We’ve all been there – on the couch after dinner with a late night snack in hand. Or those busy days where a proper meal just doesn’t seem to happen and instead, you find yourself making one too many trips to the snack drawer at work. Whatever snafu you find yourself in, here are some simple ways to healthfully get yourself out.
The bottomless chip bag
Buying in bulk may seem like a good idea price wise, but those big sized bags can make portion control practically impossible. To avoid that trap, try placing a measuring cup in the bag as soon as you open it. This serves as an automatic reminder to measure out your portion before digging in. You can also divide up snacks immediately after you open the bag and place into individual bags or containers for easy portion-controlled snacking.
The constant nibbler
On hectic days, it’s easy to find yourself missing meals and grazing mindlessly instead. This can cause you to take in far more calories than if you had eaten 3 proper meals, plus it often leaves you feeling unsatisfied. To avoid this pitfall, be sure to schedule time for regular meals and keep 1-2 small pre-portioned snacks handy in case your never ending to-do list delays mealtime.
The late night snacker
Whether you’re up late watching TV or catching up on work emails, these extra hours awake can often lead to late night snacking. Make the wrong choices and you can offset a day’s worth of balanced meals. Before you reach for that snack, do the apple test. If you would be satisfied eating an apple, then you may indeed be hungry. In that case, go for a piece of fruit. But if cookies or chips are what you’re after, you may be just bored or stressed. Try a non-food alternative like taking a bath or calling a friend to make you feel better.. Additionally, you might want to set a cut off time when your kitchen is “closed”. This will help provide boundaries for when food is available and can guide you towards more balanced eating.
The craving avoider
It’s 3pm and you suddenly have an intense craving for something sweet. You try to ignore it and find yourself eating a variety of other foods to distract yourself. Still not satisfied, you give in and have the original treat you were hankering for. Next time a craving hits, instead of circling around it, enjoy a small portion and move on. You’ll feel more satisfied eating what you really want and avoid those extra calories from snacks you didn’t want in the first place.