Making something easy or accessible (or not) is how you change your snacking habits. We snack more and we snack more often because it’s easy and because it’s convenient, we snack before a meal, afterwards and sometimes instead. We snack all day and it very soon becomes a habit to snack and grab something we can crunch on all day long. With a few smart modifications we can change that.
Eat protein rich snacks
Quick snacks with lots of sugar will give you an instant energy boost but it won’t last and you’ll be coming from the sugar high within an hour feeling worse and being hungry again. High protein snacks (protein bars, nuts and yogurts) satisfy your hunger, longer and will not raise your blood sugar levels. They will keep you feeling full longer and keep you in a better mood all day long.
Never keep any commercial snacks in the house
If you want a bag of crisps you will have to come out and buy some. By making it inconvenient you are likely to not bother and either snack on something healthy or not snack at all - at the very least you will get a walk out of it.
Never buy value packs when it comes to ready snacks
You may think it’ll last you a year if you buy a whole box of chocolates, thinking that yes, you’ll just have one every now and then but you’ll end up reaching for one more often that you would like to admit and eat them all within a week. If you want a chocolate, buy only one.
Make your own
If you are used to having snacks throughout the day and need to have something you can grab on the go, set-up a healthy snack bowl and dedicate some space in the fridge to healthy snacks. Fill your snack bowl with ready to eat washed fruit and raw nuts and have small containers with homemade protein bars in the fridge and 8oz plain Greek yogurts stocked at all times. If you make better snacks available in your house, you will snack better. Even though most supermarkets these days offer you “healthy” and “low fat” ready snacks no one is going to care about your health more than you do – they are not doing it out of the goodness of their heart, they’ll charge you more for what will be a lot worse than what you will make yourself while spending less.
Control the quantity as well as the quality
Snacking isn’t wrong, it is only wrong when it’s overdone and abused and when it’s done non-stop. We comfort eat to feel better but we only feel better while we eat, which then leads to us to chew on something every waking hour. It helps if you set a number or the quantity of snacks you can reasonably allow yourself to have.
Most of us snack mindlessly, without paying attention that is. We snack while we work, during a movie or a game. We don’t really pay attention to what we eat or how much we eat. Since snacks are usually convenient little bits of something it’s very easy to eat too much and miss the “full” signals simply because our mind is elsewhere. When we sit down and have a meal, with cutlery like the intelligent beings that we are, we eat what’s on the plate, we know how much we eat at least we are semi aware of it. With snacks, though, we go through whole bags without even realizing it and then soon after reach for more because there is no obvious limit. If you snack, step away from whatever you are doing to eat, make it register that you just had something to eat and see what a difference it makes. A lot of things often become very clear when we are paying attention.