The ‘S’ word.
Everyone does it at some point. Even I do it, and i’m PRETTY good at it… I mean, what could be so wrong? Not to mention it feels so good at the time!
Before you get anymore confused and think that i’ve suddenly turned my fitness blog into a sexual advice column, i’ll stop right now and tell ya that the big S word, (if you haven’t gathered from the title), is SNACKING. Oh how I love to snack.
I used to come home from school when I was in still young, and have a snack a couple hours before dinner. Usually two chocolate chip cookies and some milk. Mmm. I miss those days. And in my opinion, those kind of snacks are fine in moderation! What i’m talking about is the sit on the couch with a bag of ketchup chips or popcorn or dark chocolate covered pretzels from Bulk Barn, or 5 cent candy from the convenience store and going to town.
That is considered binging. And that is where it becomes the most difficult to stop.
I don’t quite know what it is about the human brain and body that forces us to keep snacking. There have been times that I have been so full I unbuttoned the top button of my jeans, yet I KEPT eating those delicious buffalo wing flavored chips. I seriously couldn’t keep my hand out of the bag.
That still happens to me now and then (ahem – last weeks BBQ), but there some really specific tips that I use to control the urge when I’m at home or at work. And they help me 99% of the time.
1. Drinking Tea/Coffee: This has been helping me for YEARS and years, especially at night time. After dinner my body always craves more food/sweet treats. My stomach acts like it deserves a big snack; as if the big delicious meal I just cooked wasn’t enough. It got to be so annoying, and I would cave all the time – Pringles, chocolate, ice cream, etc. Just something to add onto my dinner. What you can do instead is make yourself some black tea to combat the cravings. Rather than turning to ice cream, add a little bit of milk and some honey to make it more of a treat. If you’re craving something during the day – turn to coffee (if you like it). With my coffee I add cream and a little bit of cinnamon for a little twist.
2. Don’t Buy Snacks When Grocery Shopping: Okay – this tip seems a little OBVIOUS, but I think it is the most effective. When I was in University, I was pretty new to buying my own groceries and bought whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Turns out that included a lot of snacks – Goldfish crackers here, nacho chips there, etc. When I finally started cracking down on what I was eating, I stopped buying those snacks altogether. EVEN IF THERE WAS A MASSIVE GOLDFISH SALE (4 bags for $10 gimmeee), I told myself: NO! It’s also easier if you try to avoid these aisles altogether. Stick to the outside of the grocery store (no not actually outside), and avoid going into the lanes that advertise “snacks,” “chips,” “pop.”
Aside from fruit and nuts, there is nothing to snack on in my pantry or fridge. This might sound a little depressing and hardcore, but it will really help you. When there is nothing to binge on, you remember why you prevented it in the first place – which leads me back to Tip #1! Make some tea 🙂
3. Treat Yourself Regularly: I find that one of the main reasons people start to binge or snack is because they have been depriving themselves all day/week of something delicious and unhealthy. Perhaps you have had a “low carb” week, and have been eating salads and white fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is in no way healthy or natural. Your mind and body will start to crave that snack you’ve been thinking of all week, until BAM, it rushes out of you and you can’t stop it. Avoid letting that happen by treating yourself at least once a day or every two days.
4. Stop the Cycle – The Less Junk You Eat, The Less You Will Crave It: This tip is a bit harder than the rest, because it actually means having to mentally overcome the moment you want to start snacking. You can overcome it using the methods I mentioned above, or by distracting yourself somehow – whether it is going for a run, meeting a friend for coffee, or reading a book. As you gradually start to cut more junk food and snacks from your diet, you will really start to notice the difference it makes on your cravings.
5. Bake/Make Your Own Snacks: This one is my favorite! And that is mostly because I love to bake, but also because when I do, I put dark chocolate chips in everything. And dark chocolate is healthy… right?! When snacking, the worst part is eating and digesting all the artificial ingredients, flavors, and sweeteners that are added to the food. If you make everything at home, you know exactly what is going into each product. Some of my favorite things to make include these Banana Oatmeal Muffins (you can eat like four and not even worry about it), Starbucks Island Oatbars, or Black Bean Brownies.
There are tons of other websites out there that have different healthy baked goods you can make. Then if you want to snack – you can do it knowing you’re not ruining all the hard work you’ve put in already.
I hope these tips help you! I utilize them over and over and it has helped me so so much.
PS DON’T FORGET TO PIN MY GRAPHIC!! I am so proud of it 🙂
What do you do to avoid snacking?
What is your biggest guilty pleasure when it comes to snacking? (Mine is Buffalo Wing chips and dark chocolate covered pretzels)!