When I wrote my last post – My Top 10 Healthy Snacks – I got a great comment from Marisa on being “guilty” of reaching for the “bad stuff” instead. She brought up a good point – it’s much easier to know what’s healthy to eat than to actually eat it! She inspired me to write this post – here are a few of my tips on how to avoid reaching for the “bad stuff” and make it more of a habit to reach for the good stuff!
1) Distract yourself. Go for a short walk, take a bathroom break, pick up the phone and call a friend, or start talking to a coworker. If you really aren’t hungry and were just bored – this will take care of the need to snack!
2) Only keep healthy snacks near you. Laziness can be quite a powerful tool when it comes to avoiding unhealthy food. If the cookies (or other unhealthy snacks) aren’t at your desk, but an apple is – you’re more likely to reach for the apple than to go looking for the cookies. Extend this principle to your home – avoid keeping junk food in your house – and don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry! You’ll be much less likely to make bad choices if you aren’t hungry when you’re shopping for food.
3) Chew Gum (or a mint). Chewing gum will make you feel like you’re snacking when you really aren’t, and the mint taste will leave your mouth feeling refreshed and you’ll be less likely to want to chow down right after (think about it – right after you brush your teeth, do you feel like eating?)
4) Drink water or tea. A lot of times, people mistake hunger for thirst. A rule of thumb should be – when you feel the need to snack, drink a glass of water instead. If you’re still hungry 5-10 min later, try to reach for a healthy snack!
5) Allow yourself to indulge once in a while. Cutting out junk food altogether is not the answer. Everything in moderation! Also – if you let yourself indulge in small portions occasionally, then you won’t feel totally deprived of junk food and will be less likely to binge on it later.