Nibbling can easily turn into pigging out

We all know the expression, “pigging out;” aka binge eating / ravenous gorging. 

Addiction is a repeated action that has the potential to evolve into a dangerous and downward spiral that only gets worse. If one continues in daily nibbling, those innocent snacks can easily and quickly turn into pigging out; which will lead to self-sabotage.  It's pretty predictable.   

When I was in my early twenties, I was athletic, fit and weighed a healthy weight. If someone would have told me that in ten years I’d be 100 lbs overweight, I wouldn’t have believed them! No way in a million years would I ever let myself weigh THAT much! But it happened. One nibble turned into two, which turned into three, four, five, six . . . which eventually turned into a full-blown, binge eating disorder; resulting in obesity and poor health for twenty long years. Those years were like existing in a dark prison cell with no exit sign.   

Dr. Fuhrman clearly states that snacking is overeating, and overeating will sabotage excellent health. Those who nibble consume more calories, and snacking is usually done when not truly hungry. It’s easy to reach for that handful of nuts after watching Junior’s soccer game. (If those same nuts are consumed with greens at mealtime, the absorption of phytochemicals is enhanced by 10 fold!) It’s easy to nibble on that package of carrots or dried fruit while putting groceries away. Oh my, and don’t forget those enticing food samples laced throughout the grocery store on Saturday mornings! “Just one bite” never hurt anyone. Wrong. In all truthfulness, if we want to live in optimal health, nibbling and snacking need to be eliminated from our vocabulary altogether. Period.  No compromise.  No excuses.*


                                                   SAY NO TO NIBBLING 


Let’s all enjoy the privilege of living in excellent health for the rest of our lives!

                  waist measurement


Previous posts related to this topic: “The powerful snare of compromise”  and "Eating occasions"


* Dr. Fuhrman states that a rare exception to snacking would be if one ate too little at a meal or couldn’t get to the next meal and were truly hungry; in that case the “healthy snack” would be appropriate.


image credit - Flickr:; lululemon athletica

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Comments (14) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) - January 18, 2011 11:05 AM

Thank you for giving me something very interesting to think about! I'm sure this is an issue for everyone at times.

Sherry Cooke - January 18, 2011 2:39 PM

Well said and well needed. Thanks for the reminder!

Beth - January 18, 2011 2:54 PM

I have a hard time with this issue. I don't feel bad about having healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies if I feel a touch of hunger in between meals. I just don't like to be so darn self conscious about every tiny thing I put into my body-WHAT I put into it, yes! But not how much or how often. For me, this issue of how much Im eating ( and food in general) simply becomes another unhealthy obsession. As long as Im maintaining my weight, personally I don't want to worry/think about it all of the time.

mberkovitz - January 18, 2011 3:55 PM

Easier said than done!

James - January 18, 2011 4:33 PM

I have a question from your article.
You say that "If those same nuts are consumed with greens at mealtime, the absorption of phytochemicals is enhanced by 10 fold!"
So eating greens with nuts is the best way to eat greens? Can you answer and expand on this concept?

Thank you!

Deana Ferreri, Ph.D. - January 18, 2011 4:54 PM

There are fat-soluble micronutrients in greens that are more easily absorbed by the human body in the presence of some additional fat, such as from nuts.

Emily Boller - January 18, 2011 5:46 PM


When snacking is not an option, and one truly listens to the body for true hunger signals, and then eats a meal if truly hunger instead of impulsive nibbling/snacking as a habit, there's a much less likely chance for overeating. Unhealthy obsessions for many are nibbling/snacking most every waking hour which eventually leads to overeating and resulting weight gain and poor health.

Also, continual snacking or eating several times a day never gives the body a chance to go into the catabolic phase of digestion which is so crucial to the cleansing of toxins from the body, and restoration and healing for optimal health. A body that is continually digesting food is continually working in the anabolic phase of digestion. Complete digestive rest is so important to the body's health; preventing illnesses and disease.

Suzi - January 18, 2011 7:37 PM

Yes, however we live in stressful times. And at times, chewing on something relieves the stress. I have found that foods like celery, lettuce, nori sheets, kelp flakes, and dulse seaweed are excellent low calorie ways to satisfy the urge to chew. In addition, if eaten mindfully, and chewed well, pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds are wonderful stress reducers. Seeds and Nuts like almonds and walnuts will fill a person up. And so yes, it is important to be mindful of the level of hunger at meal time. Eating consciously is a key to health!!!

Sharon Warden - January 18, 2011 10:47 PM

Yes, just a fingertip of peanut butter, or a couple of pistachios while putting groceries away can lead to more and more. However many doctors and diets tout HEALTHY snacking (like carrots, etc.) in between meals if true hunger is felt. However the Seventh Day Adventist Diet (which is excellent, not new and well proven), says eat three meals a day, no eating after six p.m., giving the body and digestive system a chance to rest. Supper at night should be light, perhaps a fruit with a grain, nuts or simple vegetable, no starch. Meals, on time!!! Hmmm, there goes that before-bedtime bowl of cereal we all grew up with!

Anyway, the diet is great, modified somewhat; if Kale is the new beef then broccoli must be the new veal! And, as an animal lover, I'm so glad nobody is considering veal anymore.

Raeann Peck - January 19, 2011 12:31 AM

I do a substantial workout five to six days each week. Snacking on fresh fruits, veggies, fat free cottage cheese, plain yogurt, nuts and dried cranberries keeps my glucose levels balanced between meals. When I'm unable to snack I get desperately hungry. There is wisdom in balance and discipline. I leave home with planned snacks and mini meals. No apologies.

Michael - January 19, 2011 9:49 AM


That "desperate hunger" is toxic hunger. It goes away with time and adherence to this eating plan. I used to struggle with it all the time. When I followed ETL, it was a struggle to not snack between meals, but I am so glad I did. I never get desperately hungry anymore. My hunger feels much more mangeable even when I eat 2 meals a day with no snacking in between. Read "Eat to Live" and give the 6-week plan a try.

Raeann Peck - January 19, 2011 7:49 PM


In response to your reply, I've been nicely maintaining a very trim healthy weight since I lost 70 pounds a year ago. I love my daily workouts and as a result, require those healthy snacks to avoid dropping too much weight. That desperate hunger can be avoided when I snack wisely. I don't eat large meals, and feel uncomfortable if I do. The problem stated above with healthy snacking may be related to a person's lack of physical activity.

maya - January 28, 2011 10:44 AM

i would really like to see more posts about overcoming food addiction through a nutrarian diet. i go for a few weeks eating well and then something happens and i'm back where i started. it's extremely frustrating.

Emily Boller - January 29, 2011 10:24 AM


Do you have a support system? I highly recommend the member center to have the support of Dr. Fuhrman and the other doctors; veteran nutritiarians who have overcome obstacles and now have their health back; and the priceless teleconferences and tutorials that are available for the members. I could've never overcome food addiction without the 24/7 support of the member center. One can post struggles 24/7, ask questions, seek advice, learn success tips . . . the support is endless AND priceless.

Complete freedom is possible! Do what it takes to earn the privilege of living in that freedom. You will never regret it! :)

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