Beating Boredom Snacking - Part 2
We’re back! In the first part of this series we discussed making our unconscious snacking conscious.
Hopefully you’ve been completing your diary to see how much you’ve been snacking this past week.
Here we explore a few more ideas for managing and monitoring your snack in take!
Set a calorie limit on snacks (100, 200, 300 or 400 calories per day). This will of course depend on your total recommended calorie intake. If you are unsure what your calorie intake should be, you can find out on the NHS website.
Hunger is a deep rumbling at the pit of your stomach. If your last meal was one hour ago, the chances are that you are not actually hungry. If you’re eating proper meals, there is no real reason to be eating again one or two afterwards, unless you need additional energy for exercising or managing your sugar level because you’re diabetic.
Example 1: You’re at work, it’s mid-morning and the biscuit tin is being passed around with the cups of tea. You had your porridge with chia, flax seeds and berries 90 minutes ago. You had a filling, fibre heavy breakfast, so decide to skip the biscuits and wait for lunch.
Example 2: You’re at work, it’s mid-morning and the biscuit tin is being passed around with the cups of tea. You only had a piece of white toast for breakfast, and it wasn’t very filling. Are you more likely to eat the biscuits?
Change Your Routine
People often have a routine problem that is disguised as a snack problem.
Eating at irregular hours, not eating breakfast, making snacking part of a social occassion or a habitual part of your day - they all trigger the impulse to snack.
It’s hard enough avoiding temptations as it is; don’t make the fight harder by having a bad meal schedule. Plan when, and what, you’re planning to eat each day. Sticking to this routine will give you the discpline to try avoiding unforseen treats or overloading on snacks because it’s “what you do every day.”
Banish the boredom
If it is boredom causing your snacking, rip it out by the roots!
Have you ever noticed that when you have a busy day at work, you don’t think about food until you’re hungry and ready to eat?
Keep yourself entertained! If there is a certain time of day you are prone to snacking needlessly, pick a new activity to do during that time. This can be anything; knitting, reading a book, learning a language, doing the housework etc.
Find Low Calorie Alternatives
People often ask “is there is such a thing as free foods when dieting?” These are foods you can eat as much of as you like without gaining weight).
Every food contains calories, but most vegetables are as close to being free as possible.
Snacking on your favourite vegetable such as sliced carrot, pepper, cucumber or sugar snap peas with a sprinkle of sea salt and or hummus or salsa is definitely better than Doritos and dip.
Remove the Cues
Put the biscuit tin or chocolates away as faraway as you can. This could be out the kitchen or in a hard to reach area of the house as. Or simply don’t buy your sweet treats in the first place!
Try exchanging your usual tea/coffee for herbal teas. Tea and coffee are often a cue for snacking, so eliminating these could in turn eliminate your craving. Give it a go!