30 Apr To snack, or not to snack – that is the question!
There’s a delicate balance between waiting too long between meals and snacking or grazing during day. Waiting too long can cause overeating because you’re so ravenous – but grazing all day can lead to mindless or habitual eating that could cause overeating, especially when you’re still eating a complete meal at meal times.
To hit the sweet spot, figure out your unique way of snacking smart and being prepared.
Here are my top tips to get you there …
Have a Drink: Often when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Dehydration can cause you to feel hungry and to crave unhealthy foods. Drink a glass of water, wait ten minutes, and see if you are still hungry. If so, check out the tips below!
Check if it’s Hunger vs. Habit. Are you reaching for a snack out of actual hunger or habit? Do you reach for a snack during that 3 pm slump at the office, purely out of boredom or just because it’s there? If it’s boredom you’re trying to cure rather than hunger – pause and take note. Take a 10-minute break and enjoy a short walk around the office to change your state and eliminate your boredom. It’s always good to have an afternoon snack available for the times you really are hungry. I often suggest an afternoon snack of a fruit or vegetable that you like, but don’t love. This way, when you have the urge to snack, you won’t be ready to devour it because it’s that fruit and nut, chocolate covered granola bar that you love! Before eating your snack, ask yourself: Am I really hungry or am I eating for another reason?
Fit in your Veggies. Since many find it difficult to fit in their 5-8 servings of veggies each day, use snack times to fill those gaps. Snack on celery with hummus or nut butter, carrots with guacamole or some kale chips. One of my favorite veggies to snack on is Jicama, as it’s crunchy and delicious. It’s a cross between an apple, potato and pear and does a great job filling my need for a crunchy snack. It’s also delicious as baked jicama chips, but I digress…
Be Prepared. Experiment to see what snacks work best for you and keep them handy. Have a snack stored in your desk, car, purse, and gym bag so that you are never without a healthy snack when you need it. There is nothing worse than being hungry and not having anything healthy available and eating less healthy options to fill your hunger. A favorite trick to eat more mindfully, is to put your snack on a plate and sit down and enjoy it. I find I am more apt to eat mindlessly when I don’t take the time to savor and appreciate what I’m eating.