Why does Dr. Fuhrman say No Snacking? Here are some of the things he's written on the subject:
I guess it is not the worst thing to do,
especially if you are not overweight. Since he has made such a significant
change and is losing weight, maybe it best not to press this minor point, but
here are the problems:
1. Most often snacking is recreational eating, in excess of the caloric need of the body.
2. Interferes with achieving hunger at mealtime, lessening enjoyment and taste at meals.
3. Reduces available enzymes at mealtime as they have not had enough time for replenishment, which can lead to indigestion and reflux with meals.
4. Without hunger driving appetite you have no idea of how much calories you need to consume each day.
That said, very few people actually eat when hungry, so even if you just try to do this most of the time and not all of the time, it is a great achievement.
Nothing wrong with snacking on raw vegetables, but one main point I want to make is that I want you to get in touch with hunger signals and stop recreational eating. It is rare that people will actually have true hunger so frequently.
Eat when you are hungry; do not eat when you are not hungry. Forget the clock, forget conventional wisdom, and don't overeat at anytime. When you are truly hungry the body is better prepared with the enzymes and digestive capacity to accomplish its work efficiently. Increased frequency of eating is associated with higher risk of colon cancer, but the main reason I am against it is because I want people to learn how to read their own body's signals to correctly determine the amount of food they need. You could never achieve that on 5 - 6 feedings a day.
Here's another quote in which he is responding to
someone who was asking if she should have had a midday snack because she got
overtired doing yard work and was over hungry for dinner:
No, you should not eat because you are tired, you should eat when you are hungry. But, you should not force yourself not to eat in between meals if you are hungry. The important point that seemed to be missed by that person is this. Most people eat more calories than they need. Eating when you are not hungry makes it more likely you will eat too many calories, not less likely, and when you use hunger to guide you to the amount and frequency of feeding, you will most likely reach the perfect weight for you. Some preconceived notion of 5 or 6 small meals a day or 2 to 3 meals a day is not the issue, the main issue is not to overeat. But eating too frequently keeps the
body in a digestive mode all the time and that is not optimal for proper digestion, elimination and longevity.
Paraphrase from Dr. F's fasting book:
When the body is digesting, even just a little
food, energy is diverted to the digestive system for secreting, peristalsis,
tissues absorbing, etc. At those times, other functions are working at
reduced levels, such as the action of the liver, kidneys, and regeneration
processes in individual cells. It is only after digestion is complete that
these organs, processes, lymph system, and some other glands and functions have
full blood supply and can work at normal capacity, uninterrupted, and really do
their jobs well.
These systems are the very ones that work to rid the body of wastes and toxins, and restore tissues on a daily basis. If we are constantly eating, our healing organs/processes get much fewer opportunities to really do their jobs. Especially if we snack right before bed, which is often a prime time for our bodies to go into housecleaning/restoration mode.
The advice here is to eat until full, then let digestion work to completion before putting more food in the pipeline. Over time, a body that is allowed to take care of itself naturally every day will be better prepared to protect itself against diseases and heal injuries when they strike, as well as generally function better mentally and physically.