First things first: snacking is not a bad thing. In fact, it has many benefits. Snacking between meals keeps blood sugar levels stable so you don’t binge later, and it also helps rev your metabolism. However, many of us find ourselves munching on empty calories due to boredom or stress, not hunger. Use these tips to help you avoid mindless snacking and unnecessary calories.
Meal prepping doesn’t end with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stocking up on healthy snacks to eat between meals at the beginning of the week will set you up for success. Make sure to keep these snacks on hand: in your purse, at your desk and in your pantry or fridge, so when that mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger arrives, you won’t be heading straight for the vending machine.
Keep Meals and Snacks at the Kitchen Table
It’s easy to overeat when sitting on the couch in front of the TV, or at your desk working on your computer. Try to separate eating from other activities so that you’re more mindful of what and how much you’re eating. When you’re distracted, you’re less likely to notice signals telling you that you’re full.
When you’re craving a snack, stop and ask yourself if you’re actually hungry. Maybe you’re actually just bored or stressed and looking for something to comfort you. Before reaching for something, go for a brisk walk. If you’re still hungry afterwards, then go for it.
Often times we mistake hunger for dehydration. And water doesn’t have to be boring! Tea, coffee and fruit-infused water are all great options.
Choose Nutrient Dense Snacks
Crush that 3pm slump with whole foods consisting of a good balance of protein, healthy fats and carbs. Foods high in artificial sweeteners, sugar and salt will only make you crave them even more. Nutrient dense foods will not only keep you energized, but also satisfied so you won’t feel the need to reach for something else.