We have all found ourselves mindlessly reaching for some chips or cookies while watching TV, or eating the extra (unnecessary) bites while putting the leftovers away without thinking. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics shows that snacking might reflect unhealthy eating habits and impede weight-loss progress. By now, you probably realize that those handfuls of popcorn and candy are useless calories that add up to extra pounds. But don’t despair! We are sharing the tips on how to break this hurtful habit and get you closer to your dream body!
Follow these suggestions and you’ll see the pounds melt away in no time!
- Plan your meals in advance. It’s easier to snack during the day (and especially at night) if you miss breakfast, so go ahead and create a schedule of when and what you’re going to eat. Have you ever gone to a grocery store while hungry? If so, then you know you tend to buy way more than you planned, as everything just looks so good! Same goes for snacking, don’t skip the actual meals, so you feel full in between and will not reach for that bowl of cookies!
- Out of sight, out of mind. This might seem like a silly suggestion, but by not having baked goods or chips on the counter where they are visible, you will not automatically grab them. That said, you can still keep snacks in hard-to-reach places, and whenever you think of them, they’re there. Consider swapping chips and cookies for healthier options, like celery sticks and carrots with hummus, or dates.
- Drink up! Often times we think we’re hungry while our body is simply asking for some good old water. It’s vital to drink about half a gallon every day! This is easy to remember by the 8×8 rule: have 8 glasses of water throughout the day, 8 oz each. You can also set reminders on your phone so that you keep on track with your hydration. A study from the University of Michigan also showed a direct correlation between weight and water intake. Bottom line: the more hydrated you are, the better your chances for weight loss.
- Be mindful. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that if you eat in front of the TV, read, or are otherwise distracted while eating, you are guaranteed to consume more. If you are having a snack, treat it like a meal: plate it, sit down at the table, and enjoy. This leads to you concentrating on the food and not eating more than you need without thinking.
- Take your mind out of the kitchen. Think of activities that will make you feel good without having to snack: go for a walk, call a friend, or take a bath. Once you take your mind off the food, the cravings usually pass.
- Catch some more zzzs! A sleep study at Uppsala University, for example, showed that those who don’t get enough sleep tend to overeat. Try to get the recommended 7-9 hours nightly, and it will be easier to curb cravings. Added bonus - your mood will improve, too!
- And the secret trick.. Brush your teeth! Would you really want a taste of minty chips? Didn’t think so! Also, you might be craving the flavors left over in your mouth. Simply clearing them out will do the trick!