There are so many times that I have had to talk myself out of snacking on anything that I can get my hands on. It becomes a major mental game. Trying to remind yourself why it’s not worth it. It honestly seems like such a simple little problem. However, it’s something that can completely derail your success with losing weight. It can so easily become a habit that changes the healthy lifestyle that you are trying to create. What we don’t realize when we have a little bit of something here and a little bit of something there, is how many additional empty calories we have added throughout the day. I have talked about having strategies in the past to help overcome mental hurtles. Having specific strategies in mind to avoid snacking can also be extremely helpful in working past the need to snack.
Eat Some Veggies
This is one of my favorite plans when I am feeling snacky. I can eat a lot of green beans or broccoli and it will add hardly any calories. More than just keeping calorie count low, the number of veggies will also fill the stomach. Keeping your stomach full will hinder snacking on less desirable items. There is a big benefit to eating veggies as well. The nutrients and calories processed by your body can actually reduce your body’s natural cravings for saturated fats.
Start a Hobby
Giving your mind something else to concentrate on can distract from thinking about snacking. The less you think about it the more likely that you are going to be able to avoid the urge. The other great benefit of starting a hobby is to keep your hands busy. I like to crotchet. I know there are plenty of times that I was so focused on a project that I felt it wasn’t worth it to put it aside to go get something I shouldn’t. Not to mention the positive stress that hobbies create. Positive stress is good for the health of your brain and can give you focus. All things that will help when you are fighting a mental battle against food.
Don’t Keep it in the House
If you are the worst at snacking when your home, then remove the temptation. There used to always be chips, or soda, or ice cream in my house. It’s kind of frustrating but nice at the same time to not have it available. I am searching cupboards for something I want to snack on and there really isn’t a whole lot of options. My options pretty much consist of dried cranberries, peanuts, and popcorn. All things I still don’t want to have in excess, but also is a much healthier choice when I need another 100 to 200 calories still. A lot of times when I can’t find something to snack on, I actually opt for some fruits or vegetables.
Leave Your Charge Cards at Home
When you are mobile, out and about, it can be difficult to avoid stopping at a drive thru really quick. When at work, most companies have vending machines around every corner. Or vending machines in every place that you can actually take a break. My husband is really bad at talking himself into getting a snack, or two, or three. His biggest method to avoiding that kind of behavior is to leave his cards at home. We definitely have to make it a point to check the gas tank beforehand. Pretty much be prepared so a card being in his wallet at all times isn’t going to be a problem. If you struggle with the same thing, maybe it would be a good method to try.
Make a List
Now if you have been following this blog in any way, shape or form, then you would know that writing things down is preached… a lot! It is a huge mental tactic to use a paper and pencil to organize your thoughts and to bring focus. If you are feeling an overwhelming need to snack, then pull out the paper and pencil. Make a couple of lists. A list of every reason why you don’t want to snack. Another list of every other thing that you can do to distract yourself from snacking. And even a third list of every time you have proven that you are stronger than the need for a snack.
Text a Friend
Sometimes these kinds of things can become so much easier if you have an accountability buddy. When you are feeling an overwhelming need to stuff your face, let someone know. Someone that you know will make you stop and check yourself. They can encourage you and maybe give you an alternative to eating. There are definitely times it’s easier not to do something if someone else tells you there isn’t any reason to do it. If you feel that you need an extra nudge outside of your own self-control, don’t be ashamed to let someone else support you.
No one is perfect. We all have our difficult days. It doesn’t mean that we are weak or that we have failed. We just need to find the right thing that works for us. We all are different and there is so many different possibilities. Once you find the right techniques then stick to them. You will have more success if you find the right plan for you, instead of what everyone else tells you to do. What are some of the things that you have found that work for you? Comment and share to help others find what works for them.