Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and, comforts. Are you indulging a little too frequently, in your favorite treats? Are you munching on cookies, or grabbing calorie-laden snacks to refuel, instead of eating more nutritious meals?
Today’s busy, fast-paced, lives mean that we are often on the go, and not making the healthiest of choices when it comes to our diets. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but, for many people, in the morning rush, it may be downgraded to a cup of coffee. Perhaps you follow a sensible diet but potato chips are your weakness, or chocolate, or cookies…
There are 4 techniques that you can use to curb your cravings, and, change your behavior, if your snack habit needs controlling. For most of us, life is full of snacking time, and temptations and sheer willpower will only get you so far. Try some of the following, to help you snack less, and make better choices for you, and your energy needs.
1. Regular Meals
Our blood sugar levels tend to decrease three, or four, hours after we’ve eaten. We may experience a slump in energy, and concentration, and it’s a sign we need to eat, a balanced meal – not a snack! Too often, we may get into an unhealthy habit, of relying on unhealthy, calorie-rich, snacks, instead of more nutritious food. Is this you?
Are you reaching for yet another can of soda, or chocolate, or muffin? Are you really hungry? Has your energy level slumped so low that you need a quick, caffeine, or sugary, fix? Look at your eating habits. Do you skip breakfast? Is lunch a salad, on the fly? A quick sandwich?
Regular meals will provide you with sustained energy, throughout the day. If you’re not eating regular meals, your blood sugar will plummet, leaving you craving a quick fix. Curb the sugar, and snack, cravings, by eating more sensibly, and you’ll feel much better too.
2. Distraction Distraction Distraction
Fitness guru, Jillian Michaels, swears by an old trick to keep you from munching on sweet treats – brush your teeth. The minty fresh feeling will help keep you from opening those Chips Ahoy. She also recommends doing anything else to keep your mind off food.
If you feel your willpower flagging it’s a great idea to distract yourself – phone a friend, go for a walk, keep yourself busy – and hopefully, you will forget all about it. It takes time to break bad habits, especially if you’re used to indulging.
Be strong, and put the cookies down. Well done. Don’t think “all or nothing“ when it comes to changing your habits. Be realistic, and forgive yourself if you make a poor choice, but, keep working at it. Good job, you can change your habits.
3. Stop Buying Snacks
Don’t be your own, worst, frenemy. If it’s in your shopping basket, it’s coming home with you and will be eaten. Do you have a snack cupboard? A snack shelf? It’s time to look seriously at your shopping habits. It’s harder to help yourself to a box of Oreos if it simply isn’t there.
Yes, you may feel deprived, or unhappy, if you don’t have your favorite treats in your kitchen cupboards, but, it will help you be stronger and help you make better, healthier, choices. It will help you break the cycle. Snacking can be the habit, and it will be far too tempting to have your usual supply of snacks, at hand. Try to buy less, or none, at all.
4. Drink Water
Are you really hungry? Or, are you thirsty? Are you tired? Our bodies are working hard for us, all the time, and we may not always be a 100% percent, in tune, with what we really need. As we age, our thirst sensation weakens, and it can easily be mistaken for hunger. The symptoms of dehydration – weakness, dizziness and low energy – can be identical. Drink a glass of water, first. If you feel satisfied, you were probably thirsty.
What are you snacking on? Why are you eating? What can you do, instead? Changing your habits takes time, but, you’ll be well on your way to eating more responsibly by using these techniques. It’s far too easy to gain weight and suffer from energy slumps if you’re not making healthy choices. Be mindful of your choices, from shopping to eating, and take control of your snack habit, today.