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November 14, 2007
The Impact of Snacking
A month ago I thought I would try a little experiment. I know I have learned what the impact of one's diet is on weight; especially total calorie intake. I know that a careful balancing of calorie sources is important nutritionally. This blog has chronicled my weight loss campaign from the inception. I used daily weight monitoring and caloric restriction to attain my ideal weight. The last several entries have reflected that not only did I drop to my targeted weight level, I also was able to easily maintain it.
Over the last 30 days I intentionally eased up on my “by-meal” tabulation of calories and simply estimated my intake based on past experience. I figured I had developed a keen awareness of what I could and could not do. Over the last two weeks my weight crept up and I found myself saying it was only temporary but not really changing what I was doing. I was trying to control the situation "on the fly". Once my weight had risen three pounds (a minor change but a bad trend), I knew I was on the path to returning to my old self.
I went back to using a measurement tool, in my case FitDay, to track nutritional and caloric intake throughout the day. Amazingly four days later my weight was back to where I want it to be. In my case I dropped my total calories to around 1,250 per day. I am now back up to my maintenance level of 1,500. At my age, that seems to be the ideal level to maintain my weight given the exercise and activity I get weekly.
In retrospect I had simply grown a little lax in the area of snacks. My meals were all the same and well under control. But the in between snacking had added a few calories, mostly empty calories. Enough so that over the period of a few weeks the tendency toward weight gain had returned. It is amazing how just a few extra snacks can impact the total daily balance of calories and activity.