As we hit the festive period it becomes even easier to start snacking on chocolate or crisps or sweets…it’s just everywhere! You need to focus on what you have done so far, and let’s be honest, it could be one of your New Year resolutions to snack less, so start now and it may help in achieving the New Year resolutions you set.
Here are some super “simple” ways you can curb the snacking, and keep on the fitness journey you have been on;
EAT PROPER MEALS
If you want to snack less it is super important that you eat enough. If you don’t eat enough to fill yourself, the cravings for snacks will keep coming. Make sure you eat the fats and carbs your body requires to function properly. This is different for everybody. People with a more active lifestyle will require more food than people with a passive lifestyle and a sitting job.
SPREAD YOUR MEALS OVER THE DAY
It is better to have multiple eating moments during the day in which you eat a bit less, than just two or three moments in which you eat a lot. This will help you control your blood sugar and avoid big peaks and lows. The peaks and lows in your blood sugar are the main reason you feel like snacking. It will also keep your metabolism active all day. Fun fact: eating more smaller portions decreases the chance of getting stomach acid.
PLAN WHEN YOU EAT
Create a plan for yourself: when do you eat what. Prepare your snacks so you have decent portions and temptations to get more will be smaller. When you have your snacks planned in advance you’re way more likely to eat only that and you have something to look forward to.
DRINK WATER, LOTS OF IT!
Of course you heard it a million times before: drink water. It’s true though, it really works. Often when you think you’re hungry and go looking for a snack, you’re actually just thirsty. Drink a glass of water, wait for 15 minutes and ask yourself if you still want to get that snack. Chances are that your cravings are gone.
REPLACE SWEETS OR CRISPS WITH FRUIT
Whenever you do crave something sweet and can’t stop yourself, replace your sweets or crisps by something healthier. Take a few grapes, an apple or a banana. This will get your blood sugar up again. You can also choose something that contains some healthy fats like half an avocado or a handful cashews.
ASK YOURSELF: AM I ACTUALLY HUNGRY OR JUST BORED?
This is a very valid question. We have a tendency to start snacking when we are not doing anything else. Ask yourself this question and give a honest reply. If you’re just bored: distract yourself.
Whenever you feel the urge to take a snack, go do something else. Go for a walk, clean your kitchen, start reading a book, anything. But whenever you distract yourself from your cravings, they are most likely to go away. This ties in with tip 6: bored and hungry are easily confused.
MEASURE WHAT YOU EAT
It is proven that whenever you keep track of the amount of calories you eat on a day, you eat less. This is mainly because it makes you very conscious of what you eats. It can also be confronting to see how much you’ve already eaten. So keep a diary and write down everything you eat and drink.
PUT YOUR SNACKS OUT OF REACH
Whenever your snacks are within reach, you will more easily grab them. Make sure you put yours out of reach. Preferably use something to store your snacks in. Research showed that if you have to open a bag or box to get to your snack, you will less likely go back for it, because it requires a more conscious action. This prevents you from having a ´snaccident´, like eating an entire family-sized bag of crisps in one go.
DON’T COMPLETELY DENY YOURSELF ANYTHING
Last but not least: treat yourself every once in a while. If you really love chocolate reward yourself with a little piece every once in a while. This way you have something to look forward to. If you completely deny yourself something, chances are that at some point you will crack and eat the whole chocolate bar. So don’t completely deny yourself anything, but simply limit it.