You can get lean & strong with any meal frequency with snacks or no snacks. That’s the truth.
Eating is also highly individual.
But there is very compelling evidence from scientific research, my own observation, and customer results that significantly reducing – or eliminating – snacks is a game-changer for weight management & leanness for most guys.
The multibillion-dollar snack industry is formidable and cultural behaviors and beliefs around snacking are strong. Snacks are not inherently wrong or evil, you just don’t need them. Our parents didn’t have them around like we do now and they didn’t have an obesity epidemic. For the past couple of years, I’ve recommended significantly reduce or eliminate snacks to all my clients. The results have been stellar.
I had tons of snacks growing up and a mid-morning & mid-afternoon snack for most of my adult life. I realized that most of the time I was just eating highly processed, nutritionally anemic foods like protein bars. For the last few years, I rarely eat snacks. My diet quality has improved and gaining excess weight is almost out of the question.
What Is The Challenge?
Eat 3 or fewer meals a day with 0 snacks for 14-days. A snack is any food you eat between meals. Caloric beverages count as a snack.
Why Should I Do It?
1. Reduce Or Eliminate Compulsive Snacking
Snacking is mostly mindless, compulsive, and habitual and may go in lockstep with checking social media and your phone constantly. Dissolving compulsions equates to improved mental clarity and performance. Our brains crave focus with no distractions, which is how you get into “The Zone”. Eating snacks is oftentimes a distraction. You will also have fewer food decisions to make on a given day or week.
2. Reduce Calorie Consumption
There are only 3 variables you can change with your eating: (1) what you eat, (2) when you eat, and (3) how much you eat. Every diet known to man derives from these three variables. Simply eliminating all snacks (variable #2) can improve the quality of the food you eat (variable #1), and reduce the amount of food you eat (variable #3). Compelling evidence suggests snacking is a driving force behind the obesity epidemic. This is one of the most extraordinary findings of my career as a health & fitness professional.
3. Drop Excess Weight
Eliminating snacks can have a significant impact on your ability to manage your weight and overall leanness. For some guys, no snacks can be the difference between being overweight or lean. Of course, eliminating snacks from your diet is not a solution as I’ve had more than a few conversations with obese men who eat 2 or 3 meals a day with no snacks. But for many who do snack a lot, it’s a complete game-changer when combined with other healthful changes.
How Do I Make This Challenge More Manageable?
1. Cleanse Your Cupboards & Pantry
In a perfect world, you would have 0 processed snacks in your household. That would make avoiding snacks much easier. That may not be an option right now with your partner, and your children may throw a few tantrums. Amazingly, children for millennia lived just fine without processed snacks. If 0 processed snacks is infeasible for now, the first step is to get all snacks out of sight and ideally, hard to reach. The second step is to remove as many processed snacks as you can. Out of sight, out of mind is powerful.
2. Keep A Photo Food Journal If You Struggle With Mindless Snacking
If you struggle with mindless snacking and it’s hard to even contemplate passing this challenge, consider keeping a photo food journal. You simply take a photo of everything you eat. This is a pattern interrupt, which can help stop the mindless snacking in its tracks. For more information, check out this article on How To Keep A Photo Food Journal.
3. Drink Plenty of Water (2 liters)
Drinking at least 2 liters of water will have a huge impact on your hunger levels and overall eating habits. Feeling like you need a snack? Drink water. Slow down your breathing (consider box breathing 5-seconds in, 5-second hold, 5-second out, 5-second hold) Relax. Most snacking is mindless and habitual and is from the tongue. Sometimes the desire is from stomach hunger. Hunger is ok. It’s not that big of a deal. You can wait a couple of hours before you have your next meal. It’s empowering and liberating when you realize you really don’t have to have that snack. Keep in mind if you normally have a snack at a certain hour, you are habituated to getting hungry at that hour.
When Do I Start?
You can start whenever you like, but i recommend starting at the beginning of the week. For most, that will be on Monday. Why not start this Monday? Sooner rather than later, better late than never.
How Do I Track My Results?
Just mark off our app “X” for each day with no snacks and watch your streaks for 14 days.