Have you ever tried to curb your snacking habits, but found yourself failing? Snacking is a huge habit that many of us find issues with, but with the right strategy in place, you can maintain your health and lose weight. Snacking has a huge reputation, and for good reason.
A lot of us snack on unhealthy foods, which play havoc with our health. Most people eat healthy and well balanced main meals, and then snack on sugary things in between. Knowing the right foods to snack on might not just be enough, however, as snacking strategies also come into play. Here are some snacking strategies for you to consider in order to keep you feeling healthy this Spring.
Avoid Missing Meals
If you regularly miss meals in order to reduce your calorie intake, then this is one of the worst things that you can do for your health and snacking habits. Unless you are fasting, then skipping meals is not necessarily recommended. It can slow your metabolism down, which in turn makes it much harder to lose weight or even lead to weight gain. When you miss a meal or go for an extended period of time without eating, then your body will go into survival mode and your body will begin to crave food, which can then lead to snacking.
Don’t Snack Whilst Watching TV
A lot of us aren’t familiar with the concept of mindful eating. It consists of a practice which involves being wholly present whilst eating and avoiding distractions. Research has shown that mindful eating can help prevent against overeating or binge eating, so by cutting out distractions such as chatting, watching TV or scrolling through social media, you can avoid overindulging.
Drink Water Before Reaching For Snacks
We’re told time and time again to drink more water, but this is good advice and should be taken seriously. Water can increase the feeling of fullness, which then reduces the chance of overindulging on snacks. Water also has the ability to boost metabolism and promote healthy weight loss. It is recommended that, if you are feeling hungry in between meals, then you should have a glass of water and wait for 15 minutes. Our bodies can misconceive thirst for hunger, so by doing this, you know if you are hungry, or were just thirsty.
Eat Protein and Fibre Filled Snacks
Most people choose snacks which are calorie-laden and trigger further sugar cravings. In order to replace these sugar cravings, swap out the unhealthy snacks and replaces then with choices which are full of fibre and protein. Both protein and fibre have been proven to enhance weight loss and reduce hunger levels, so keep snacks such as apples, berries and nuts close to your usual snacking hotspots, such as your desk or at home.
Fix Nutritional Deficiencies With The Right Snack Choices
If you suspect that you have a nutritional deficiency, then there are steps you can take to fix or ease the problem or symptoms. For example, if you believe that you are lacking in magnesium, then snacking on cashews, almonds, avocado and dark chocolate should help to ease the symptoms you are having. You are much more likely to stay away from processed snacks if you are focused on fixing nutritional or health deficiencies. Try to stay away from fortified snacks, as these are still considered as processed foods.
If you feel tired, sluggish and just generally bleugh, then you may think that you have a medical issue, such as low iron. However, before you head to the doctors, have a look at your sleeping schedule? Are you sleeping enough? Is your room designed and used only for sleep? If your bedroom is too hot, cluttered and untidy or if you use it for more than sleeping in, then this will be having a huge impact on your health and can lead us to snack more early in the morning, particularly if you’ve had a bad nights sleep. Try to rejiggle your sleeping schedule and arrangement – you may find that it helps.
Don’t Keep Snacks In Easy Reaching Distance
If you believe that you snack too regularly on unhealthy and sugar-filled treats, then a large majority of your snacking urges probably come from where you are storing them. Having easy access to unhealthy foods is a reason why so many of us overindulge, no matter what we’ve already eaten that day. A study recently suggested that we are more likely to eat whatever is most visible and easily accessible in our homes.
If you store your snacks in the kitchen, then you’ll find yourself wandering in and grabbing things here and there, without any real consideration as to what you are eating. Because of this, these snacks are unlikely to fill you up. The simple act of moving snacks away from the kitchen will vastly improve your diet. If you move them to a place which is considered too far away when the snacking bug strikes, then it is unlikely you will move to get them. Replace any unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives, such as nuts, fruits, prepared vegetables and healthy carbs. A good way to test your snack cravings is to consider a piece of fruit. If you’re not willing to eat it at that moment, then you are not hungry.
Make A Plan
You need to think about how you are going to eat healthier. Simply wanting to is not enough – you need to envisage yourself doing it and adding it into your daily habits. Think, how are you going to eat more fruit? Are you going to have it for breakfast every morning? Maybe as a snack in the middle of the afternoon as a little pick me up?
If you choose to focus on a time where you know you’re going to enjoy it more, then this is likely going to lead to do better. Plan to take fruit to work with you every morning so that you can snack on that rather than biscuits, or enjoy a piece in the evening after your dinner as a sweet snack. What will help you, in the long run, is thinking and planning your new changes into your lifestyle.
Flex Your Willpower Muscle
Naturally, you’re going to be drawn to the foods that you are used to snacking on or eating, especially in the early throws of a lifestyle change. You need to truly test your willpower in order to avoid and beat these urges, no matter when they strike. Simply believing in yourself that you can and you will overcome these cravings will make it far easier for you to snack on healthier foods.
Natalie Wilson is a freelance health and wellness writer. She loves researching and writing about new health trends and topics, as well as keeping up to date with the latest health news. She works closely with different health brands for this, including Nutri Advanced. When not writing, you can find her taking long walks in the countryside with her dog or browsing her nearest bookstore. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.