you need to ask yourself: What is the majority of this comprised of? It doesn’t really matter if your carbohydrate bar, date-rich protein ball, crackers, or chips are grain-free, gluten-free, or vegan—they are filling you with blood sugar and causing the release of insulin. If you eat unbalanced quick meals with processed foods, your blood sugar quickly rises and falls within three hours, leaving you with low blood sugar but still full of insulin, which causes you to crash and crave more carbohydrates, releasing even more insulin.
When you eat snacks in between meals, you tax your body. You are asking it to restart a process it has not yet completed from the last time you ate. Not only does this take energy away from other repairs your body is making (hello, tired eyes), but it also leads to weight gain. When your body cannot absorb and utilize food, it stores it as fat. In addition, restarting the process of digestion by snacking cuts short your body’s ability to burn fat in between meals.