Is it better to eat three square meals a day or snack on smaller meals more frequently?

It all used to be so simple. Most of us grew up on breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and that’s how many of us still eat today. But the more we learn about health and nutrition, the more we learn about the benefits of healthy snacks, intermittent fasting, and other alternatives to the traditional three-meal structure.

Research by the University of Massachusetts Medical School even found that people who eat more than three meals per day tend to weigh less.

It’s no secret that we love snacking. If the traditional three meals aren’t working for your goals, this is how you can snackify your diet and get the healthy change you’ve always wanted.

Choose Foods That Fill

almonds in bowl

A common mistake many new snackers fall into is going too light or choosing foods with emptier calories and then inevitably binge eating on the next meal. Snacks with protein and fiber like almonds or other nuts are more likely to fill you up and keep you satisfied until the next meal or snack. Savory options like Whey Thins™ or Harvest Thins™ pack protein into 100 calories per serving.

Watch Your Calories

track calories on phone

And speaking of calories … replacing three larger meals with smaller snacks doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat as much as you’d like. At the end of the day, the goal is still to keep the final calorie count the same as three healthy meals.

A food tracker like the one available through our own IsaLife™ mobile app helps you track calories for basic foods such as avocados or almonds and look up nutritional facts on branded snacks. Just scan the bar code, and you’re good to go.

Pick a Meal You Love

healthy omelette

Snackifying your eating routine doesn’t mean saying goodbye to all your meals. Are you a breakfast person? Enjoy a healthy, protein-rich meal in the morning. Like to end a long day with a good dinner? Cook up your favorite lean meats with some whole grains. Pick your favorite meal, make it count nutritionally, and snack smartly around it.

Pair With Intermittent Fasting

bowl of blueberries

You might associate fasting with starvation, but snacking and intermittent fasting (we call it a Cleanse Day) go together like peas and carrots. Even though Cleanse Days require a low calorie count, small snacks are allowed — even encouraged — to give your body small bits of nutritional support while you cleanse.

When you add up the benefits, snacking just makes sense. So go out there and enjoy tasty, nutritious, filling snacks that support the meals you love and fuel you on Cleanse Days.