Do you feel like you’re snacking all day long? Whether you’re working from home or you keep a stash of snacks in your desk drawer, all day snacking may feel out of your control, especially when the kitchen is only a few steps away from your office. If you’re finding yourself in your pantry more often than you’d like, try these tips to take control.
Balance Your Plate at Your Meals
Eat regular meals that contain a source of protein (fish, meat, poultry, beans, soy products), fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans or legumes) and healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil). These nutrients help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full. Meals should be substantial enough to keep you full for several hours. If you find yourself hungry in an hour or two after a meal, you may not be eating enough at your meals. Read more about balancing your plate and eating to boost energy, naturally.
Choose energy-giving snacks
When snacking, choose ones that are filling and balanced as well. Instead of reaching for a handful of chips or a small piece of fruit, try to eat snacks that contain some protein, fiber, and fat, so they actually fill you up. BeBOLD bars are a perfect snack to keep you satisfied because they contain whole grains, nuts, and seeds, giving you a mix of protein, fiber, and fat. And remember, lower calorie is not always better. When you skimp on your meals or snacks, you’re going to be searching for more food soon after you’re done eating.
Eat Foods That Satisfy
It’s not only important to choose foods that fill you up and keep your blood sugar stable, but also ones that you find satisfying and enjoyable. Excess snacking is often a sign that your meals or snacks are not satisfying. An example of this would be if you wanted to eat a burger for a meal but instead chose a salad because it was the “healthier” option, but after you finish your salad, you are immediately seeking out snacks. That doesn’t mean you should always eat the burger, but be mindful about what foods will help you feel both satisfied and full.
Learn the Difference Between Hunger and Habit
Are you grazing all day because it’s become a habit that every time you finish a work call you look for a snack? Or, after every meal you eat something sweet? Has it become a habit that when you are bored, anxious, or feeling some other emotion that you reach for a snack? Or, are you truly hungry? If you’re hungry, see the above tips for ways to address constant snacking. However, oftentimes grazing is just a habit because food is nearby or it’s how you handle some emotions like boredom or stress. To stop this habit of using food to cope with your emotions, try replacing snacking with something like going for a walk around the block to get some fresh air and clear your mind — it’s better for your productivity and for your health!
Sarah Gold Anzlovar, MS, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian and the owner of Sarah Gold Nutrition, a virtual private practice and nutrition communications consulting business in the suburbs of Boston. She empowers busy moms to learn to eat to feel their best without the stress.