Are you a serial snacker? Can you not resist when temptation bites? Many of us reach for biscuits, chips and chocolate when stress, anxiety or even boredom strikes. Snack attacks also happen more often if we’ve skipped a meal or not eaten enough or eaten the wrong food at mealtimes. The trick to not overdoing the snacking – because no one wants to give it up altogether – is to eat healthy, balanced and regular meals and exercise. Here are 7 ways to stop snacking.
1. Low Glycaemic Index
Low GI foods release their energy more slowly which reduces hunger pangs. Swap your usual white carbohydrate foods such as bread, rice, pasta and flour to brown varieties.
Surprisingly, more often than not it isn’t food your body is craving but liquid. One of the easy ways to stop snacking is to drink plenty of water. Nutritionists recommend 6-8 glasses a day. The next time you’re tempted to reach for the bad stuff, try a drink instead. If you think water won’t do it, have a fruit juice or a low calories fizzy drink.
3. 3 Meals a Day
You are less likely to get the munchies if you eat 3 well balanced meals evenly timed throughout the day. Leaving too long between meals can either cause you to eat more when you do finally eat or you’ll be snacking in between.
Not only would substituting your salty or sugary processed foods for a piece of fruit be an ideal way to stop snacking but you’d be contributing to your 5-a-day. Fruit is also full of anti-oxidants so not only will you be feeding your body but your brain, heart and skin too. Remember, the brighter and darker the colour the better the fruit is.
Many of us would freely admit that our lives wouldn’t be complete if we had to give up chocolate. There’s no need to give it up because there are some good nutrition qualities to it – it’s just not good if we eat too much of it (although some people would argue that!). Instead of having a whole chocolate bar, buy slabs and just have a couple of squares the next time temptation takes over.
6. Handy Snacks
If you have snacks on hand it’s easy to eat them so if you can avoid buying them it’s the easiest and most basic way to stop snacking. Take the time to prepare some vegetable crudities and keep them in tight seal Tupperware containers in the fridge so these are what you can reach for instead of a biscuit. These are also handy for taking to work too. Try sticks of carrot, cucumber and celery and some strips of bell pepper. Sweet cherry tomatoes also make a great healthy snack.
Simply choosing not to snack is a matter of mind over matter but we all know that as with many things that aren’t good for us, it’s easier said than done. The next time the tummy rumbles or brain sends out hunger signals try ignoring it by getting busy. Don’t sit and watch TV, go for a walk or do housework (great ideas because they burn up extra calories too), do some of your hobby – if you haven’t got one – get one.
I know it’s not going to be easy and I’m not being glib when I say that even if you try a couple of these ways to stop snacking your health will improve, and even just a little bit counts, right?
Top Photo Credit: Angelo Nairod