Snacking. We all do it, yet afterward, some feel guilty. Are we too hard on ourselves?
The Truth About Snacking
Snacking gets a bad rap from just about everyone. Growing up, our parents reminded us ‘not to spoil our appetite’ while magazine covers (remember those?) promised to teach us how to conquer our cravings! Eating between meals was a no-no, and that was that.
Today, we are a little more knowledgeable about the science behind snacking. The good news it’s no longer as evil as we previously thought. Well, that is as long as you are willing to snack responsibly.
Responsible Snacking: How Can You Do It the Right Way
Noshing without shame does come with a few rules. Luckily they are not as restrictive as you might think:
- Recognize snacking myths. Despite what you were told, healthy eating between meals does not always lead to weight gain. In fact, responsible snacking can prevent excess hunger and help you to avoid overeating at the next meal.
- Redefine your definition of ‘snack food.’ Most snackers reach for processed foods loaded with carbs or sugars. Choosing these foods is not responsible snacking. Instead, enjoy natural food such as fruit, nuts, or low-fat.
- Realign your emotional connection with food. Your mental state can have a tremendous impact on when and how much you snack, as well as what you choose to eat. Boredom, depression, or stress often triggers overeating. Find an alternative way to deal with emotions, like exercise instead of eating your feelings.
- Eat with intent. This rule goes for any time you eat, but especially when you are snacking. Never eat and do something else, whether watching TV or carrying on a conversation with your friends. The more conscious you are about eating, the less likely you are to ignore the feeling satiated.
- Make it easy to eat healthy and harder to eat junk. Don’t bring unhealthy food into your home. Less accessibility means you are less likely to go out of your way to eat something unhealthy. On the flip side, make healthy snacks more convenient to choose by stocking up and pre-portioning bulk foods.