Snacks are an important part of a healthy diet. But, many of our favorites can sabotage our best diet intentions. Highly processed snacks are loaded with addictive, unnatural ingredients that actually tell our bodies to keep eating. Add to that a busy world with various demands and responsibilities, and our minds can get so cluttered, that we stop paying attention to what and how much we are eating. Once the snacking starts, it can be hard to stop. Here are some ways to survive a snack attack by implementing healthy habits and tactics.
Incorporate high-fiber snacks that keep you fuller, longer. Nosh on some raw, crunchy veggies with a tbsp. of low-fat dressing or hummus as a dip. Grab some fiber-rich fruit like an apple, berries or grapes, or whip up a fruit and greens smoothie. Other good snacks to keep on hand are prunes, figs, almonds, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, guacamole and popcorn. Avoid snacks with added sugar or sodium, which can spike your blood sugar, leaving you susceptible to over-snacking or gobbling up unhealthy junk food.
Drink Some Water
Your perceived hunger may actually be your body telling you that you are thirsty, so grab a tall glass of water to rehydrate. Filling up on water can communicate to your brain that you are satiated, getting you through a craving.
Sometimes when we are restless, we mistake boredom for hunger. Getting active is a great way to keep your mind off of food. Go for a walk or run, hit the gym, practice yoga at home or at a class, go hiking, or engage in other physical activities that you enjoy. You can also keep yourself busy with hobbies like crafting, gardening, photography, painting or other creative endeavors that take your mind away from the tempting urge to snack to the point of regret. As a bonus, these hobbies can help relieve stress.
Oftentimes, over snacking can result from not being present. Try journaling to let your mind purge any unsettling or anxious thoughts that distract you from being in the current moment. When you can read what you are feeling, you can get a better idea of what thoughts or emotions drive you to your favorite guilty pleasure snacks. Also try practicing meditation and relaxed breathing to steady your mind.
If you have a hard time resisting your favorite junk foods, a smart strategy is to keep them out of your home altogether. If it’s not there, it’s not seducing you. The inconvenience of getting ready, getting in the car, going to the store and buying unhealthy snacks can be enough to keep you in check. Stock healthy fruits, vegetables and other snacks in your home to encourage regular, healthy snacking.
Put up Roadblocks
If you have a serious problem with compulsive snacking, put physical barriers between yourself and diet-sabotaging snacks. Brush your teeth, chew a piece of gum or paint your fingernails. With the taste of mint in your mouth or the smell and potential taste of nail polish while you are munching, it’s less appealing to continue snacking.