You did it again?! You found yourself in front of the refrigerator, with the door open, ready to grab the closest snack in proximity of your mouth. You’re not hungry. You’re not bored. You’re not procrastinating. You simply walked to the fridge and then found yourself opening it. Have you been here before? It’s called mindless snacking. Just as you are in habit of opening the fridge; you’re in the habit of mindless snacking. Mindless snacking it just another bad habit, that you can learn to replace with good habits.
If you are a mindless snacker, then leave a comment below and share these tips!
Plan for snacking.
There’s a huge scientific health debate right now about meal frequency and weight loss. Traditionally people were told to eat “three squares a day:” meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think about your mealtimes. Most people generally eat breakfast at 6am, lunch at 12noon and dinner at 6pm. That’s 6 hours in-between each meal! That’s a long time, especially if you are expending a lot of energy. No wonder you are hungry and snacking all the time. If that is all you are eating you may want to purposely add one or two smaller snacks in-between those meals.
Many professional athletes and bodybuilders eat 5-6 smaller meals a day. They eat breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and then dinner. Eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours staves off hunger throughout the day and regulates blood sugar. If you decide to add mid-meal snacks you must watch calories and portion control. Eating more frequent meals may back fire if you are eating too many calories over all. You definitely do not want to mindlessly graze all day, and this can definitely make you lose track of your caloric intake.
The first step to stop mindless snacking, is that planned snacking is absolutely OKAY! Your taste buds are so happy you read this article.
Buy healthy snacks to replace your junk food.
The best way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. In this case, put something healthy in your mouth instead that nasty junk food. The easiest way to do this is to plan for healthy snacking. Examples of healthy snacks are celery and apple slices with almond or peanut butter, green smoothies, kale chips, mixed nuts, turkey roll ups, avocado and toast, and occasionally protein bars. Eat healthy fats with your snacks to stay satiated. So, reach for the apple, and slug down some mineral water.
Put healthy snacks in your reach.
Where do healthy snacks like veggies and fruit generally go in your refrigerator? In the crisper, at the bottom, behind opaque drawers where you cannot see them. Who wants to reach down there, and pull out rotten veggies you forgot about that are all moldy and nasty? No one, but it happens to all of us. And it’s yucky! Your best bet is to keep fruits and veggies in eye sight, on the middle draws where you can see them. Make sure to put your healthy snacks in front of your junk food. It will take a while to get use it, but try to organize your refrigerator in this manner the next time put away your groceries.
The same is true for your cupboard space. Place healthy snacks in the middle cupboards, within arm’s reach. If you buy sugary, low nutrient candy place them at the very top of your cupboards. If you have get out a chair or step ladder to reach for that candy, you might think twice about how you are wrecking your diet plan.
Get in the habit of always eating at the table.
Snacking on the go is messy. Think about all the crumbs you get in your car or couch. Let’s just try to be more civilized and always get a real meal (including your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack) at the table. Are you outside your home or office? Just make sure to sit down somewhere. Maybe you’ll get all fancy and lay out a red checkered table cloth on green grass in a park? Getting in the habit of always eating at the table, makes it strange to eat in front of the fridge or boob-tube. Creating a habit about whereyou eat, forces you to be more mindful about whenyou are eating.
Are your eating even though you’re not hungry? You can’t be bore, can you? You’re too busy to be bore! Maybe eating is a strange way of procrastinating? So, pick something else to do. Is your kitchen clean? Start cleaning it. You can post a chore or to-do list on your refrigerator. Every time you open the fridge you’ll have to think about what you are not accomplishing.
Snacking late at night? Just stop in mid snack.
It’s not too late to stop your snacking. If you find yourself mindlessly munching, you don’t have to keep munching. It’s okay to put your un-eaten ice cream back in container, and then back in the fridge. Can’t put in back? Then put it in the trash. You do not have to eat it, period. Wasting food is okay from time to time. This act will get you in the practice of mindful eating. The more you do it, the easier it will get.
Brush your teeth.
Another tip that is useful for late night snacking is to brush your teeth. Floss. Gargle with mouthwash. Whatever you need to do to take yourself away from the fridge. Brushing your teeth will single your body that it is time to go to bed. You will want to keep that clean and fresh feeling in your mouth, and hopefully move on from your cravings. Read a good book in bed to keep your mind and body occupied.
Pick two of these hacks to implement immediately, and focus on just those two steps. Soon you will be on your way to mindful snacking.
What suggestions do you have? Please leave a comment below. Share with your fellow snacker.
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