Sweet or salty? Regardless of your preference, snacking can get out of hand if you don’t set yourself up for success. Here are a few ways that you can make the most of your snacking.
Be a Mindful Eater
Put down that cellphone, turn off the TV and focus on the meal or snack that is in front of you. We are not as good at multi-tasking as we think we are. The distractions in front of us are often louder than our bodies’ cues which can lead to overeating. Mindful eating helps us listen to our body and give it the amount of fuel and nutrients that it needs at that moment. Set aside time to make preparing and consuming your food an enjoyable experience!
Quit the Clean Plate Club
Don’t be afraid to leave some food on your plate. You’re the only one who’s going to pay the price if you overeat. You can always box up your leftovers and save them for another day. Try putting less food on your plate or use a smaller plate to give that “full plate” appearance that we like to see.
Add Movement to Your Meals
Stay active during the day and engage in more intense exercise at least several days a week. Prepare your meals from scratch, take a walk after an indulgent meal or walk to the ice cream shop to get moving.
Be Choosy About Your Snacks
A healthier snack is lower in sugar, higher in fiber and balanced with protein or fat. Stay away from processed sugars as much as possible and stick to natural sugars – they’re much easier for our bodies to digest. If you are craving a more indulgent snack, try making it at home! This way you can control the amount of sugar that goes into it. In most recipes, you can leave out about half of the sugar called for and it will still taste great!
The Bottom Line
It’s really all about balance – if you’re craving a piece of chocolate, eat the piece of chocolate! An apple most likely won’t tame your chocolate craving. You will end up consuming more calories in the long run by eating the apple now and the piece of chocolate later.
Following these tips may help you feel much more satisfied and much less guilty after enjoying a snack. Learn to listen to your gut (literally) and eat what your body needs when your body needs it.