Holy hammer, today the office chocolates were STARRING at me and I swear at one point the Turkish Delight actually said my name!!
I stayed strong today though, and over the years I’ve developed some strategy’s that I find really help me, so I hope they help you too. Here are my top tips for helping to reduce excess snacking:
· - Plan your snacks in advance. Either at the beginning of the week or beginning of the day, have your snacks planned, packed and ready to go. If I don’t have a plan for my afternoon snack, I’m more likely to graze all afternoon. If I know I’m having a bliss ball and a coffee, I’ll hold out and wait to have it (usually around 3:30pm) to get me through to dinner.
- Plan your treats. I plan my snacks right down to the two squares of dark chocolate I have after dinner with a cuppa. This is the time of day I enjoy having a treat the most, so knowing I’ve allowed for that keeps me off the random cakes/ lollies/ biscuits etc. throughout the day.
· - I repeat a mantra to myself – You’re not a slave to your emotions and impulses, you’re in total control.
· - I think about how that food will make me feel afterwards once the instant gratification has worn off. If you have weight loss or other health goal that extra snacking is not going to help you achieve, it feels bad to act out of alignment with those goals #regrets.
· - I don’t ban any food or food groups. Because once I do, I crave it in bucketloads. But if I have the mentality of all foods are available to me in abundance at all times, I’m more likely to snack moderately.
· - Abundance Vs Scarcity. Sometimes excess snacking can come from a place of scarcity. Ever get told as a kid that if you didn’t eat your dinner there would be nothing else? Or if you don’t eat your apple you can’t have a chocolate? These well meaning comments actually teach us that food is scarce and to value one type of food over another. So it’s no wonder a packet of tim tams in the house don’t last more than 24 hours. We value them highly and we worry there’s not enough to go around so we gobble them up. Another mantra to try:
Sometimes I just have to say to myself: you will survive if you don’t eat it (blunt, basic and true)
· Remove myself from the situation. Walk away, get some fresh air, make a cup of tea, make a phone call. Just a simple distraction is enough for the moment to pass.
Sometimes, we really do need an extra something to get us through our day. Often, people will run out and grab a protein bar instead of having the chocolate thinking they’re making the better choice. However, the average protein bar contains anywhere between 150 and 200 calories and often doesn’t satisfy the chocolate craving leading to a binge another time. A mini freddo frog contains 100 calories. So if you can stop at 1 freddo to satisfy your chocolate craving, you’re better off just having it, enjoying it and moving on. However if 1 freddo leads to 3, then perhaps the protein bar is the better, more satisfying choice. Just something to think about.
- It’s time to stop saying yes to the things you’d rather say no to. What you eat in private you wear in public. Next time the snacks are calling your name, you’ve got this!