We all snack a lot more than we think. I have people telling me that they eat really well but yet somehow can’t manage to lose the flab. However, when I tell them to write down every little morsel they put in their mouth, the truth is laid bare and they realise the snacking has taken a toll on their waistlines. I was no different. I would pick a sweet here and grab a handful of crisps there – pure mindless snacking. Luckily, making a few small changes in our daily habits can stop and even reverse this diet damage. Here are some ways of breaking the snacking cycle and help get you on your way to a lean healthy body.
1. Drink water
It’s very easy to confuse dehydration with hunger. We know our body is craving something and we just assume it’s food but frequently it ends up being liquids. You don’t always have to have water either but make sure the drink is low in caffeine and sodium as these two can dehydrate you even more and can lead to snacking.
2. Make tradeoffs
This one always works for me. When I really fancy a bar of chocolate I make up some sort of condition. For example I’ll tell myself I can have any bar of chocolate as long as I have a lighter meal or run for an extra two miles. It’s like a mini tradeoff between me and my snack and I feel brilliant and guilt free about eating it.
3. Make it harder
Mindless munching is often a result of easy snack access. To slow yourself down, make snacking a lot more challenging. If there is a bowl of sweets on your desk at work, you’re not going to think twice about eating them. So put it out of sight. Also don’t buy lots of snacks at home. That way when the temptation to snack arises, you’re hardly going to nip off to the corner shop to get some are you? Unless of course you’re really desperate!
4. Don’t bury the evidence
I used to think I could actually cheat myself! Now how many of you do that as well? Yes quite a lot. I would often eat stuff and then pretend I hadn’t eaten it by stuffing the evidence in the bottom of my bag or into the very bottom of the bin. Leaving the wrappers there in front of you is a reminder to yourself to slow down. You’ve had a snack so you don’t need another one.
5. Have your cake but skip the bread
Eating out at restaurants can easily throw off your weight loss goals. Thankfully there are clever ways to eat well when dining out and still enjoy yourself. Skip the bread for starters by not letting the waiter bring the basket around. Order something you really want and then eat the meat and the veg and go easy on the carbs if you want to go for a dessert. And finally limit yourself to the main meal and two other things – it can be two drinks, or a dessert and a roll – just make sure it’s not all of the above!
Finally, remember that eating consciously is so much better because you appreciate what you are eating and taking time over it. Enjoy!