We’re back! In the first part of this series we spoke about the pros and cons of snacking and about making our unconscious action of snacking, conscious. Following on from this we should have completed our snack diary. The act of going in the kitchen to get a needless snack is now conscious as you are now aware of how many snacks you are having.
Whatever the cause of your snacking, these methods/tips should help
Everybody is different; some people may benefit from all 5 methods, some only 1. Whatever works for you is the best option
and always is!
Set a calorie limit on snacks (100,200,300 or 400 calories per day) depending on your overall calorie limits. (Any question
on what your calorie limit may be leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!)
Ask yourself ” Am I hungry?” Hunger is a deep rumbling at the pit of your stomach. If your last meal was 1 hour
ago, you are not hungry.
When did I last have a meal? unless you’re after a little boost before doing exercise, there is no real reason to be eating 1, 2 or 3 hours after a meal. Assuming you’ve had a proper meal, wait 4 -5 hours until your next meal/snack.
Example 1: you’re at work, it’s mid-morning and the biscuit tin is being passed around with the cups of tea. You only had your porridge with chia, flax seeds berries etc (abundance of fibre) 90 minutes ago. You feel pretty full, so decide to skip the
biscuits and wait for lunch.
Example 2: You’re at work , its mid-morning and the biscuit tin is being passed around with the cups of tea. You only had a piece of white toast for breakfast and it wasn’t really filling, so the hunger is creeping is. Are you more likely to eat the biscuits ?
2)Change your Diet/ Routine
For me this is the most important tip.
People often have a routine/organisation problem disguised as a snack problem. Filling your day with good quality meals based on whole foods and staying hydrated usually alleviates snacking issues.
Its hard enough avoiding temptations as it is. Don’t make the fight harder by having a bad meal schedule. Our brain wants us to consume as much food as possible (survival mechanism, fat= survival in winter).
3) Banish the boredom
If it is boredom causing your snacking, rip it out by the roots!
Have you ever noticed that when you have a busy day at work , you don’t think about food until your hungry and ready to eat.
Keep yourself entertained! If there is a certain time of day you are prone to snacking needlessly, pick some kind of activity to do during that time. This can be anything; knitting, reading a book, learning a language, doing the housework etc.
4)Find Low Calorie Alternatives
People often ask “is there is such thing as free foods when dieting?” (foods you can eat as much of as you like without gaining weight). Every food contains calories, but most vegetables (excluding starch) are as close to being free as possible. Snacking on your favourite vegetable such as sliced carrot, pepper, cucumber or sugar snap peas with a sprinkle of sea salt and or hummus or salsa is definitely better than Doritos and dip.
5) Remove the cues
- If your craving is for something sweet, diet drinks are a great way to offset that craving (no they are not bad for you).
- Put the biscuit tin or chocolates away, as in far away (out the kitchen or in a hard to reach area of the house). Simply don’t go in the kitchen as much-only when you need to.
- Exchange your usual tea/coffee for herbal teas; tea and coffee are often a cue for snacking.