We’re all guilty of mindless eating at times, but unconscious snacking can be hurting your health goals in a number of ways. Snacks are typically the most highly processed foods we consume (think bars, chips, candy, etc.). What makes things worse is that snacking is usually done while we’re on the go or focused on other tasks. By not paying attention to how much we’re eating or our body’s fullness cues, we’re bound to overeat. Below are my tips on how to avoid mindless snacking:
Eat Satisfying Meals
The best way to avoid unconscious snacking is to eat meals that are satisfying and high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. These nutrients actually turn off hunger hormones and keep you feeling fuller longer. When you feel full in between meals you’re less likely to reach for a snack.
Watch Your Portions
Never eat snacks straight out of the bag or directly from the carton. Studies have shown that people consistently consume more food when they’re given larger portions, so if you’re gonna snack get yourself a cup or small bowl.
If you know you have a busy day ahead and will have to work through lunch or push back dinner, plan ahead. Pack healthy snacks that won’t spike your blood sugar (otherwise you’ll be reaching for another snack 2 hours later!). Invest in a set of glass food storage containers and give your self 10-15 minutes the night before to prep. Full fat yogurt with a side of berries, veggies with cottage cheese, or fruit with almond butter are all great choices.
Even more important than what you snack on, is how you do it. Slow down, be present, enjoy your food. Mindful eating helps you connect with your body and recognize when you’re full so you won’t overeat.