We’ve all been there – you’re sitting in front of the TV, with a bag of popcorn or a bar of chocolate in front of you, and the next minute you look down and the bag is empty…!
Mindless snacking is so easy to do, yet it can sabotage our goals and it is easy to avoid/combat if the right steps are taken.
- Snack on fruit and veg. I’m a real fan of this tip. Sometimes, if I’m writing a university essay or just chilling watching a movie, I will feel the need to munch on something. If this is the case, it is far better to cut up a few raw veggies and dip them in hummus, or have some chopped apple with almond butter, than to polish off a whole family pack of Maltesers. So if you have to snack, prepare it!
- Distract yourself. If you know you’re not hungry but you’re just bored and want something to do, then go outside for a walk! The fresh air will make you feel so much better, and you will be getting some activity in. Alternatively, you could put on a really engaging YouTube video or podcast to immerse yourself.
- Track and prep your meals. This is a pretty failsafe way to stop excessive snacking, as you will physically see your meals and snacks planned out in front of you and so will be mentally prepared for each one as it comes. Prepping meals and snacks also ensures that, when you are hungry, you will have the portion you have prepared yourself.
- Don’t have trigger food in the house. This is a big one for me – I have certain foods that, when they’re in my vicinity, I simply can’t control myself. In this case, I have to ensure that they just aren’t in my house so I don’t consume them! I’m not telling you not to allow yourself treats, but know what sets you off.
- Portion controlled treats. I definitely still advocate regular treats – but if you don’t trust yourself to create your own portions, buy them in portion sizes! There are so many great healthy portion-controlled snacks out there.
- Up the protein in your diet. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient out there, and it takes a lot for the body to digest it, so it will keep you fuller for longer. If you’re feeling constantly hungry, try upping the protein content in your main meals and see how you feel.
- Water! Finally, hydrate yourself. Before you go in for a snack, try having a big glass of water and see if you’re still hungry. We often confuse thirst cues for hunger pangs, so it’s important to work out what your body is really asking for!
I hope these tips help you out with combatting mindless snacking! I’m not saying don’t eat treats, but it’s far more enjoyable to be able to savour them rather than notice they’re gone before you realise you’re eating them!