Apparently snacking is making us fat

Put down those almonds NOW...

Ah snacking, how would we get through the working day without you?

One of the simple pleasures in life, snacking has been frequently recommended by nutritionists as an important way to keep energy levels up and metabolisms churning – but only if they are healthy.

Of course, some snacks (and some might argue the best snacks) aren’t exactly good for you. But as well as being calorific, they are also dangerously easy to forget, which might explain why you’re putting on weight for no reason.

A recent investigation by the Government’s Behavioral Insights Team found that the average British adult consumes 3000 calories a day, 50% more than the recommended daily allowance of 2000.

The root of the problem? Snacking. The team behind the study concluded that an increase in snacking (compared to sit-down meals) over the last 40 years has lead to people having difficulty remembering what they have eaten.

As a result, we tend to underestimate the exact quantity of calories we’ve consumed as many of these snacks are forgotten. And the real issue? It’s only getting worse as our calorie count just goes up and up year after year.

The study was designed to understand why the average calorie intake across the population has declined, despite an increase in the rate of obesity. Underestimating calories eaten would, however, explain this contradiction.

Apparently, people who want to lose weight are more likely to under-report the number of calories they have eaten – basically falling prey to ‘wishful thinking’ (hey, it’s ok, we all do it).

But also to blame was the increased use in restaurants in the UK, as people fail to understand that meals eaten out are often far more calorific than homemade ones.

So if you’re snacking all day and eating out at night, it’s time to put the breaks on and take a proper look at your real calorie intake. If you’re trying to lose weight, ditching those snacks at your desk might just be the answer you’ve been looking for. You’re welcome.  

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