There’s a fine line between waiting too long between meals and snacking all day to curb your hunger. Waiting too long can cause you to overeat during your mealtimes because you’re ravenous – and grazing all day can lead to mindless or habitual eating that could cause overeating, especially when you’re still eating full meals at dinner time. The fine line – the sweet spot – is figuring out your unique way of snacking smart and being prepared. Here are three steps to get you there:
Hunger vs. Habit. Check in with yourself and notice if you are reaching for a snack out of actual hunger or habit. Do you reach for a snack during that 3 pm slump at the office, purely out of boredom? If it’s boredom you’re trying to cure rather than hunger – take a 10-minute break to enjoy a short walk around the office to curb your boredom.
Fill the gaps with snacks. Since a large part of the population finds it difficult to fit in all of their fruits and veggies each day, use snack times to fill those gaps. Snack on fresh fruit, celery and carrots with hummus, or a stick of string cheese. Lately, my favorite afternoon snack has been a crispy Michigan apple and a few almonds.
Preparation. Once you experiment and find your favorite healthy snacks, keep them within reach. Have a snack stored in your desk, car, purse, and gym bag so that you are never without a healthy snack when you need it. If at all possible, making your snacks feel more like a treat may help you enjoy them even more. Enjoy your snack on a plate or in a bowl and slow down to eat more mindfully.
Snack tip: Drinking a tall glass of water when you feel the urge to snack will help keep you stay hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration can cause you to crave unhealthy foods and to feel hungry when you’re just thirsty. So keep your hydration levels up and you’ll be feeling great in no time!
Need more snack suggestions? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free handout: 20 Healthy Snack Ideas.
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.