Once you start snacking, it's hard not to stop — you can't just eat one! Not a good thing if you're trying to lose or maintain your weight since mindless munching can add up to hundreds of extra calories a week. Here are some ways to break bad snacking habits.
- Measure and be done: Eating directly out of the package almost always means eating your way to an empty bag. Read the label to find out what a serving size is, measure it out, close up the package, and take your snack elsewhere to eat.
- Steer clear of the M&M's bowl: If your co-workers keep candy on their desks and you can't help but grab a handful every time you stop by, opt for IM or email when you need to talk.
- Keep food out of sight: Just seeing food can be a temptation, so be sure to keep snacks and baked goods off your desk and kitchen counters (unless it's fruit of course!).
- Grab that bottle: Thirst is often confused for hunger; taking sips of water when you feel a snacking urge coming on can help, and the water will also fill your belly.
- Freshen your breath: Minty breath might make you think twice about reaching for a snack. Brush your teeth or chew minty gum after meals to prevent eating more when you're not even hungry.
- Don't eat just because someone else is: You head over to a friend's house and she is noshing on a bowl of popcorn. Before grabbing a handful think to yourself, "Am I actually hungry?" If the answer is no, ask for a glass of water to sip on instead.
Keep reading for more ways to prevent mindless snacking.
- Beat boredom without food: If you tend to reach for food when you have nothing else to do, break the cycle by going for a walk, calling a friend, playing an instrument, or reading a book.
- Don't eat in front of a screen: Chomping while watching TV or working on the computer means you're not really paying attention to what you're eating. Before you know it, you've devoured an entire plate of food within minutes. Whenever you eat, make sure to sit down at the table and take your time, chewing completely between each bite.
- Snack with a purpose: Set up a regular snacking time complete with planned out, healthy 150-calorie snacks like these, to avoid grabbing the quickest (and most likely unhealthy) snack later.
- Don't buy junk: Don't have sweets and other junk food in the house so it can't call to you from the kitchen.
- Hit the hay: Late-night snacking can be the hardest habit to break, especially when you're actually hungry. If you're staying up way past your bedtime, enough to be hungry well after dinner, than try going to bed a littler earlier to avoid the need to pig out right before bed.