Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. Did you say snack? Why, yes, I think I'd like a snack!
Almost like Winnie the Pooh and honey, I love to snack, but I do not need to snack all day long. One of the biggest hurdles is snacking and eating between meals. I have to remind myself that it is not necessary to constantly fuel my body and it has actually been a hindrance to weight loss. When fuel is always available any excess gets stored as body fat. I would prefer to minimize that excess body fat and these are some things that have helped me keep from snacking all day long every day.
- Set a timer. I use a timer on my phone or keep a little timer at my desk. This helps remind me that it has not been very long since the last meal and a snack is not needed. Generally, three hours is how long I go between my meals.
- Chew gum. Chewing gum is a great way to give my jaw and mouth something to do without consuming calories. I especially like to chew gum when I'm traveling to lessen mindless snacking. Of course, I would recommend reading labels on chewing gum for any less than stellar ingredients.
- Eat a full meal or snack with protein. In a previous post, I talk about Anchoring Every Meal and Snack With Protein. When I eat meals that contain protein, my body feels more full for a longer period and helps keep snacking at bay.
- Don't keep junk in the house. When grocery shopping, I avoid buying food that I do not want to consume. I'm not saying I don't buy any special treats for my kids or requested foods, but generally they are rare and do not make the weekly grocery list. This makes it easier to make good decisions when I do have a snack.
- Are you really hungry or maybe thirsty instead? Sometimes I have to get real and ask myself this question. Any kind of hot tea is always a go-to for me. I can drink it slowly because of the temperature, I'm not consuming calories, and the recipe is deliciously easy!
- Nighttime. Without fail, the sweet tooth comes out at night. On the plus side, after brushing my teeth nothing sweet tastes good with a mint-y mouth. I brush my teeth as a signal that I am done for the day.
- Hide snacks behind ingredients in the cupboard. This is my secret weapon! I always have snacks on hand, but I hide them behind other ingredients in the cupboard (or in the fridge). The extra effort needed to shuffle things around makes me think twice about if I really should have a snack.
All this snacking talk makes me hungry! Just kidding, I am chewing on gum. Feel free to share your best tricks to avoid snacking during the day.