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?