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    If you want to lose weight — should you snack?  

    Snacks can be a tricky topic when you’re trying to lose weight. Should you eat them? Should you not? If you do eat them, what can you choose that won’t mess up your weight loss progress? 

    These are the kinds of questions we hear from our users all the time. Here’s another: 

    “Simple, when are you going to add ‘snacks’ to the Food Tracker so we can log those as well as meals?”

    In this article, we’re going to answer all these questions and more so that you:

    • feel more confident about what you’re eating and when
    • know you’re making as much progress as possible with every bite
    • understand how to snack without disrupting your progress
    • know how to track your snacks in the Simple app

    Track your snacks in Simple

    You can now use the Simple Food Tracker to log your snacks as well as your meals. This feature has been high on your Simple app wish list, so … here it is! 

    (Seriously, your feedback is so valuable to us, so THANK YOU for taking the time to tell us what you need and want.)

    We heard you when you said it was important to differentiate between meals and snacks when logging your food in the app. We get it. You want an accurate log of what you ate throughout the day, and before, there was nowhere for your snack info to go. 

    Now there is. 

    This update means you have data that reflects your lifestyle and eating habits more closely. And with that, you get a robust, insightful feedback loop to use to make sure your snacking habits are a good fit for your goals. 

    How to track your snacks

    Open the Food Tracker in the Simple app by clicking “Log food.” 

    Click the drop-down menu to select “Snack.”

    Log your snack by typing in what you ate, uploading a photo, or speaking into the mic. 


    Now, all you need to do is sit back and wait (approx 3 seconds) for Nutrition Scores to analyze the nutritional balance of your snack. If your snack scores Good or Optimal, you’re right on track. If it scores Low or Fair, we’ll give you some ideas to increase the nutritional quality next time so you can align your choices more closely with the results you want to see.

    Did you know? 

    Simple users who get an Optimal score on their meals more than 40% of the time lose twice as much weight as those who get an Optimal score less than 10% of the time. If weight loss is your goal, Optimal is the score to chase! 

    Is snacking good or bad for your health? 

    At Simple, we don’t think of food as “good” or “bad.” Different food choices have different outcomes. 

    When it comes to snacks, it’s true to say that snacking can influence your health in both positive and negative ways. It can help you reach your goals more easily, or it can get in the way and slow your progress. 

    It all depends on how you approach it. 

    Know why you’re snacking  

    This is always a smart thing to check. There are so many reasons why we eat. When you reach for a snack, are you:

    • Hungry? 
    • Emotional? 
    • Stressed? 
    • Tired? 

    If you’re hungry, your body needs energy. If your next meal is still a while away, a snack would work well — it’s a solution that fits the need. But if you’re emotional, stressed, and/or tired, food isn’t what you’re really craving — even if the craving for food is genuinely there.

    Many of us soothe emotions with food — it’s something we do, often from a young age. Stress raises cortisol, a hormone that makes us crave sugary, salty, and fatty foods.

    And if we’re tired, we may look for a pick-me-up in the form of sugar (or caffeine). Our ghrelin and leptin signals may be out of whack, which makes us feel hungrier and less full with our usual amount of food. 

    So, while these emotions, stress, and fatigue may make you want to eat, a snack isn’t such a well-fitting solution for these triggers as it is for hunger. There’s no judgment here — we all eat for lots of different reasons, and that’s totally valid. Food can be soothing. It can feel supportive in a stressful moment. But if you have goals that mean your snacking needs to be a bit more controlled and strategic, finding non-food ways to soothe, destress, and re-energize is important. 

    So, here’s step one

    Check in with yourself when you feel like grabbing a snack. What’s driving that urge? 

    And step two

    If you notice you’re often snacking for non-hunger reasons, start building — and using — your roster of non-food solutions. These will be personal to you, so experiment with different ideas and see what works. Some ideas to get you started: 

    • For stress or negative emotions — try talking to a friend who lifts your spirits, playing a game, watching something funny, listening to energizing music, or going for a walk.
    • If you’re tired — try taking a nap, sitting for a few minutes with your eyes closed, drinking a big glass of water, or snuggling down in a nest of cushions. 

    Choose the right snacks for your goals

    When choosing a snack, the world is your oyster. What do you tend to go for? 

    The nutritional quality of the majority of your snacks will determine how much they contribute to your health. 

    Which snacks will help you make the most progress toward your goals? If we may make a few suggestions for nutritious snacking, consider options like: 

    • apple slices with almond butter
    • Greek yogurt with a banana
    • a handful of nuts and dried fruit
    • bell pepper slices with hummus
    • carrot sticks and hard-boiled eggs 

    These snack options are all high in fiber and protein, with varying amounts and types of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. They’ll not only nourish your body and give you lasting energy, but they’ll also keep you satisfied, thanks to protein’s superpower of helping you feel fuller for longer.

    Take stock as you log your snacks using the Food Tracker. Nutrition Scores will show you how the foods you choose stack up nutritionally so you can see if you need to dial up the fiber and protein or dial back the sugar or salt — and Coach Avo will be on hand to suggest ways to do that.

    What about cookies, candy, and ice cream?!?

    Don’t worry, there’s room in a healthy diet for snacks with lower nutritional value! 

    We don’t always choose our snacks based on their healthiness. Sometimes, we choose them simply because we like them. 

    There’s a balance here, too. 

    Ideally, we’d enjoy all the foods that are good for our health — and over time, you will find yourself enjoying foods you may be surprised by (taste buds are adaptable like that). But sometimes you just want what you want, and there’s no amount of magical thinking that’ll make chocolate cheesecake with a side of whipped cream a healthy option (we’re sad about that, too).  

    That’s OK. Get the majority of your food choices working for your body and your goals. Prioritize nutrient density and quality as often as possible. Then enjoy the heck out of the foods you eat that exist purely to bring joy to your palate. 

    What to do next

    Try out the new-and-improved Simple Food Tracker and log your next snack! Then, use the feedback you get to keep moving toward the goals that matter to you. 

    If you’re new to Simple, start your journey by taking our quiz. We’ll hook you up with a step-by-step plan, plus the expert guidance and support you need to make your health and wellness ambitions fall more easily into place.

    Frequently asked questions about snacking

    If you’re following an intermittent fasting schedule, you might wonder where snacks fit in. Ideally, during your fasting window, avoid any foods or drinks that contain calories. Keep those for your eating window, and stick to non-caloric drinks like water, tea, and black coffee while you’re fasting.

    How many snacks you’ll need each day will vary based on a lot of factors, like your goals, needs, and lifestyle. As a baseline, eat 1–2 nutrient-dense snacks — like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and yogurt — and adjust up and down from there. For instance, you may:

    • need a higher protein intake, so more high-protein snacks can help “top up” how much you’re getting from your meals;
    • find you’re not hungry between meals and don’t need snacks to keep you energized and full;
    • want to gain muscle and need more snacks to supplement the calories you get from your meals; or 
    • have a very active lifestyle and need more snacks to replenish the energy you burn.

    Use your hunger and fullness cues — and the results you’re achieving — to guide you.

    No, logging snacks during your eating window won’t affect your fasting schedule.

    In fact, snacking during your eating window may help you eat enough to feel energized throughout your fasts, making them easier to complete. 

    And, so long as your snacks balance health, enjoyment, and frequency in a way that works for your goals, your intermittent fasting schedule will be as effective as possible. Intermittent fasting doesn’t work because of the fasts alone. It works when the food we eat outside of the fasts serves the same goal.

    Yes! For nutritious snacking, consider options like apple slices with almond butter, Greek yogurt, a handful of nuts, or fresh vegetables with hummus. These choices provide the nutrients and lasting energy your body needs and keep you feeling satisfied.
    Logging snacks separately helps you keep a more accurate food journal, which allows you to better understand your eating habits, identify patterns, and make more informed food choices.