How to stop the mindless snacking
Snacking is one of the main reasons why we consume too many calories daily. We all are guilty of snacking at some stage throughout the day. Some of us last all day eating healthy and sit down in the evening to watch T.V. with a cuppa tea and before we know it we have eaten a few mini bars and/or biscuits. Then others can snack all day and not eat any proper meal and feel they have eaten very little even though they have racked up a few 1000 kcals just on mindless snacking. Think about it how many times have you had a few lattes or cappuccinos in a day accounting for 174 kcals plus each or munched a croissant during a meeting and then having a few biscuits with a cuppa tea in the evening while watching TV. Most of us eat food without even remembering or realising we ate it. Many people snack out of pure habit, boredom or an emotional need rather than actual hunger. The reality is cutting out on the snacking could make all the difference to you and for you to start dropping the pounds.
How can we stop mindless snacking and start making smarter choices?
- Write down all the food you eat and drink for a few days. Then review it after a few days and you will clearly see when you snack and what your downfall is.
- Ensure you eat enough food during the day. If you are cutting calories right down this will just leave you hungry and more likely to reach for a snack to satisfy your hunger. Ensure you fill up on protein this will keep you fuller for longer with lower calories.
- Before eating the snack always ask yourself am I really hungry for this or am I eating out of boredom, comfort etc. Try and figure out the reason – write it down and try and build strategies to combat these emotions.
- If you eat snacks when they are in your cupboards then just don’t buy them. This can be difficult when you have a family so maybe buy treats you don’t like so you will be less tempted. If they are not there you can’t eat it.
- Be aware of the calories in your snack – if you are trying to lose weight and are on a calorie deficit your snacks should be less than 200 kcals.
- Find healthy alternatives such as fruit, dark chocolate, rice cakes, yoghurt, a piece of apple with peanut butter.
- Brush your teeth or chew a piece of gum – this works especially after a meal when you want something sweet.
- Distract yourself – paint your nails, clean out some cupboards, go for a walk or phone a friend.
- Finally, don’t deny yourself everything. It is all about balance. So if you really would love a piece of chocolate allow yourself a small piece. If you deny yourself completely you are more likely to crack and binge eat. So don’t deny yourself just limit it.