Stop Snacking or Snack Better
How to stop snacking?
We read about healthy eating all the time. The world is forever trying to educate us on the right way to diet. Like, make sure you eat a rainbow of colours. Reduce your intake of sugar and saturated fat. Exercise more. But it’s not always so easy. Life gets in the way, so we grab food on the go. Food gets in the way, so it’s hard to resist. Like those biscuits that are handed out at the work meeting (that’s so annoying!).
When you’re feeling hungry then it’s going to happen.
Snacking isn’t always bad. If we eat the right things, then having small snacks in between meals can help with the energy levels and perhaps reduce sugar cravings. Snacking isn’t necessarily wrong, but if it has become an issue then there are ways to help reduce doing it. Especially if you want to limit the sugary snacks and junk.
1. Eat Breakfast
If snacking is an issue then try to eat a healthy and filling breakfast to see you through the morning. If breakfast isn’t part of your routine, then the idea of facing it can be difficult. But if you are finding that you’re not making it to lunchtime without grabbing a cookie or two, you might have got into a rut. I’ve done it plenty of times myself. I’ve even ‘forgot’ to have breakfast on occasions. Then by 10 am I’m starving and snacking all the way to lunch.
There are loads of breakfast options, even if you just don’t eat breakfast. You might just need to do some prep the night before if so. Here are some ideas:
- Healthy cereal – choose something low in sugar. If it’s too boring then add some plain Greek yogurt to it or almond milk.
- Fruit – It’s easy and you can grab it on the way out of the house. Try bananas, apples or pears for minimal prep work. Or chop up a mixture of fruit, such as pineapple, melon and berries. Add plain yogurt if you prefer, or put them in a sealed tub if you want to take them to work. You could always put the yogurt in a separate tub and take that too.
- Overnight oats – prep them them in the evening and they are ready by morning. No excuses! Use porridge oats and soak them in milk and some yogurt. Then add fruit or cocoa (or both). Sweeten with maple syrup, agave or honey.
- Fruit Smoothie – If you can’t face food, then make a filling smoothie. Do it the night before if time is an issue. Blend up your favourite fruit such as mango, berries and bananas. Add a bit of milk (of your choice) to get the right consistency.
- Juice – I’m talking about a fresh fruit and veg juice. If you have a juicer then you can juice just about anything. Try raw beetroots and pineapple, or apples with raw carrots and broccoli. Personally, I’ll juice anything I have in the fridge, from cucumbers to sweet potatoes! No juicing machine? You can always blend up then press through a sieve, but it does become messy.
If you want to be adventurous then why not cook yourself up a spinach omelette, grilled tomatoes on toast or smoked salmon on wholemeal bagels?
Related Post: Chocolate Maple Easy Overnight Oats
2. Sleep Well
This might be easier said than done to most. But if you are tired it’s really easy to want to snack to get energy levels up. I know if I am tired, that’s when I want sweet stuff.
We are all so different and we all have different sleep habits. If we don’t sleep well then that could be down to so many things, such as:
- Being unable to unwind from work or family life
- Looking at electronics close to bedtime
- Having a baby or young children who wake in the night
- Chronic illness
- Being a night worker
- Drinking caffeine
Getting a full nights sleep isn’t possible for all of us. But if we can switch off the smartphones or laptops an hour before bed. Or take a relaxing bath, use lavender oils or even have a hot decaffeinated drink in the evening, it could help.
If you are still tired during the day, then take a rest or even a nap if it’s possible. But if you have to snack then eat something that might help with the energy levels, such as unsalted nuts.
If you are snacking in the evenings it’s either down to habit or it could be tiredness. Try not to eat after your evening meal and go to bed earlier.
3. Drink More Water
You might be feeling a bit peckish, but before you grab a packet of ready salted, have a glass of water. You may actually be dehydrated without realising it.
Try to up your fluid intake throughout the day if you struggle. You can do this by making sure you have water at mealtimes and carry a refillable bottle around with you.
If you don’t like water? Make it more interesting. Add a slice of lemon or lime, or fruit of your choice. Or make it refreshing with cucumber and mint.
Try drinking hot water. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon, or dunk in a herbal tea bag for a bit of flavour. Drinking more will make you feel better and may even fill you up so you don’t feel like snacking anyway.
If you start thinking about snacks because you are bored, then you need something to keep your mind busy. What can you do?
- Hobbies – whatever your hobby is, go ahead and spend time doing it. Reading, writing, sport, knitting. If you have a past time then do this rather than go searching for snacks in the fridge.
- Call a friend or family member. That should take your mind off the chocolate for a short while!
- Take a walk. If you have a dog then take him or her for a walk too.
- Play with the kids if you have any. Get out their toys or arts and crafts. Or simply take them to the play park.
- Tidy the house. If you get bored, do something more rewarding than just eating.
5. Don’t Deny Yourself Anything
If you tell yourself you can’t have it, you’ll be thinking about it even more. Thinking about it will result in craving and before you know it, you’re finding yourself eating a load of junk.
So don’t tell yourself you can’t have it. In fact do have it. If you want that slice of cake then have it. Just don’t go crazy and have the whole thing. If you can have it as part of your meal, then it’ll be easier to monitor what you’ve eaten.
If you want that slice of cake a bit more regularly then why not try out some healthier recipes. They will satisfy that sweet tooth and be slightly better for you.
- Make a sugar free cake, using dried fruit and honey
- Make chia pudding using chia seeds, almond milk, cocoa and stevia
- Freeze up some ‘nice cream’. Freeze chopped bananas, then blend along with a dash of almond milk, a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and honey
- Make sugar free energy bites
Have good sized meals. Don’t over do it but don’t under do it either. You don’t want to be hungry in an hour. Have a good amount of protein to fill you up and lots of vegetables. If you do like to snack, then have something filling and nutritious rather than empty calories. Look forward to that tuna wrap at 2 pm, or carrot sticks and hummus to see you through the afternoon. Don’t go looking for Haribo sweets.
In fact, just don’t buy them!
Related Post: Sugar Free Chocolate Energy Bites