You’re not hungry, but you have an overwhelming urge to eat. You start with just a few potato chips, which quickly turns into half a bag. You may as well dig into the ice cream now, you figure. Sound familiar? The mindless-eating monster can rear its ugly head when you’re stressed, tired, bored, or just plain ravenous. Here are some ways to regain control:
When you feel the urge to snack on something, try your favorite brand of sugar-free chewing gum. Each piece is about five calories, although brands may differ somewhat.
Take a deep breath
When you’re stressed, try deep breathing instead of snacking. Sit upright with good posture and take slow breaths. Each breath should take 5 to 10 seconds in and out. Do this for up to 5 minutes.
Listen to music
Pop in your favorite music CD or listen to music online. You can’t possibly want to feed yourself a snack while getting up and bouncing around to your favorite songs. Plus, you will build your adrenalin in the process, which promotes more weight loss.
Take up a hobby
Get caught up in a hobby that you enjoy doing. Becoming enthralled in something you like to do will take your mind off of eating a snack.
Get adequate sleep
Try to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night. Women who skimp on sleep are more prone to overeating, plus they have higher rates of diabetes and heart disease.
Instead of a snack, have a drink. Try a non-caffeinated herbal tea with a spoonful of honey. There are several drinks on the market with no caffeine and no sugar. Before you go for a snack, drink 250 ml (about 8 oz.) of your favorite drink, then decide if you really need a snack. Even the water is good.
Don’t watch TV
TV encourages snacking. You’re sitting there, you feel like you should be doing something, so you go for the snack. Also, most of the commercials are about food. Stay away from the TV, take up reading, or another activity.
Plan ahead so that you have healthy snacks on hand when you need them. Stock your refrigerator at home with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Practice smart snacking
If you absolutely need something to eat because you are feeling weak or have the shakes, then grab a piece of fruit or some fresh veggies. Just don’t coat the vegetables with any dressings or dips.
Eat in a routine
Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plan to have healthy snacks throughout the day. Do not skip meals or planned snacks. Skipping nutritious foods will make you feel uncontrollably hungry!
It is possible to eat less healthful snacks from time to time as part of an overall balanced eating plan. When you have a high-fat or high-calorie snack, simply adjust your food intake for the rest of the day to account for the snack. In fact, having the occasional indulgent snack may actually help keep your diet on track.