I am experiencing a lot of hunger. Is it ok if I snack?

In the beginning of any dietary changes you will experience behavioral hunger at first, especially if you were used to eating more frequently. This should subside after 7 to 14 days. We’d recommend that you try adding some more healthy fats and protein into your diet to see if this helps. Also do make sure that you are consuming approximately ½ of your ideal body weight in water.

Realize though that the dieter mentality will get you in trouble. You should transition into seeing yourself as a detective instead. Pay close attention to the sensations your body is producing. Hunger, energy and cravings can be valuable feedback as to the balance of your metabolism. A balanced metabolism should be without these sensations, but having them quickly teaches you how well your diet and exercise is working for you.

For some of you there may be issues with snacking between meals (normal) and cravings at night (normal). While they are normal, they are not necessarily desirable. According to Dr. Jade, you have several control points. Here are four important ones that Dr. Jade talks about:

  • Adjusting the meal timing/window. In other words try moving your meals in a more narrow window of time and during times you are most hungry. If you’re not hungry in morning, perhaps eat your meals at noon, 4 and 8.
  • Preemptive snacks. If you are having hunger and cravings that are uncontrollable at specific times, eat a small something 30-60 min prior. What’s the best thing to eat? 1/2 a naked shake. (Example: you get ravenously hungry at 3pm. Have a naked shake at 2:30).
  • A preload. If dinner seems to keep going and going and does not satisfy you, use a preload. This is something you eat right before eating dinner. Again, a protein shake works great here.
  • “Free Foods”. Things like high water veggies are “free foods” according to Dr. Jade. Essentially eat as much as you would like whenever you like. The best choices are celery, cucumbers and pickles.

Remember it is about building this program around your lifestyle in a way that delivers results in effortless fashion. Keep practicing and tweaking.

There are different theories about snacking versus no snacking. The Metabolic Effect (ME) program does encourage pre-emptive eating which involves the idea of snacking. Remember though that this not ME, this is Metabolic Prime (MP). If you are familiar with ME and it works for you, then by all means just stay with ME.

This program recommends trying the no snacking method. You’ll see on pages 13-14 of your 12-Week Metabolic Meals Plan that you CAN add snacks in if your SHMEC is in check, but you are not losing fat. It is important to read through this section again because those of you who are familiar with Dr. Jade’s work know that he fully encourages and supports an individualized approach to nutrition. What he has provided for you in terms of nutrition with this program is just this. If you are currently snacking and it is working for you (you see results, your SHMEC is in check, etc.), then by all means stick with that approach. Natural Health Sherpa does have a weight loss program that also encourages no snacking – we have seen how effectively this works for many, many people.

Traditionally going for more than 4 hours without eating would spike insulin and cortisol for the typical person. However, by following the no snacking rule outlined in Metabolic Prime, you are changing your body’s way it uses fuel. This program allows you to convert to a fat burner which over time will allow your body to go longer between meals. It’s important to note that this does take time. The first week of no snacking is always the most challenging and you really have to work with your SHMEC to help determine if you are getting enough or too many carbs, protein, fat and even water. Another advantage of the three meals is not driving up insulin, which triggers fat-storing.

If you have insulin resistance, you will probably find this diet works well for you. You will need to pay attention to your body if you have diabetes or blood sugar issues and may need to snack to avoid hypoglycemia. Many people with these types of issues have been able to get down to three meals a day as their body adjusts to this style of eating.

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