Snacking is a part of a healthy diet. But too much snacking can lead to problems with your diet, and even weight gain. Those who snack consciously and make healthy choices are making snacks a healthy part of their diet.
But, for those who mindlessly stick food into their mouths while talking on the phone, watching television, or making dinner, the extra pounds can add up. A recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina showed that the average person eats about 600 calories per day in snacks and not meals.
Here are some tips that can help you take control.
1. Avoid snacking at night.
Make sure that you are eating a healthy breakfast, such as eggs or steel cut oats. Make sure that your lunch contains healthy carbs, protein, and fat. And make sure that when you do reach for a treat, you are truly taking the time to enjoy it. If you reach for a piece of dark chocolate, for example, let it slowly dissolve in your mouth while you carefully pay attention to the flavours and textures. This will help the treat to be more satisfying and make you less likely to reach for more.
2. Avoid snacking while you cook.
If you find that you are starving while you are making dinner and reaching for a bag of chips or a cookie, then make sure that you reach for a healthy snack in advance. When you are cooking while hungry, your appetite will be further stimulated. Make sure you plan for meals that are quick to prepare if you find that you are running into this problem frequently.
3. Keep healthy snacks nearby.
When you have healthy snacks within reach at all times, you will be more likely to reach for those, than grab unhealthy choices. Keep a healthy snack in your purse or car for those times when you want to reach for something. If you fall victim to the temptation of fast food drive-thrus on the way home, take a different route, if possible.
4. Try keeping a food diary.
Those who keep a careful food diary that includes snacks can help you see just how much you are eating each day. You might notice certain patterns, or find that you are, indeed, overindulging at certain times or on certain foods. This is often enough to cause people to cut back and start paying attention to what they are eating. Make sure you are eating for nutrition and hunger, and not boredom.
5. Stay far away from office snacks and vending machines.
Office workplaces are common places for finding unhealthy snacks. When you learn how to resist the temptation of frequent baked goods and other unhealthy snacks, you will be better off. Bring your lunch, rather than go to a restaurant or indulge in frequent take-out meals. If you know you are tight on time for lunch, then choose quick foods to bring in so you are not tempted to hit up the vending machine.
6. Steer clear of kid’s snacks.
When you are handing out snacks to your kids, avoid the popular highly-processed choices. When selecting snacks for the family, be sure to opt for healthy snacks—they can be just as easy and convenient as the pre-packaged processed options.
These tips can help you make your snacking habits healthier and help keep the extra pounds away!