5 Easy Ways to Break Bad Snacking Habits
No matter how careful you’re being with a diet, it’s easy to blow your entire eating plan or allotted daily calories when you snack. But you don’t necessarily need to give up snacking altogether. Here are five tips that can help you snack smarter, instead:
- Drink More Water
Your body has a tough time telling the difference between thirst and hunger; if you’re getting midafternoon hunger pangs despite having eaten a full-sized lunch, drink a glass of water and see if they go away. It’s also a good idea to drink a glass of water before a meal or snack, as this has been shown to help you feel fuller and curb portion sizes.
- Make Easy Substitutions
When it comes to any diet change, you might as well pick the low-hanging fruit first. In a meal, that might look like replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower; you can apply the same principles to snacking. What is salsa’s calorie count compared to sour-cream based dips, for example? While the exact might figures depending on the different types of salsas and dips you choose, you’ll probably find that a 2-tablespoon serving of classic mild salsa dip has about 10 calories, compared to a least five times that amount for 2 tablespoons of a creamy dip (salsa nutrition facts also boast servings of several vitamins, including vitamin C). And since there are so many different types of salsa, you can still get plenty of variety.
- Sit Down for Snacktime
One way to control snacking is to take the mindless munching out of the equation by treating snacks more like meals. That means going to a designated room and sitting down at a table to eat, rather than grabbing a bag of chips and heading for the couch. When your attention is on your snack, rather than the TV, you’re also more likely to enjoy it.
- Dish Out Serving Sizes
This tip dovetails nicely with sitting down at the table for snacktime: Dish out a reasonable serving size onto some real dishes, and then put the package away. You’re far less likely to eat just one more handful of chips or just one more cookie when the package isn’t sitting right next to you.
- Keep Your Hands Busy
Often, snacking becomes a part of our relaxation and entertainment routines, rather than a true response to hunger. You may even feel that watching a movie or TV feels incomplete without having a bowl of popcorn to keep your hands busy. Find an alternative activity to fulfil that purpose, such as knitting or crocheting (who knows, maybe you can even make something to fit your newly svelte figure). And if you’re really looking to get in better health, you can fill up the commercials by doing some crunches and squats, rather than rummaging through the kitchen cabinets.
Have you tried using different types of salsa to go in your snack routine, or dishing your snacks in advance? Share which of these tips you think will help you most in the comments.