After breakfast do you spend the morning looking at the clock thinking about an appropriate time to start eating lunch? Since cutting your portion sizes, have you noticed you are more hungry in between meals? Craving that ‘something else’ after dinner? You are not alone.
First things first – you need to establish whether you are actually hungry or whether we are snacking out of, a. Habit or b. Thirst. Habits are those little patterns of behaviour we do time and time again, and the more we do them, the stronger the habit becomes and the less conscious we are that we are doing them. Before starting this blog I would, after every dinner, without fail, have a chocolate yoghurt. I would be getting the spoon ready as I was still swallowing my last mouthful of pasta. I wasn’t hungry, I’d just eaten – it had become my habit. It is about finding the balance between needing food and wanting food.
It’s that word again – Will Power. Saying no to that biscuit with your tea and no to the chocolate bars that stare you out at the checkouts. You must remember your goals and focus on that rewarding feeling of achievement when you haven’t been ‘naughty’ for X amount of days/weeks. It may take some organisation and forward planning (and this is when you need to make Tupperware your latest accessory) but once it is part of your routine, it can become your new habit. We tend to associate the word habit as a bad thing but if you are picking an apple over a snickers for example, then surely habits are a good thing.
Think about your day ahead and if you would normally take lunch to work why not pack a snack as well. Instead of getting hungry at 10.30am and going to the canteen for a chocolate bar, open your Tupperware and enjoy a tasty, more healthy snack. If you have babies or children and are out for the day, I am almost certain you would pack them milk or a mid morning snack, so why not pack yourself something too (rather than feeling hungry and grabbing an unhealthy snack because it was ‘the only thing available’).
A handful of unsalted Nuts e.g. Almonds/Hazelnuts
Slices of Apple
or even a Rice cake with 1 teaspoon of Peanut Butter.
Yes peanut butter! It is a ‘good fat’ and as long as we practice portion control it is perfectly ok to have. http://theproofisnotinthepudding.co.uk/blogposts/cut-your-portion-sizes/
When asking friends what they ate in between meals, the list went from biscuits to crisps to slices of toast. But the common answer that cropped up seemed to be cereal bars. Just be careful with cereal bars as a lot of them are high in sugar and could be replaced with a healthier option (see above) that will keep you fuller for longer.
Did you know a Snickers bar (58g) has nearly 300 calories in. Still craving chocolate? Try a Jaffa Cake – 46 calories per Jaffa cake.
Another common mistake is thinking we are hungry, when actually we are just thirsty. A final tip from me: Have a bottle of water at your desk or in your bag and drink sips throughout the day. Also try having a glass of water before snacking, you never know you may end up not needing the snack after all.
It is these small changes, over time, that will make a difference and can even be the difference between dress sizes. Make that box of Jaffa cakes last a week rather than lasting one afternoon.
As always let me know how you get on and please feel free to share any other healthy snacks that you currently enjoy.