When I was packing on the pounds and on a fast-track to 300 lbs, my main vice was snacking. I love snacks. Always have and always will, but I had to learn to restrain myself.
Snacking is the downfall to any diet, they’re fast, delicious and too easy to get your hands on.
In this short article, I’m going to share with you some of the methods I’ve used in the past to keep my snacking to a minimum. This can help you stay on your diet, and help keep you in line with your weight loss goals.
Here we go:
Try Fasting (But Consult a Doctor First!)
Fasting is one of things that helped me a lot when I was cutting down weight. I tried many different forms of it, but I found I got the best results from intermittent fasting. This involved fasting between 20 – 23 hours a day and allocating a short period of time to consume all the calories I had planned over that period.
Why is this great for fighting snacking? Because you can’t snack if you’re not allowed to eat. By restricting your eating window, you can be the boss of when you eat and when you don’t.
This can allow you to prep a nice healthy and filling meal for that day, with no real wiggle room snacks. When you’re eating window comes, you eat your large meal, finish up, and then start a new fast. While you’re under fasting rules, you can’t squeeze in any treats to sacrifice your diet.
It’s simple, but effective.
Brush Your Teeth
This one goes out to all my friends who enjoy a late snack while watching TV. I was guilty of this too, but there’s an easy way to fight it.
Brushing your teeth. When you get home after work or a hard day of being your great self, set the table, have your dinner and once you’ve let it digest go and brush your teeth early.
This is a great method. You’re not going to eat after you’ve brushed your teeth. We all know what it’s like to have something sweet after a mouthful of toothpaste. It’s not great.
If you make yourself brush your teeth after you’ve had you’re evening meal, you won’t want to eat anything else for the evening. While spoil all your good work?
Again, another method that’s easy to do, and also promotes great oral hygiene. You can’t lose.
Drink More Water
This method is very overlooked and one of the most effective for fighting hunger: drinking more water.
Why? Because sometimes thirst can decide itself as hunger. This does happen and I’ve noticed it with myself a lot of the time. Sometimes you’ll find yourself craving moisture heavy food, when really all you need is a good drink of water.
A good way to test this for when you next get hungry, pour yourself a tall glass of water, drink it, and let it sit in your stomach for a good 10 minutes.
Then ask yourself if you’re still hungry. If it’s a snack that you were craving, there’s a strong chance that you feel like you don’t need it as much as you thought you did.
Distract Yourself (It’s not that hard!)
If you’re hungry, on a diet and feel like you can’t make it to your meal time – you need to remember the old saying “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.”
Okay, we don’t need to go that extreme, but chances are you’re not going to die if you hold off until dinner. A good way to get around the looming hunger is to distract yourself.
Getting stuck into your work, a good book, TV show, computer game or whatever form of distraction that entertains you most is usually a good way of avoiding hunger. You’d be surprised about how fickle your hunger can be.
Set a Cheat Day
I am a strong believer in cheat days. There is some evidence that it can kick start your metabolism to help you burn more calories throughout a week of dieting, but I have a different view.
You need it for you mental health.
If you are on a hardcore diet of steamed veg, skinless chicken breast and sadness, chances are you’re not going to stay on that path. It’s not a sustainable lifestyle – you need to enjoy yourself a little.
I tend to give myself either a ‘cheat day’ or a ‘cheat meal’ where I give myself a complete pass on whatever I eat once a week. The only catch is that I’m not allowed to cheat on my diet at all aside from that time. That way I can’t outweigh my ‘calories out vs calories in’ balance for that week no matter how hard I try.
This is also good for helping you keep up with social events such as meals out with friends, your partner or whatever function you have coming up that may be centered around food.
There are numerous methods that you can use to help keep yourself from ruining your diet and caving to snacks.
I’m a big fan of fasting of late, but I think the winner here has to be the brushing of the teeth after the final meal of the day. It’s hard to snack of freshly brushed teeth, and who wants the taste of what follows that? Yuck!
I hope this was helpful, and wish you lots of luck in your fight against the snack!