Mother was right! Cutting out snacks between meals is easy way to lose weight, expert says 

Mother was right! Cutting out snacks between meals is easy way to lose weight, expert says

  • Professor says cutting out snacks is one of the simplest ways to lose weight 
  • He said evidence suggests snacking between meals does not ruin your appetite
  • He said ultra-processed snacks like biscuits and crisps make you hungrier overall

It’s what mums have told children for generations. Now a leading nutrition expert has said their advice not to eat between meals is backed up by scientific fact.

Professor Tim Spector insisted one of the simplest ways to lose weight is a blanket ban on all food outside meal times.

He said evidence suggests that snacking between meals does not ruin your appetite for dinner – as mothers warn – but ‘ultra-processed’ snacks like biscuits and crisps make you hungrier overall so inclined to eat more food. 

It’s what mums have told children for generations. Now a leading nutrition expert has said their advice not to eat between meals is backed up by scientific fact [File photo]

Professor Spector, a genetic epidemiology expert at King’s College London, said: ‘If people are concerned about their health and weight they are better off avoiding eating between meals.

‘It is very notable that people in Mediterranean countries, who do not have the same level of obesity problem we see in Britain, do not typically snack between meals. The concept that people will suffer if they do not eat something at 11am and 4pm is odd and recent.’

Professor Spector reviewed the evidence on snacking for his book Food For Life: The New Science of Eating Well, which was serialised in the Daily Mail.

Professor Tim Spector insisted one of the simplest ways to lose weight is a blanket ban on all food outside meal times [File photo]

Professor Tim Spector insisted one of the simplest ways to lose weight is a blanket ban on all food outside meal times [File photo]

He said: ‘Most snacks British people eat are ultra-processed foods like biscuits, snack bars, chocolate and crisps, and should be avoided.

‘There is good evidence that these make us hungrier, with people eating about 10 per cent more than if they had a filling meal or chose normal food as a snack.’

Professor Spector, who is co-founder of the personalised nutrition company Zoe, added: ‘The absolute worst time of day for snacking is in the evening, when many people have an extra supper of crisps, cake, ice cream or sugary hot chocolate.’

He advised that if you’re hungry, eating fresh fruit and nuts together was the healthiest choice of snack.

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