Snack Hacks: 3 Tips for Smart Snacking
To snack, or not to snack, that is the question….
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 meal times.
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. As I work with lots of clients on eating for reasons related to emotions, boredom, or habit, I often suggest having an afternoon snack available that is a fruit or vegetable that you are okay with, but don't love. When you get the urge to snack, take it out and ask yourself: do I really want this? If you are hungry, you will, if not, you probably are eating out of habit or for another reason.
- 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/carrots with hummus or nut butter, or some kale chips! One of my favorite veggies to snack on is Jicama as it feels like I am eating a cross between a vegetable and fruit. I would say it is like eating an apple, potato, pear, and turnip all in one – and if that didn't sound appetizing, trust, me, it is crunchy and delicious!
- 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 to slow down and eat more mindfully.
Bonus tip: Having a tall glass of water when you feel the urge to snack will help keep you 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!
Want to chat more about healthy eating habits? Check out my EATING with INTENTION program to help you focus on the good and crowd out the bad!