Have you ever begun to relax for the evening only to feel a strong urge to snack on anything you can find? Maybe you’re not even hungry, but before you know it you’ve got stuck into the biscuits, chocolate, soft drink or chips…
Most of us feel like this from time to time, but if it’s a regular occurrence then it’s worth looking at ways to break the habit before it becomes a problem that could lead to weight gain or chronic health problems long-term.
People snack for various reasons, but there are ways to reduce it. Here are eight simple tips to help you kick the habit.
1. Go to bed earlier
Are you a night owl who stays up late? The later you’re up, the more likely hunger will strike. Solution: go to bed earlier! Your body needs rest, and once in bed you’re unlikely to get up for a snack.
2. Avoid skipping breakfast or meals
Skipping breakfast or meals during the day can leave you very hungry by the evening and more likely to snack. Have a good breakfast and eat properly during the day.
3. Eat filling healthy foods
Can your food choices be improved? Sometimes the problem is your food choices. Foods that have a low GI (glycaemic index) and contain lean protein and fibre tend to be more filling. Bulking up meals with non-starchy vegetables can also help fill you up.
4. Limit “red light” snacks in your pantry
If it’s in your kitchen, you will eventually eat it. So avoid buying those foods in the first place. Have a look in your pantry and throw out those “red light” foods.
5. Get out of the house or find distractions
Sometimes we eat because we are bored or emotional. If this is you, look for things to distract you: go for a walk, phone a friend, play with the kids or do some housework.
6. Brush your teeth and floss
Brushing your teeth is a valuable way to keep you out of the kitchen. How? After you brush, it’s highly likely that laziness will get the better of you – who wants to brush their teeth twice?
7. Have a plan of attack
If you tend to snack, having a plan of what you will do when that familiar feeling strikes can be crucial. Write out a plan and try to stick to it. Perhaps enlist the help of your family.
8. Have healthy low-calorie alternatives available
Having healthy low-calorie alternatives handy can dramatically cut down the calories, sugars and fat consumed. Some good options include low calorie vegetables such as carrot, cucumber or celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, or even just a cup of tea.
Once the feeling strikes, snacking can be hard to control. But a little forethought and a plan of attack can really help you stop evening snacking in its tracks.
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