Last Updated on August 4, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
When it comes to dieting, one of the most difficult parts is avoiding over-snacking. Depending on the diet play you’re doing, snacking in general may be considered a no-no. Personally, I don’t believe in restrictive eating. However, I do believe in monitoring your intake. This is difficult at times, even for me. Fortunately, there are several easy ways you can avoid going a bit gonzo when it comes to satisfying a craving.
How to Avoid Over-Snacking
How many people do you know who failed a diet plan because they simply couldn’t avoid some of the finer things in food? Personally, I know quite a few including myself. When you’re tempted to fall off the wagon and into a chocolate pie, give one of these easy ways a try.
1. Monitoring Your Intake
I believe it’s OK to indulge yourself once in a while, as long as you don’t go hog-wild. For instance, a couple of cookies throughout the day is OK. Just don’t eat the entire bag. Keep an eye on the foods you consume in any given day and compare it to your physical activity. It can be really easy to overeat if you’re not paying attention.
I use apps like MyFitnessPal to keep track of my foods. It’s a free system that counts calories, fats, carbs, vitamins and a slew of other pieces of health information. If you keep your calories in the green according to your physical activity, you’ll easily lose weight and stay healthy. Of course, this is also dependent on choosing healthier foods to eat throughout the day. You can’t survive off of cake alone.
2. Drinking More Water
Yes, drinking more water can do a laundry list of things for the body. When you feel like you need a quick snack, down a cup of water first and see how you feel. A lot of the time, it will help curb your appetite while giving the body the one thing it absolutely needs in order to function.
Many people assume that drinking water fills your stomach and takes away some of the cravings of eating. However, this isn’t entirely accurate. You see, liquids can take up to 10 minutes to digest. After which, it’s absorbed throughout the body and winds up in your bladder. This means you could feel hungry again after that 10 minute average.
You could always drink more water, but that can be dangerous as well. It is possible to make yourself sick by drinking too much too quickly. Fill up a 32oz bottle and sip it over the next hour or two. It’s one of the things I do to curb my appetites.
3. Find Sugar Alternatives
If you’re like me and have a sweet-tooth, it can be difficult to avoid sugary goodness during diets. Instead of delving knee-deep in pudding or showering yourself with Oreos, try to find natural alternatives. For example, I can easily give up chocolate for pineapple. Most fruits are rife with natural sugars while promoting superior nutrition for your diet.
I’ve managed to keep off eight pounds simply by removing sugar from my morning coffee. Instead, I use a single packet of Splenda or perhaps the Kirkland alternative. You don’t want to cut out sugar entirely since it’s needed by the body for a menagerie of purposes. However, you don’t want to overfill yourself either. This is how diabetics are made. Your natural production of insulin will be affected by the amounts of sugar you eat, or don’t eat.
4. Scheduling Your Food Intake
While monitoring your daily diet will be greatly beneficial, don’t underestimate the value of sticking to a schedule. This takes a degree of focus and determination since a lot of people will simply say, “to hell with it” and snack when ever they want anyway. However, a schedule may be able to help avoid eating too much throughout the day.
Not only do you schedule your three primary meals, but your snacks need to fit in there as well. If you choose healthier alternatives, you can feel satisfied without bloating while dieting. Here is what one of my typical days looks like when were focused on eating healthier:
- Breakfast: Cream of Wheat and One cup of mixed berries
- Snack: String cheese, one ounce of jerky or an orange
- Lunch: Can of Progresso soup and 0 calorie flavored water – usually the ICE brand at Walmart
- Snack: 2 cookies, cupcake or any one serving of something sweet
- Dinner: Proper portion size of what ever my wife whips up – often a salad with meats and veggies
- Snack: String cheese, carrots or other fruits we have in the kitchen
Sticking to a diet plan such as this can greatly help curb your cravings throughout the day. It may sound like a lot of food to some, but increasing your physical activity will quickly offset what you consume.
5. Take Appetite Suppressing Supplements
Now, I’m not a big fan on dieting supplements that claim to help you burn fat. However, there are a few products I use that have proven to be very effective for myself. For example, the Emerge Body Slenderizing drink mix is incredible. Not only did it help curb my appetite, but the components in it are truly mood enhancers. I feel better both physically and mentally after having a scoop or two every day – one in the morning and one after lunch.
Not all supplements are ideal for everyone. Some things just may simply not work for you. That’s because everyone’s physiology is different. You may not be as susceptible to certain nutrients as other people. A lot of this will have to do with personal deficiencies. If you’re ever in any doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult a physician before taking any dieting supplement.
6. Low-Calorie Food Items
A great way to snack without hindering a diet plan is to choose edibles that are ultra-low-calorie. Lettuce, celery, asparagus and most other vegetables have some of the best nutrient value and the lowest calorie count. I know, you probably don’t want to trade in the chocolate ice cream for a couple of celery stalks, but it will prove greatly beneficial when dieting.
One of my favorite snacks is a raw spinach salad with shredded cheese. It has half of the calories than a single serving of a Hershey chocolate bar with roughly five times the food intake. Baby spinach leaves have approximately five calories in each cup. You can’t beat that when your dieting. It fills the stomach, delivers and incredible number of vitamins and minerals and costs less than a chocolate bar when broken down per serving. WHen it comes to snacking, you can’t go wrong with fruits and veggies.
7. Portion Out Your Food
When everyone in the house goes on the Lean for Life diet plan, they portion out all of the meats and veggies according to proper sizes. For example, three ounces of chicken is actually a single serving no matter what the restaurant tries to tell you. If you portion out your foods including the goodies, you can help curb the temptation of eating more.
One of my favorite snacks are Rolos. When I buy a bag of these, I portion out single servings. This is usually my sugary snack for the day. Because of this, the bag of Rolos will last me almost a week. When you want to lose weight while dieting, it’s all about keeping your food portions within tolerable limits.
8. Keeping Yourself Occupied
Many people start to snack when boredom rears. This is often the case in children. My kids will eat me out of house and home if they had nothing to do with their time. A lot of adults are the same way. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be strict boredom that causes this problem.
For me, I tend to snack when watching Netflix at my computer. I don’t get this way if I watch it on TV. Unfortunately, it has become a habit that is difficult to break. And that is the key point here: identifying what causes you to snack when dieting.
Keeping your focus on something can be a great way to circumvent snacking. For instance, I tend to eat less while playing a game on my computer as opposed to streaming video. Finding hobbies that will keep you active can also make a profound difference in eating habits as well as getting a bit of exercise in the process. Golf instantly springs to mind.
It All Centers Around You
Succeeding with any diet plan is going to center around your attitude towards the experience. If you are negative about losing weight or reducing your food intake, you will have a harder time adjusting. As long as you can eat in moderation and prevent yourself from over-snacking, you can enjoy some of the finer things at the grocery store. But, you have to truly want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle if you want to get the most out of the experience.
A lot of us can easily succumb to over-snacking throughout the day. As long as you can identify the catalysts that cause you to eat more, you can start curbing your intake. Enjoy your eating habits, but don’t let them control your life.