Recently I found myself snacking more than usual. I would get cravings, and in a second be at the grocery store surrounded by mostly empty calorie snacks. Empty calorie foods are foods that provide little to no nutritional value e.g soda (soft drink), candy (sweet, chocolate), most cookies (biscuits), etc.
These cravings, excessive snacking, and consumption of an insane amounts of empty calories was as a result of failure to plan. It’s like the saying, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Here are 8 tips to help curb excessive snacking/consumption of empty calories.
1. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals makes you hungrier before or at your next meal. This makes you more prone to snack heavily before, or overeat at your next meal.
2. Stay hydrated. The body often confuses thirst with hunger, and when you actually feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The next time you feel hungry, especially when you ate not too long before this hunger pang, drink a glass or two of water before you reach for something to stuff your face with.
3. Don’t grocery shop while you’re hungry. Hunger + Grocery store = Disaster. Hunger dictates your purchases if you shop while hungry, and most times the purchases aren’t the healthiest options.
4. Have a healthy snack handy. Always have a few healthy snacks on you. Either an apple, carrot sticks, or a peanut butter sandwich. You might not be able to curb cravings, but you can combat it with a healthy snack you already have with you. This is also cost efficient.
5. Sleep early. The later you’re awake, the more prone you are to snacking. Late night snacks are hardly ever healthy options. Consumption of empty calories when your body is meant to be resting often results in gradual weight gain over time.
6. Rid your pantry & fridge of empty calories. If you have it, you’ll eat it. Having such snacks easily available, increases the probability of you having cravings, or snacking unhealthy.
7. Get a meal schedule and stick to it. An example is 3 meals 2 snacks (healthy options) per day, which could be planned out as Breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner, or whatever works best for you. This keeps you full through the day and reduces the probability of cravings/unhealthy snacking. NOTE: Portion control essential for both meals & snacks!
8. Give yourself a cheat meal or cheat day either once a week/every other week. Extreme deprivation can have negative effects, such that you binge at the next opportunity. Allowing yourself indulge in your cravings once in a while, could help reduce the cravings, or the possibility of binging.
NOTE: BEWARE OF OVERDOING IT!
Here’s to curbing excessive snacking, and snacking of empty calories!! Please share tips you’ve also found helpful with snacking!