Are you one of those people who graze -- grabbing food and eating it all day long? Have you ever eaten a whole bag of potato chips and not even realized it? Eating just 100 extra calories every day can lead to a 10-pound weight gain over the course of a year. Take control of your snacking habits today!
Plan of action:
1. Divide your snacks into portions. Never eat straight from the bag. After eating your snack portion, wait 15 minutes. If you are still hungry, then you can go for seconds.
2. Choose snacks that are nutrient dense such as hummus and carrots, hard-boiled eggs and tomatoes, or non-fat plain yogurt and fruit. Adding protein to your snack will help you feel full longer and keep those food cravings at bay.
3. Listen to your gut: Before putting food in your mouth, stop and ask yourself “Am I hungry?” There are many reasons why we may want food including boredom and being emotional. Try to eat only when you are physically hungry.
4. Change activities before eating: Go for a ten-minute walk, practice yoga or journal. After changing activities, if you are still hungry then go ahead and fix yourself a snack.
5. Eat at regular intervals. Eating every three to four hours will stabilize blood sugar and prevent you from becoming overly hungry.
6. If you can’t control yourself with certain foods, don’t buy them or keep them in your house. You can’t control every environment, but you can fill your space with healthy options.
Bottom Line: What seems like a small calorie decision in the moment can add up throughout the day and year. Be aware of how all your food choices, even little ones, impact your total caloric intake. To boost your health efforts, be mindful of what and why you are eating.
Written by: Kelsey Bird, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern