10 Essential Tips to Avoid Unhealthy Snacking
The craving for unhealthy snack food seems really unfair. Why would the body be screaming out for something which is harmful to its own wellbeing?
Apparently, the reasons are plentiful. It could be related to hunger, boredom, routine, emotional response, or even your cursed sweet tooth.
That said, the details are irrelevant as the result is always the same: an excess of sugar (or salt or fat) is the opposite of healthy, and it is in your best interest to fight these evil between-meal impulses.
Thankfully, there are multiple ways to curb your cravings with better foods or fancy trickery. Don’t miss these 10 essential tips:
1. Shop Smart
The simplest approach to cutting back on junk snacks? Don’t purchase any!
Plan your weekly meals, write out a shopping list before you leave the house, and then stick to it, as this will keep you away from any hazardous aisles. Plus you’ll save money!
Furthermore, remember to never shop hungry, or your tummy may make instinctive decisions for you.
2. Eat Well
Skipping meals leads to an empty stomach leads to unwanted cravings. Rather eat smaller meals more frequently, as this helps digestion and builds a stronger routine.
Always sit down when you eat too, as this will create food awareness and prevents an automated process. And when you cook, prepare large batches to ensure there are healthy leftovers to snack on.
And finally, chew slower! You should never take another bite until you’ve swallowed the previous one.
3. Keep Your Hands Busy
Boredom may be your riskiest trigger, so distract your mind away from food by keeping those hands moving.
Suggestions include learning a new skill like knitting, expressing your creativity by painting, building your forearm strength by playing with therapy putty, or giving yourself a quick manicure by trimming (and painting) those nails.
4. Replace Dangerous Routines
If there is a certain time of day when the craving monster seems most likely to strike your belly, all you need to do is simply swap it out for a new, healthier habit.
Try spending a few minutes stretching or go for a jog around the block in the fresh air.
Soon enough, your brain will begin to associate these events together, and you will crave something far more beneficial.
5. Trade the Junk for Health
Believe it or not, crushing your cravings with healthy food is extremely easy.
Want sugar? Fruit is loaded with the stuff! A fistful of berries or grapes should hit the spot perfectly.
Want something fatty? Aim for healthy fats, such as nuts, avocado, or olive oil, as they promote a strong cardiac system.
Just feeling a bit peckish? Protein will fill you up, so lay into those beans or leafy greens.
For easy access, keep these guys on your desk and at eye-level in the fridge. And don’t forget to mix those colors!
6. Drink Lots of Water
As is often the case, your thirst may be misconstrued for something else, so first and foremost, drink a large glass of water and wait five minutes before making any regretful decisions.
Even if something else is demanding your attention, water is still the perfect gift for your body, every time.
7. Train Yourself to Dislike Snacking
Wake yourself up against the ill effects of junk snacking by researching how each item is made. The ingredients and factory processes can be quite off-putting.
If weight loss is what you seek, keep a diet journal of your daily calorie intake. The numbers from those high-carb chips you ate should be enough to generate some willpower you never knew you had.
8. Try to Stress Less
Easier said than done, but if you find yourself emotionally eating, then stressing less is your only way out.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to achieve more relaxation in your life, including exercise, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, a neck massage at home, or even a long warm bubble bath.
And don’t forget to sleep the recommended amount too! That means every night!
9. Brush Your Teeth
Here’s a quick sneaky trick you can play on yourself or your kids: directly after eating lunch or dinner, it’s teeth brushing time.
Everyone will be reluctant to coat their fresh mouths with sugar again, and besides, the food’s taste would be ruined by the minty aftertaste of toothpaste anyways.
10. Spoil Yourself Occasionally
Finally, cut yourself a break and remember you’re only human.
If you attempt to suffer through the strain of complete deprivation, you run the risk of eventually snapping and then burying yourself beneath a binge of candy.
Be nice to yourself, and enjoy the occasional treat in moderation. This will keep your brain happy without busting the scale.