6 Tips to Overcome Snack Attacks

Do you struggle with afternoon or evening snacking?

These are common times where we might be more apt to reach for the sugary or salty foods. Sometimes it is such a habit that we sabotage that day’s hard work in one swift move. I know I’ve personally done it. It took a lot of hard work to reign it in until it wasn’t totally damaging, and then more hard work to get it under control… or at least as under control as it can be.

Today I would like to share with you some of the tips I have found to help me manage my afternoon and evening snacking.

#1: Go for the lower calorie snacky foods.

If you feel an uncontrollable urge to grab something and you just can’t summon the energy to fight for control, reach for lower calorie snack foods such as marshmallows, dry cereal that is low in sugar, crackers, etc.

#2: Cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time.

Another great idea is to cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time. If you have some small containers for dips, get those prepared with low fat dressings, nut butters, or other healthy dips to dip your fruit and veggies into. Then when the snack monster rears its ugly head, you have something prepared and easy to grab.

#3: Divvy up other snacks into baggies.

Measure out other types of snacks into baggies such as nuts, seeds, cheeses, low-sugar and high-protein cereals, dried fruit such as raisins/cranberries, popcorn (without a ton of butter), crackers, etc. Make sure to keep the portion sizes manageable and store the baggies in a place where you can see and grab them as needed. You might even consider using a permanent marker to write on the baggies how much is in there and how many calories it is so it’s easier to figure out which is best to grab at any given moment.

#4: Plan snacks ahead for the times you feel most snacky.

This one works really well if you like planning. In the early parts of the day, maybe when you have just eaten breakfast, think ahead to what you can have for your afternoon and evening snacks. Keep in mind things that are healthy and filling, that will leave you feeling satisfied and content. Pairing a fruit or veggie with a protein for your afternoon snack could really help your energy levels. Some fiber and/or protein in the evening can help you feel satisfied so that you’re not reaching for the less desirable foods.

#5: Keep your mind and hands busy.

Keeping yourself busy during the times of day you feel most drawn to snacking, especially when boredom eating is playing a part, can help a ton! Figure out some activities that keep your mind and hands/body busy such as taking a walk, going out in nature, reading, writing, cleaning or other housework, playing games, etc. Anything that keeps you busy enough to keep you away from snacking is a good idea.

#6: Drink your water.

Staying on top of your water intake is a great way to combat snacking as well. Sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re actually thirsty. Stay on top of how much water you’re drinking, and also finding the sweet spot of how much water you should be drinking each day, can turn out to be one of the best weapons in your arsenal against snacking.

What are your favorite ways to overcome your snack attacks?

 

~Bonnie~

Going Back to Basics

You know when you’re going along and things are smooth sailing, but then you hit a big bump in the road and everything goes haywire? Yeah, we all know how that goes!

Going back to basics

Sometimes it is completely necessary to take a step back and view the big picture again. We continuously need to reevaluate our goals in order to move forward. Sometimes it is also necessary to go back to the beginning, or another time when we were more successful before we hit a bump. Those times are when you try to pick up where you left off and move forward at the same rate but your body and mind fight you every step of the way. You’re not going to be successful if your mind is standing in your way or if you go too hard, too fast.

This is why we take a step back, start over, or simply go back to basics by employing the strategies and habits that helped us in the beginning. When were you the most successful with your weight loss, fitness, or healthy eating? What were you doing then? Take what you were doing and start doing it again now. You may have way more knowledge and abilities now, but if you take a step back it can help tremendously!

It kind of goes along with that saying, “Never forget where you came from.” We have to remember where we started when we’re losing weight and improving our health. Sometimes we just get so caught up in what we’re doing that we forget. The struggle is so all-consuming that we have tunnel vision, or we’re so wrapped up in the results that we forget that we need to focus on the other important stuff as well.


Now I’m going to share with you a bit about my life lately, because I have come to the point where I need to heed this advice. It is a little disappointing but exciting at the same time because I know it worked for me in the past.

October was a bad month for me. Sure, it got off to a great start with my 27th birthday and an absolutely wonderful one at that, but it went downhill fast from there.

The night before my birthday I started feeling sick, like sneezy and congested sick. Still my birthday itself was awesome, I spoiled myself and let myself eat basically what I wanted, and I was also spoiled by others. I received quite a few gifts, more than I had on my birthday in a long time!

However, letting myself basically eat what I wanted on my birthday and being sick at the same time resulted in me having bad cravings for carbs in the following days. It took me quite a while to get back to normal. Then I kind of took a lax approach with my eating the week after that because I was still sick and stressed out, and I didn’t want worrying about my eating to add to my stress.

The following week, just when I was getting back on track and had 3 good days under my belt, my uncle died unexpectedly and that hit me really hard. I wasn’t super close but he had always been such a positive role model in my life and it hurt so bad that he was gone. I let myself eat more again because I still didn’t want to add to my stress. It took a good week as well as a visit with my therapist to return to some sort of normalcy, emotions wise.

Now it’s been about five days since I started feeling more positive again. I have had two days where I went over my calories, but not by much. I have had three days where I was within range. I’m doing my best to stay on track and refocus. I also need to baby step back into working out and building muscle consistently again… because due a whole month of no strength training, and not much cardio during that time either, I have lost a majority of the muscle I worked so hard to gain.

So my goals for November:

  • Go back to what worked for me in the beginning with my eating: When I first started out, I made it a goal to be in my calorie range 5 days a week minimum, with two days a week where I could go over my calories by 300-500. This time I will keep it to 300 or less over my calories on those two days but the principle is the same… if I have those days to look forward to, eating within my range the other five will be easier and less overwhelming. It worked well for me before so I know it will help me now.
  • Baby steps to exercise and build muscle again: My plan is to take it easy on the elliptical at the gym, start slow with my half marathon training plan that I set up for myself, and to continue walking or doing walking videos but taking it easy with those too.
  • Exercise sessions/time:
    • Strength training will be 2 times a week, with two rounds of each exercise. I am going back to 3lb dumbbells, which makes me feel like a wimp because I had been using 5lbs and doing well with those, but today’s strength training session made me sore even with the smallest dumbbells available at the gym so it’s definitely necessary!
    • Elliptical will be 20 minutes to start with and 3 times a week, focusing on changing the resistance levels and not pushing too hard because that has caused me bone/joint pain when I try. I will step back up to 30 minutes on the elliptical when I know my body is ready.
    • Half marathon training will be 2 times a week to start: 15 seconds maximum jogging at a time, walking to warm up a minimum of 1 mile before doing the first jogging interval because I feel that’s what my muscles and feet need to ease into this.
    • Walking/walking videos will be 2-3 times a week with a goal of 30-45 minutes outside maximum, or 30 minutes maximum indoors with videos.

So there you have it, I still need to go back to basics sometimes. This isn’t necessarily all “basics” for me but you get the idea!

What are your goals for November? It will be a busy month for a lot of us but we are strong and powerful, and we can stick to our goals!

~Bonnie~