There are various reasons why your diet might fail. One is that you have a habit of snacking. Even if you eat low fat or low calorie foods at main meal times, if you continue to munch on snacks, your chances of losing weight or keeping off weight previously lost are slim. Bad snack habits form out of boredom, hunger, skipping meals or eating the wrong foods. There’s absolutely no reason to give up snacking completely but what is important is to make snacks a part of your healthy diet. Here are some tips for how to stop bad snacking.
1. Are You Thirsty Not Hungry?
When you feel hungry it is more likely that you are actually thirsty. The next time you are hit with a snack attack try a drink instead. 6-8 glasses of water is what nutritionists recommend for health, but you can also drink unsweetened fruit juices and low calorie soft and fizzy drinks.
2. Don’t Have Snacks Available
If you don’t have them, you can’t eat them, so don’t buy them. If you have a tendency to snack at work be smart about it. Rather than raiding the biscuit tin, the vending machine or whatever, eat sticks of celery, cucumber, pepper, and carrot instead. Cut them up in advance and keep them in airtight plastic containers along with cherry tomatoes in the fridge.
3. Introduce Low Gi Foods into Your Diet
Even if you can’t be bothered with learning about Glycaemic Indexes, the one thing you can do without any GI knowledge required is to introduce low GI foods into your diet. Low GI foods release their energy much more slowly than others and this should lead to a reduction in hunger pangs. Instead of eating white carbohydrates like white bread, rice, pasta and flour, switch to brown varieties.
4. Plan Meals Better
One of the main reasons for snacking is skipping meals or poor planning. Missing meals is not a way to lose weight. Leaving too long a gap between meals means you end up snacking or eating more when you sit down to a full meal. You are less likely to reach for biscuits or crisps if you eat 3 well balanced meals evenly timed throughout the day, or if you prefer, 5-6 smaller meals.
5. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Very often when we are dieting or sticking to low fat meals we deprive ourselves of some of our favourite treats. If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy chocolate, it’s probably a craving for your favourite sweet treat that causes you to break your diet. There are some good nutritional qualities to chocolate so instead of buying individual chocolate sweets or bars, buy a slab type and when the temptation bites just break off a couple of squares and enjoy them.
6. Choose Fruit
If you fancy a snack, then let it be fruit. All fruits are really healthy, low fat, and mostly low in calories. Additionally, fruits are full of fabulous anti-oxidants. Choosing fruit as a snack is a much better option than highly processed foods full of salts and sugars and they also count towards your 5-a-day.
7. Find Your Willpower
Finally, one of the keys to any weight loss plan and not just resisting snacking is willpower. It is easier to exercise mind over matter if you are busy rather than let boredom take over which can lead to being weak willed. When hunger strikes and it’s not time for a meal, if you have had a drink or have had your quota of fruit, don’t be tempted with an unhealthy snack do something active instead. Even just going for a walk should not only help stave off the hunger, but you are burning off extra calories also.
Snacking is not a dieting crime and if done properly with low fat healthy foods it won’t upset your healthy eating plan but will complement and even enhance it.