We’ve all been there! Once you start snacking, it’s hard to stop. You can’t just eat one piece! Whether you’re at work and the problem is that bag of chips which was practically begging you to buy it from the vending machine, or in front of the TV watching a movie, not being able to stop yourself from eating that entire bowl of popcorn!
Snacking is not entirely bad for you. Having a snack between meals is actually healthy, because it helps keep your blood sugar levels stable and helps your metabolism.
Of course, it matters what you are eating and if you’re eating for the right reasons. You need to figure out if the hunger you’re feeling is physical or just emotional. You can do that by simply taking a step back to think – am I really hungry or just bored/tired/stressed/lonely and looking for something to comfort me? Before reaching for something, go for a quick walk. If you’re still hungry afterwards, go for it.
You actually have the will-power in you to help you stop that mindless munching. We want to help you with just a few tips that will help channel that power in you.
- Drink water
Sometimes we get dehydration confused with hunger. The body gives the signal that it needs something and we quickly assume that’s food. When was the last time you ate? Not sure? Drink something and wait for about 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be just water – you can drink tea, coffee, or fruit-infused water. If you’re still hungry afterwards, then “Bon appetite!”
- Plan ahead
Stocking up on healthy snacks will set you up for success. That way, you won’t feel empty-handed when you feel hungry and you’ll grab whatever healthy snack you have available. Here are some ideas of healthy snacks you can try:
- plain yogurt (with fruit flavor also)
- air-popped popcorn
- dark chocolate
- dried plums, apples or cranberries
- frozen grapes
- pumpkin seeds
- mixed nuts
- hard-boiled egg
- Greek yogurt
- Work for it
I know – it’s easy to open the bag of cookies or chips and start eating. Instead, grab an orange you have to peel or some nuts you have to crush first. When it takes longer to eat, the body gives you the feeling of being full a lot faster.
- Freshen your breath
The trick is that having a minty fresh breath makes you want to preserve it. Plus, no food goes well with the taste of toothpaste, but you already knew that.
- Drink a cup of tea
Perhaps you didn’t know this, but there’s nothing more effective for killing a sweet tooth that a cup of unsweetened herbal tea. The best tea versions include lavender tea, ginger tea, licorice tea and cinnamon tea.
- Keep food out of side
Seeing food can be a temptation for anyone, so it’s best if you keep your goods in the kitchen counters or elsewhere out of sight.
- Do something else
If you figured out that the reason you’re feeling hungry is boredom, there are a lot of other things you can do such as grabbing a book or going for a walk. Do something that makes you happy (eating is excluded, of course!).
- Eat at the table
Not paying attention to what you are putting in your mouth is a big mistake. Before you know it, the bag of cookies you only just started is empty and you don’t even feel satiated. Whatever you eat, sit down at the table and take your time.
- Measure your portions
If you really must eat something out of a pretty package, then grab a portion of whatever it is you're eating and put the bag away. Eating directly out of the package means you will probably finish the entire thing.
Have YOU ever found yourself eating or snacking for no good reason? Try some of these tips – if not all – and see which work best for you. Find your will-power and set yourself free of mindless munching!