To snack or not to snack – that is the question.
Anyone else love snacks as much as I do? I honestly love snacks more than actual food sometimes.
When it comes to fitness and weight loss, there’s so much conflicting information. Snacking is good for weight loss. Snacking is bad for weight loss. It revs your metabolism. It’s too easy to consume too many calories. So what’s the truth?
Whether snacking is good for you or not, I don’t believe is the right question to ask. The question, I believe, is how do you eat so you don’t feel the need to snack? If you’re snacking out of pure boredom, why? If it’s to cope with emotions, why?
With all of the information out there, both good and bad, it can be ridiculously overwhelming. As an information junky, I know way more about food and the psychology of eating than I should. It is way too easy to absorb so much that you decide not to apply any of it. So to get where I am now, I had to toss out just about everything I knew. Oddly enough, that’s when I figured out a system that worked for me. It’s also when the things I knew started to make sense.
So I’m going to share with you the top tricks that will help you finally get over the snacking hurdle.
- Meal plan and prep
Yea – I knew this wasn’t going to be popular. But it works. When you buy food with purpose, you’re less likely to snack on it because it’s for a specific meal. Spend some time on the weekend before going to the grocery store figuring out your plan for the week. What you’ll eat and when. Having it planned out will also save you the overwhelm later when you’re just not sure what to make.
If you’re anything like me, you have great intentions. You buy food with purpose, but then you get lazy and decide not to prep it. When you finally get around to it, you’ve eaten all of the key ingredients and you’re left wondering what on earth you’re supposed to prep. Take the time after you get home from the grocery store to start prepping your meals. Get containers that will make it easy for you to pack them for lunch at work. I work from home and still do this. The temptation to snack all day is gone when I know that all I have to do is heat up my food in the microwave. Plus, you won’t have a bunch of random things to munch on since they’ll be prepped into meals.
- Don’t keep junk in the house
This one is so obvious we all collectively roll our eyes at the thought. Trust me, I did while writing it. But it is honestly one of the simplest ways to keep the junk snacking at bay. With all of the food delivery companies, it’s not going to be as easy as it used to be. But it certainly is a step in the right direction. Having junk in the house makes it easy to walk into the kitchen and scarf down an entire bag of potato chips. Even if you portion them into baggies, you’ll easily sit down and eat all of them. Food Prep Karleigh is much more well intentioned than Hungry Karleigh. Keep healthy snacks in the house. Avoid processed foods, but if you must, make sure they’re all made of REAL ingredients with no sugar or food dyes. Raw veggies and fruits make this so easy.
- Figure out why you’re eating
If you snack out of boredom, why? Why do you eat when you’re not hungry? What are other activities you can do instead? These are the questions, as cheesy as they may sound, you need to ask yourself every time you reach into the junk bin. I used to eat because it was something relatively easy that I didn’t have to think about. I felt like I was always doing things for everyone else and eating was my way of doing whatever the heck I wanted. So what I had to do was be honest and realize that I wasn’t rewarding myself, I was punishing my body. I was overfeeding it with junk that made me feel miserable after. Plus when I got real about the why, I was able to curb the temptation for snacking. I knew my goals went beyond the reasons.
- Ask yourself how much you’re eating
If you’re constantly hungry throughout the day, you’re probably not eating enough. We’ve been taught for so long that the less you eat the more weight you’ll lose. And it’s totally false. Yes it’s important not to overeat, but I believe it’s even more important not to undereat. Track your food for a week and see how much you’re eating. Find out if it’s too much or too little. There are many calculators out there that will tell you exactly how much you should be eating for your goals. This one is my absolute favorite. Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain where you’re at, it breaks it all down for you. If you are eating too much, it will give you hard facts so you can move forward informed.
Food is one of the hardest challenges to overcome because it’s something you need to consume every day. It isn’t something you can quit cold turkey. So the only way around it is to become disciplined. You need to figure out what your goals are and eat according to them. This will help to establish a solid routine that will help you out of the snacking rut you’ve found yourself in.
Do you struggle with snacking? How do you manage it?