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The Snack Factor Diet: The Secret to Losing Weight--by Eating MORE Hardcover – April 10, 2007

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"Eat Fat, Get Thin" by Mark Hyman, MD
A revolutionary new diet program from # 1 bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman. Check out "Eat Fat, Get Thin", by Carrie Fisher. See more featured Health & Fitness books

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

KERI GLASSMAN, M.S., R.D., is the president of KKG Body Fuel, Inc., a nutrition counseling and consulting practice, and the founder and president
of KeriBar, a nutrition snack bar company. Keri received her M.S. in clinical nutrition from New
York University. She is a media dynamo who has appeared in various media, including Marie Claire, Glamour, Shape, Men’s Journal, Self, Cookie, Fitness, Life & Style, US Weekly, Men’s Fitness, WebMD, Oxygen, Today, and the Early Show. She is a regular contributor to NY1 and Fox News Channel. Keri resides in New York City with her husband, Brett, and their children, Rex and Maizy.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



What’s Your HQ?

Using the Hunger Quotient to Time Your Meals and Snacks

In our first session together, I always ask new clients, “How hungry are you when you eat?” Some people say they are never hungry. “How could I be? I’m always eating,” they’ll joke. Or they’ll say, “Famished! I make myself wait to eat until I am starving, but I’m usually stuffed when I am done with a meal!” As basic as it is, many people—especially superbusy people—have a pretty feeble grasp of their Hunger Quotient. Maybe they just eat constantly, without thinking about it. Or they eat in such a spartan way—as if their virtue is measured by how few calories they consume—that they’re never really satisfied. So when hunger does catch up with them, the pangs are powerful enough to knock them right into the nearest Taco Bell.

Years of not-so-great eating habits have made us tone-deaf to our body’s hunger messages. Sure, we can listen to our body when it tells us we’re tired, that we’re coming down with a cold, or we’ve worked out too hard at the gym. But it’s difficult for many of my clients—even the ones who know the exchange rate for the Japanese yen or the exact floor plan of Neiman Marcus—to answer this simple question: “Right now, how hungry am I?”

That’s because most of us eat whether we are hungry or not. We eat because we think it’s time to eat, or because the food tastes good, or maybe just because it’s in front of us. the Snack Factor Diet will boost your HQ so that hunger—and only hunger—dictates your eating behavior.

Your hunger will tell you when it’s time to eat your meals and snacks. You don’t need to plan them around my schedule, or one devised by nutrition researchers in a lab somewhere. The whole point of the Snack Factor Diet is to help you find a regular eating pattern that suits your body, your metabolism, your goals, and your lifestyle. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no ideal time between meals. Everyone is unique and needs to know his or her HQ before picking up a fork.

Some people need to eat every few hours, while others should wait closer to four hours before eating between meals and snacks. I’ve got clients who are breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner people, and I admit that’s the style of eating that suits me best, too. But I’ve also got breakfast-lunch-snack-snack-dinner clients, and even a few breakfast- lunch-snack-snack-snack people! In fact, just by jotting down their HQ levels, my clients usually figure out their style in a few days.

The Exception to the Rule

There is one exception to my let-your-hunger-be-your-guide rule, and that’s breakfast. People are hungry at breakfast, even if they don’t know it. Your body has probably gone ten to twelve hours with no nourishment at all, so it’s running on empty. And the start of your workday—especially if it involves getting kids ready for school, fighting morning traffic, or diving into a less-than-scintillating sales report—often demands serious mental energy. In a perfect world, we would all wake up craving nutritious breakfasts that complemented our busy days.

The bad news is that many of my clients come to me with the reverse metabolic scenario: they skip breakfast, or if they eat at all, it’s usually nothing but empty carbs. Then, in an effort to be “good,” they don’t snack and maybe even eat a bare-bones salad at lunch. But all that noneating doesn’t help them lose weight; in fact, it has the opposite effect because it slows their metabolism down. But now it’s dinnertime and they’re ravenous, so they’re likely to consume far too many calories just as their metabolism has switched to its lowest gear. They overeat calories when their metabolism is at its weakest. What IS your metabolism?

Now that I’ve thrown it around a few times, it’s worth taking a minute to talk about what the word metabolism means. I think it may be one of the most abused words in the dieting industry. Lots of “experts” use it in a smoke-and-mirrors way that makes weight loss sound far more complicated than it is.

Our metabolism—the way we convert chemicals in our body into energy—is, to some degree, something we’re stuck with, thanks to genetics. But we can—and must, if we want to lose weight—raise our metabolic rate. Two proven ways to boost it are exercise (especially weight-bearing exercise, which we’ll talk more about in Chapter 8) and eating smaller, more frequent meals—in other words, snacking!

And what is the best way to slow our metabolism down, so that it conserves energy and burns fewer calories, and so that it holds on to the weight we want to lose in our stomach and tush? Eating too little or eating too infrequently. Missing a single meal is enough to signal to our bodies that we might be on the verge of a famine, and our metabolism slows to compensate.

People spend a lot of time complaining about this trait, but it’s actually a good thing—or at least it was 10,000 years or so ago. Genetic researchers believe that human beings developed this tendency—which they call the “thrifty gene”—back when we were hunters and gatherers. (Actually, our eating is influenced by about two hundred genes, which work together to control eating behavior and weight regulation, though probably only five to fifteen genes play key roles, researchers say. These genes control the production of important digestive hormones like ghrelin, which tells us when we’re hungry, and leptin, which signals when we’re full.) So hours-long stretches without eating tilt us into “thrifty” mode, anticipating a drastic cut in our daily ration of nuts, roots, and whatever else the cave people may have noshed on.

In some genetic groups, such as the Pima Indians in the Southwest, this ability to store fat efficiently is quite pronounced. While it probably worked well when food was gathered traditionally, it’s not the best evolutionary adaptation in modern times when high-calorie foods are available around the clock, 365 days a year. It has caused terrible health problems for the Pima: roughly 50 percent of them are diabetic, and in 95 percent of those cases, they are also overweight.

While they are an extreme example, the lesson applies to all of us. We’re genetically programmed to live in a feast-or-famine world, but are lucky enough to live in a country with the safest, most affordable and abundant food supply in the history of man. That’s great news for keeping the nation chugging along, but not so great for those of us who don’t need to store fat in our butts in case of famine. Snacking is the solution.

Hunger versus Appetite

Part of the problem is that so many of us confuse hunger with appetite, when they’re really very different. Nutrition researchers have found that there are three main components to appetite that control how much, how often, and the kinds of food we eat:

1. Hunger—when our body is truly saying, “Feed me now—I’m running on empty!”

2. Fullness—literally, how full our stomachs feel, which is why foods like popcorn (high in fiber) and chicken (high in protein) leave us with a different sense of satiety than pretzels or bagels (which are nonnutrient dense).

3. Desire to eat—this one confuses people, who sometimes think, “But it tastes so good to me. It must mean I’m hungry for it.” This is very dangerous territory. If crème brûlée is your thing, for instance, it will taste good to you 24/7, whether you’re truly hungry or not. (Of course, there are times when you just want to eat—we’ll discuss that in Chapter 6, and I promise you’ll get your indulgences!)

Getting in Touch with Your Inner Hunger

My advice to clients who are having a hard time getting back in touch with their HQ is to think like a kid again. For parents, this is easy. If you don’t have kids, spend a little time watching someone else’s four-year-old, and you’ll notice a wonderful pattern. Most kids only eat when they’re hun- gry. (Of course, that doesn’t include the kids who have been allowed to eat junk all day!) Stick a plate of pasta in front of a child who’s not ready to eat yet—even if it’s his favorite food in the whole wide world—and he may build a mountain, make tunnels, or feed it to the dog. But he won’t eat a bite.

Even when they are hungry, kids eat differently than adults. Most won’t take an extra serving of potatoes just because the bowl is on the table. On some days, they may push their broccoli away; other days, they may eat twice as much as usual.

It works the other way, too. If the parents’ errand schedule has deprived a child of food for too long, everyone within earshot knows it. Hungry children quickly get crabby (and younger ones may even pitch world-class tantrums) until Mom or Dad wises up and produces the requisite bag full of Cheerios. The same thing happens to hungry adults—we just don’t admit it. We blame our bad moods on delayed flights or long lines instead of realizing that the only thing wrong with our day is that we haven’t eaten enough.

But we need to reconnect with those hunger cues because it’s how those naturally thin people stay that way—like children, they listen to their bodies. Have you ever wondered about those lucky people who can, and often do, order a slice of pizza and then stop at just one slice? They don’t act out some drama dance inside their head—“I should have pizza; no, I shouldn’t have pizza!” “I had a slice—may as well just devour t...

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307351475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307351470
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,876,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nationally recognized celebrity nutritionist, registered dietitian, healthy cooking expert and published author Keri Glassman is the founder and president of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice and health and wellness brand. She has dedicated her career to creating services and promoting education through her Nutritious Life brand. For years, Keri has been a leader in advancing a "whole person" approach to health and wellness. She launched Nutritious Life Magazine, a free health and wellness app that aims to take users' nutrition up a notch, and was also the first registered dietitian to create a real food based snack bar, KeriBar.

Women's Health Magazine also embraces Keri's practical and accessible approach. She is a member of their advisory board and writes a popular monthly column called "Lighten Up" and authors two pages called "Flat Belly Day" and "Cook Your Ass Off" in every issue. Keri is the Health and Wellness partner for JW Marriott hotels and the Nutrition Expert for Reimagine.me, Mommycoach.com and SheKnows.com. Keri was Lead Nutritionist for Turner's former health and wellness entertainment brand, upwave. She was also the Nutritionist and Judge on the healthy cooking competition show, "Cook Your Ass Off".

Keri has authored four books; the most recent book, The New You and Improved Diet (Rodale, Dec 2012) gives readers the 8 rules they need to lose weight and change their life forever. Slim Calm Sexy Diet (Rodale, March 2012), helps readers lose weight, conquer stress, and feel and look their best every day. The O2 Diet (Rodale, Dec 2009), translates complex scientific research on antioxidants into useful and useable tools that empower people to live a more Nutritious Life. The Snack Factor Diet (Crown, 2007) illustrates that snacking helps readers become energetic, feel younger, and lose weight. Keri also contributed to Editor-In-Chief of Women's Health Magazine, Michele Promaulayko's book, Look Better Naked (Rodale, April 2010).

Keri helps millions as a trusted nutrition and health expert in the media. She is dedicated to her field and to the broader goal of educating the public, and her expertise is frequently featured on several national television programs including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood Live, The View, The Talk, The Chew, The Doctors, The Rachael Ray Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The Steve Harvey Show, MSNBC, CNN and HLN. Keri hosts an original series called "A Little Bit Better" which is featured on Youtube's Livestrong Woman channel. She is a spokesperson for national brands that align with the Nutritious Life mission, and is a prolific writer and commentator for many blogs such as Livestrong.com and Thedailymeal.com.

Keri resides in New York City with her children, Rex and Maizy. If she's not watching her kids play soccer you'll probably find her trying out a new fitness class, running in central park, planning her next travel adventure, chatting it up at a farmer's market or satisfying her inner foodie at a new restaurant. You could take away potato chips forever, but don't think about removing chocolate chip cookies, her spiral notebook or her sneaker collection.

See Keri on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to love Keri Glassman's, "The Snack Factor Diet". Glassman writes in an easy to follow style and the book is packed with information. And who wouldn't love to snack several times a day. However, there were many things I don't like about plan.

Glassman is a good writer and she is very easy to understand. She shares a lot of good nutritional information in this 244 page book. But I felt her overall plan would be hard to follow. The plan begins with a 3 day cleanse. This includes dandelions, cucumbers, all you can eat celery stalks, lean meat and lemon water. Did someone say STRICT DIET! To be fair however, the cleanse is optional and designed to blast away your cravings etc.

The "real" diet is better but restrictive. Though she blasts low carb diets in her book. Her book is pretty low carb. She calls potatos, rice, cereal, pasta etc. starches and you are limited to one or two a day at breakfast depending on your weight!

A typical day on the plan might include milk, fiber cereal, and walnuts for breakfast, shrimp salad with avocado and dressing for lunch, chicken breast with veggies and a little fat for dinner. And two snacks.

The book focuses on eating snacks each day and though Glassman lists a lot of snacks, I personally felt the snacks were not necessarily optimal choices. For on the go snacking she recommends for example cottage cheese and yogurt. These items need to be refridgerated so how on the go is this?

Many of her snack choices seem unbalanced. Two or three slices of bacon or two turkey meatballs. I really think that selecting a protein and a carb for each snack is what will keep one full and content to the next meal. Some of her choices were strictly protein or carb and fat etc.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is great! I've reached my goal weight and keeping it off has not been hard. This book taught me to change my outlook on food and to listen to my body. It even introduced me to new foods with all the different recipes provided. There are so many great ideas on meals and snacks, that I planned out my weeks of meals so that I'd have a perfect variety and never get bored. This book was so easy to read and I learned lessons I know I'll use for the rest of my life.
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Format: Hardcover
My husband and I have been following a diet outlined in Glamour magazine (January 2007) that was developed by Ms. Glassman. We have been extremely happy with that diet because the food was easy to prepare and it was healthier versions of "real" food. My husband has lost 25 pounds in 3 months! We found that we always felt satisfied and the combinations of foods cut down cravings for unhealthy options. So, we have been waiting with bated breath for this book to come out, so that we would have more options (the Glamour article outlines 7 days worth of meals). Unfortunately, when we received the book, the choices were MUCH more restrictive and many did not sound like they would be fulfilling. There were also many more "off the beaten track" ingredients (flaxseed, fiber crisps, etc.). While this book is filled with information about dieting in general and has a great section on "troubleshooting" to help a person stay focused, it just wasn't what we were hoping for. :(
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw the author on TV and I was impressed with what she was saying as it relates to dieting. I was more impressed with her book. I have been on her plan for about a month and I see results without sacrificing too much. I have reduced my portions and I am convinced that's all anyone has to do to loose weight and maintain. I am now comfortable with smaller portions and I still eat what I normally like with just a few rules. Glassman is a nutritionist and I feel she is passionate about nutrition and that makes a big difference when you read her book. She has you use a scale of of 1-10 to touch basis with how you are feeling once you eat -- something I never did. I usally ate until it hurts and then I felt really bad. Slow down, read the book and learn some great principles to live by.
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I thought the book was terrific. I found it easy to read and who couldn't like the idea that I could eat almost whenever I wanted to. I found that there were plenty of choices among the diet plans which made sticking to the diet much easier than any I had tried before. I lost weight on the plan and yet I instinctively knew that I was doing nothing to harm myself. Diets that are heavy on meats or require you to starve yourself are unrealistic or unhealthy in the long run. I'm never as hungry when I sit down to eat a regular meal since I went on this diet which makes it much easier to control how much I eat. This is a diet that I truly feel I will make a part of my life.
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