We eat twice as many snacks as we did 30 years ago. And while having the munchies in between meals is totally normal, if you aren’t careful, all those mini-meals can add up. So, if you’re snacking is wreaking havoc on your diet, then read this and learn how to snack smarter.
#1 Don’t Eat Like Clockwork
We have all heard that we should eat every two to three hours in order to keep our metabolisms fired up right? But if you aren’t hungry, then you are just taking in an unnecessary amount of extra calories. Eating on autopilot all the time can totally screw up your system’s satiety signals (ie. your ability to identify true hunger). So instead of eating just because “it’s time,” watch for your body’s natural hunger cues.
#2 Do Plan Your Snacks
If you are constantly dropping silver in your office vending machine, yet can’t drop weight, then it may be time start planning your snacks homie. Two snacks a day–one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon–are probably all you need. So save that change and change things up by packing a piece of fruit and a bit of trail mix in your handbag or briefcase each day.
#3 Don’t Sweat On E
Hitting the gym when you are hungry is no bueno. You will end up weak and cranky mid-squat for sure. Therefore it’s smart to snack before you sweat. Don’t go crazy though–a 200 calorie treat will suffice. Think a medium banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter or a small whole wheat pita with sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato and mustard.
#4 Do Choose The Real Deal
The more processed the food is the higher in sugar and salt it will be. Hello hungry again in no time. Make your snacks last by opting for whole fruits, veggies and nuts. They have more fiber and protein, which means you will be full longer on way less calories. Keep several options in your top drawer at work and stash that cash you would’ve spent on junk for some new beauty products or hot new running shoes boo.
#5 Don’t Just Eat Wherever
Start saying yes to eating in the break room and at the dinning room table, and say heck no to eating at your desk and in front of the TV. Studies show that if you get used to eating in certain spaces you’ll start associating certain food with that space. So create “eating only” spaces and stop being down to eat wherever.
#6 Do Give In To Your Cravings
Sometimes a cookie is the only thing that will satisfy your craving, and that’s okay. Cravings are normal and constantly trying to avoid them often leads to disaster. Hello binging. Now…this does not mean you should just eat whatever whenever. Next time a chocolate chip cookie calls your name eat an apple and see if you still want to devour one after. If you do, then go for it. It is a true craving and it ought to be satisfied.