There’s a difference between having a small, healthful snack to curb your hunger and binge-snacking. The healthful and portion-controlled style of snacking can help support your weight management efforts, while the binge kind will work against any efforts you make and is likely to pack on more pounds.
With that in mind, here are 7 ways you can avoid binge-snacking.
1. Never skip a meal.
No matter how hectic your day, you need to stick to a nutritious meal plan. Create set meals and snack times throughout the day and respect them. When you don’t miss a nutrient-rich snack or meal, you’ll be less likely to snack on junk food as your hunger will have been satisfied with healthier alternatives.
2. Drink lots of water every day.
Many people make the mistake of confusing hunger for thirst. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep yourself hydrated with water. Sip water throughout the day and do your best to get your eight, 8 ounce glasses of water daily. The next time you want to reach for a snack, drink a glass of water instead, wait 5 minutes and see if you’re still hungry.
3. Choose healthy snack alternatives.
If you’re looking for something to crunch on, reach for carrot sticks or celery sticks, not the potato chips. You’re not likely to binge-out on carrots or celery. If you want something sweet, go for apple slices or a handful of grapes instead of cookies.
4. Practice portion control.
When you are hungry for a snack, choose a healthy option and take a small amount. Don’t bring the bag, box or the whole container of food with you. Remember, it’s a snack, not a meal. Some people have a hard time with appetite and choose to buy Phentermine 375 pills or OTC alternatives to help get portions under control.
5. Listen to your body, not your temptations.
It’s easy to overindulge when you snack, especially when you’re eating something tasty (healthy or not) that you enjoy. If you’re done the portion of the snack that you’ve allowed yourself and you feel the urge to keep snacking, ask yourself if you want a baked potato. According to Kimberly Gomer, M.S., R.D. director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center, if you don’t want to eat a baked potato than you’re not really hungry and you need to put the snacks away.
6. Keep busy.
Boredom is one of the primary reasons people snack. Engage in activities that interest you and keep you away from the television. If you can’t think of anything take up a new hobby. When you do watch TV, keep your hands busy with activities like knitting, coloring, shuffling a deck of cards, etc. If your hands are busy you can’t eat.
7. Brush your teeth
No food tastes good after you brush your teeth. A great way to avoid late night binge-snacking is to brush your teeth after dinner.