You might think grabbing a few pieces of candy from the secretaries desk, samples at the grocery store on the way home from work, or even a snack from the snack machine every afternoon isn’t harmful but if you are constantly snacking throughout the day, all of those calories can add up to an alarming rate if you were to track everything that you eat. All of those snacks between meals can easily add several pounds to the scale pretty quick. I often find that I am hungry between lunch and dinner time and instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks, I rather opt for easy healthy snacks.
If you are constantly finding yourself snacking between meals, I wanted to share some 5 easy ways to keep your snacking under control.
Reach for Water Instead of Food
Did you know that your body often mistakes hunger signals when it is really trying to tell you that you need to grab something to drink? So when you start feeling hungry throughout the day reach for a glass of water instead. You should be drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. If you are unsure of how much you are actually drinking, I highly suggest getting a water bottle that measures how much your drinking or track it in an app such as MyFitnessPal or check out these sure-fire ways to drink more water.
Opt for Healthy Snacks
If you have a weakness for snacking in the middle of the afternoon, you should prepackage some easy healthy snack options so that you can easily grab these healthy snacks to eat when your feeling hungry. Make it a habit to keep healthy snack choices in your desk or store them in the refrigerator at work in easy to grab portions. Try reaching for some of my favorite healthy snack ideas instead of choosing snacks with empty calories:
- celery and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- baby carrots
- 100 calories worth of almonds
- bell pepper
- cup of unbuttered/unsalted popcorn
- dry fruit (be careful what you grab some are packed with sugar and watch your portion intake)
- protein bar
- string cheese
- low-fat yogurt
- cottage cheese
- hard boiled egg
- and there are countless other healthy snacks available to suit your palette
Make Your Own 100 Calorie Packs
It is very tempting to buy the 100 calories snack options at the grocery store but those can easily cost you more in the long run. Instead, you should buy a bigger package and divide them immediately when you get home from the grocery store. I like to package my own 100 calorie snack packs and keep them in the pantry. These are great if you are craving junk food because you are able to satisfy your cravings without going overboard or ruining your diet. Don’t be afraid to reach for unhealthy snack options occasionally. I allow myself to splurge every once in a while so that I am not depriving myself, especially if I am trying to lose weight. Instead, choose some of the healthy snack ideas that I mentioned above.
Keep Calories in Check with a Food Journal
I personally found that using a food journal helped me realize how many calories that I was really consuming. Plus, it was a great way to hold myself accountable. I was able to even use it to set goals. If I wanted a snack, I could easily look at my app and determine if that snack was worth it.
Avoid the Temptations
If you work outside of the home, it isn’t as easy to remove the temptations throughout the day. But you can do your best to avoid the temptations. For example, if your coworker brought in doughnuts for the entire office and you know that they are in the conference room. You can simply avoid this area unless you are in there for a reason.
I one time had to go to a work meeting where I knew donuts were being served, I would often grab a glass of water or some gum in order to help reduce the temptation. Doing this trick can easily save you several hundred calories.
Working at home can leave you heading to the refrigerator or pantry several times a day, without anyone here to stop you or hold you accountable. If you know that you are vulnerable to snacking, you can find a selection of easy healthy snack options available to replace your unhealthy snacks. I have kids in my house so it is tough to prevent a few unhealthy things in my house but if they were not here, I would just avoid buying them. I just try to remember that those snacks are for my kid’s lunch and not for me.
Snacking no longer has to be unhealthy and pack on tons of extra calories in your day. Try these 5 easy ways to keep your snacking under control.