Eating too many snacks throughout the day is a big cause of weight gain. By breaking your bad snacking habit, you could lower your calorie intake and shift some of those pounds. Here are a few ways to help you break you snacking habit.
Remove temptations from your house
If your house is full of snacks, it will be more difficult to resist the urge to eat them. Your first step should be to get rid of all snacks and to stop buying them in the future. This is easier said than done, especially if other members of your household want to continue eating snacks (in these cases, you may want to ask them to hide their snack supply).
Lower your leptin levels
Leptin is the hunger hormone that tells our brain we need food. If you’ve been snacking most of your life, it’s likely that you’ll be overproducing this hormone. Products such as MunchEase can help to lower leptin levels. You can also lower your leptin levels by lowering your caffeine intake and switching refined carbs for healthier complex carbs (i.e. eating more brown rice and wholewheat pasta rather than chips and sugary snacks).
Find healthy pick-me-ups to replace snacking
Many snacks such as chocolate release endorphins that make us feel happy. When we cut out snacking, we can often miss that happy sugar kick. In order to fill this emptiness, it’s best to take up a new healthy endorphin-producing habit instead of snacking. This could be anything from listening to music, taking a bath or exercising. Sometimes its easier to fill the gap by drinking some water or tea or by chewing gum. Both of these actions make us feel like we’re consuming something by getting the salivary glands working.
Get help with apps
Several smartphone apps can help you to break your snacking habit. Am I Hungry? is one such app that can be effective – every time you want a snack you can switch on this app which will take you through a series of decisions to determine whether you really need a snack. Other apps like Mindful Eating Tracker meanwhile allow you to rate your hunger and satisfaction every time you have a snack, making you more conscious about guilty snacking habits.
If you need to snack, make it a healthy snack
The solution to snacking might not be to give it up completely. Simply replacing unhealthy snacks with healthy ones could help to give you the satisfaction of snacking whilst not piling on the pounds. Fruit and nuts are obvious examples of healthy snacks but they aren’t the only options. Plain popcorn, yoghurt and carrot sticks with hummus and are a few other healthy alternatives. Meanwhile, those with a love for chocolate could consider switching to dark chocolate, which has a much lower sugar level. Be wary of snacks in supermarkets that may seem healthy, but may not be. Whilst there are some healthy cereal bars and veggie chips out there, the large bulk of these snacks are packed with sugar or salt.