Whether you’re bored, stressed or just want to munch, munch on this instead: 5 tips to help beat mindless snacking.
You all know I’m a fan of snacks. I’d rather have three light meals and snacks throughout the day than three big meals that leave me feeling heavy. The more I’m running and being active, the more snacks I need to stay fueled and energized, as well.
I usually opt for healthy snacks a few times a day, usually late afternoon and after my workout, but every now and then my snacking can get out of hand. Yes, my name is Nicole, and I snack when I’m bored.
I know a number of people deal with this issue. If I don’t have something to do, I turn to snacks. It gives both my mouth and my hands something to do. Most of the time, I’m not hungry. I’m just snacking mindlessly, and that mindless snacking is a quick and effective way to derail health and fitness goals.
Lately, I’ve been trying to be more, shall we say, mindful of my mindlessness, so I thought I’d share some of the things that have been helping me beat the mindless snacking.
1. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you know you are a mindless snacker, try to keep snacks at bay, especially unhealthy ones or ones you know you constantly reach for. I used to keep a bag of roasted, unsalted almonds at my desk. They’re a top-notch snack when I only have a small handful, but I start getting into trouble when I’m reaching mindlessly into the bag two, three, four times for more. Instead, I bring just the right portion for my one late-afternoon snack. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s nothing else to grab for, so therefore I don’t snack! This is also the reason I don’t keep cereal or chips in the house. They’re too easy for me to just grab and munch on and munch on and munch on. If they’re not in the house, I can’t eat ’em!
2. Keep your hands busy
The majority of the time I catch myself mindlessly snacking, it’s because I’m bored. I snack when I’m just watching Netflix or browsing the internet. I found that if I keep my hands busy, I’m much less likely to even think about snacking. Coloring helps so much! It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it also helps me unleash some creativity. I have this coloring book, and adore it! You could also try knitting, painting, playing an instrument, journaling, or anything else that gives your hands something to do.
3. Go for a walk
If you find yourself craving a snack even though you know you aren’t hungry, try going for a walk. It’s a great way to stay active and get some fresh air, and it will also get you away from the kitchen and help you destress (if stress is the culprit of your snacking). Give yourself a few minutes, and see if you’re still craving a snack. The fresh air, change of scenery, and light activity should not only help you be more mindful of the world around you, but it should also help you size up if you really are hungry or if you were just bored or stressed.
4. Chew gum
A lot of times, I’m just craving the act of chewing. If this is the case, I’ll just grab some gum! Not only does it give my mouth something to do, but if I opt for a refreshing flavor, like Orbit® Sweet Mint, Peppermint, or Spearmint, my mouth also feels nice and fresh. Who’d want to ruin that feeling? Orbit has been a favorite gum brand of mine for years. Their sugar-free flavors are all delicious (they also have Wintermint, Bubblemint, Strawberry, Citrus, and Orbit White), and they last much longer than other brands. I’ll also chew some gum after finishing a more mindful meal or snack. The clean, fresh feeling helps me remember that I’m full and don’t need to snack anymore.
5. Go for a healthy drink instead
If you feel hungry even though you just had a meal or snack, try drinking some water first. You may just be dehydrated! Not a plain water fan? Opt for a healthy flavored drink, like flavored seltzer water, iced tea, or coffee with a touch of flavoring.
Of course, you should always stay in tune with you’re body. If you are truly hungry, eat!
And an important note: I am not a doctor or dietitian. If you have issues with overeating, or think you may have issues with overeating, please consult a professional.
Are you a mindless snacker?
This post is linked up with Meatless Mondays.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.