Jump to content

Tips to stop snacking


Big Adam

Recommended Posts

Hey Folks, I could use some advice on a habit I'm trying to change right now.  I've noticed that I tend to eat between meals a lot, especially when I'm bored.  This tends to be a problem especially on weekends.  On Friday nights I'll get home from work and fix myself a nice healthy dinner.  But even though I'm satisfied from my dinner, I still feel like eating and I have a strong desire to take some snack with me as I read/play video games/whatever.  It often ends up that after dinner I keep snacking off and on until 8 or 9 o clock.  In addition to the fact that I'm just eating a lot of extra food that I'm not hungry for, I tend to desire junk food a lot more when snacking.  All of my main meals are paleo, but when I'm bored and snacking, I tend to crave Ice Cream, peanut butter, or something like chips and crackers that I can just munch on.

 

Has anyone else had a similar issue with eating out of boredom?  Any tips for changing the habit?

Sky Pirate Monk

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 

NF Character

 

Battle Log

 

 

Impossible is just a word people use to make themselves feel better when they quit - Vyse the Blue Rogue

 

Link to post

Yeah, I share your problem too! I try to curb my cravings by drinking a lot of water (but it's somewhat helpful)

Looking forward to any suggestions.

Class and Profession: Rangers
Background: 25 year old Nerdling. Here to kick some health......butt?? I need to work on that.

Current Challenge: Hani Gets Back On The Health Choo-Choo

 

Link to post

Thanks Hulk, that is a good suggestion.  I should have mentioned that I live with my parents and although I've asked that they keep less ice cream in the house, there's still plenty of junk to be had.

 

At the moment, I'm trying to establish the habit of making a cup of tea immediately after a meal and letting that signal the end of eating until my next meal.  I'm hoping that it will provide a similar reward to what the snacking provided while allowing me to get a little more control over the amount of food I consume in a day.  When one snacks mindlessly throughout they day, he usually has no idea just how much food he's eating.  When the eating windows are condensed into concrete "meals", it's a lot easier to see how much one has eaten and figure out if any changes need to be made.

 

I'll let you all know how the tea habit goes and see if it helps me to stop wanting snacks so much!

Sky Pirate Monk

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 

NF Character

 

Battle Log

 

 

Impossible is just a word people use to make themselves feel better when they quit - Vyse the Blue Rogue

 

Link to post

Oh, that makes it harder for sure. A good cup of tea is something nice.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that brushing your teeth helps keep one self from snacking, especially if the toothpaste is pepperminty. This might also work with tea or the occasional chewing gum ;)

Another thing that's mentioned often is having "good" snacks around. Carrots and cucumbers and celery in sticks, prepacked in a tupperware in the fridge. If you feel like chewing, get those out and you won't even have to count the calories because they are basically non-existent ;)

Link to post

Hi Big Adam.  I think you hit the nail on the head in recognizing that this eating is not from hunger, but from habit.  I'm struggling with this too.  I snack too often at work.  My cue is when I kick off a long running query, I walk over by the snack station.  Too often, I give in.

 

This guide to changing habits is written by Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit.

 

http://duhigg-site.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/A-guide-to-changing-habits.pdf

Adventurer  Level: 1  Stats: Strength - 1, Dexterity - 2, Stamina - 4, Constitution - 2, Wisdom - 1, Charisma - 0

 

Current Challenge: Run the Town

100%
100%

 

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff" - 10th Doctor

Link to post

Interesting idea with the tea trick.

I used to have major midnight snack mania. I gradually weened myself off by making healthier choices (Mellon, strawberries, one piece string cheese), then eventually stopping. Also, I count calories, and it helps me recognize when a snack is truly needed versus just satisfying aimless hunger.

Class and Profession: Level 23 Borg Queen 

 

Link to post

Eating out of boredom -- story of my life! It takes a lot of self-control, but having a food log in my battle log where people can read and keeping track of my calories on MFP (and opening up the settings so that my friends on MFP can see my food diary if they so choose) has kept me from giving into most cravings. I second the brushing your teeth advice; if it's the end of the night and my brain still wants food but my stomach is decidedly not hungry, I go and brush my teeth to try to send the signal to the brain that no, we're done. Drinking water to curtail mindless snacking helps. Or, again like others have said, keep healthful snacks like veggies around. 

Vicki | Sheikah Bard | Level 13

STR 32.5 | DEX 51.1 | STA 25.5 | CON 37.1 | WIS 26.0 | CHA 31.3

blkhoe24601 Gains the Power to Revolutionize the World

Past Challenges: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13

2016 Battle Log

Link to post

Something that helped me was actually eating when I wasn't hungry. VERY SPECIFIC FOODS.

 

Basically, I realized I ate worse when I was hungry or bored, so I started eating all the time, but broccoli and carrots and celery. Only veggies, fruit now and again. That was it outside of meals. Now, I prefer my veggies un-cooked so aside from having to buy them, this really didn't take much effort, and because it was broccoli and carrots and celery its not like I was dumping a ton of extra calories on my body. Eating an extra head of broccoli was certainly not going to slow down my weight loss, especially compared to cookies, or ice cream or whatever else. So I wasn't ever really hungry, and the habit could slowly be broken.

Link to post

I also snack when bored and had to really battle it when I had my medical marijuana card (pot was wonderful for my medical conditions but could give me raging munchies). As others have mentioned, counting calories is helpful to see if you really need to eat or not. I also pay close attention to my protein intake.

 

I now try to wait at least 15 minutes, and usually more like 30 minutes, from the time I decide that I want to snack to the time that I actually eat something. The delay helps me determine whether I'm actually hungry or if I'm just bored. If I am hungry, I'll slice up an apple and 1 oz of cheese. I use really thin slices, because then it takes longer to eat. I don't pick up another slice until I am finished chewing and have swallowed. If I'm really hungry and notice that I haven't consumed my body weight in grams of protein, I will have a protein shake. Depending on the number of calories available to me late in the day, I'll make the protein shake with 2% milk, So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk (45 calories for 8 oz), or even just water. I use either Wegman's or Jay Robb protein powder (if mixing with just water, I only use Jay Robb's because it tastes better). The absolute best post-dinner snack for me is 8 oz cow milk with chocolate protein powder and a couple of ice cubes. It tastes just like chocolate milk and the ice cubes make it hard to guzzle it all down at once.

Aeshnidae, The Girl with the Dragonfly Tattoo


Human Ranger


Level 4 | STR 9 | DEX 8 | STA 5 | CON 5 | WIS 8 | CHA 3


 


Aeshnidae Flips the Bird at Being Sick | Battle Log | Skull Crushers III


Intro Post | MFP | 2nd Challenge


 


"Fire bad, tree pretty."


"Nothing but the rain..."

Link to post

I like the idea of drinking a cup of tea after your meal to signal the end of your eating until the next meal Big Adam.

 

I also live with my parents and younger siblings and there is always snacks lying around the place which makes it increasingly difficult to stick to healthy eating. I'm almost battling myself at times to stay away from them.

Race: Satyr Level 1 Class: Adventurer

Assassin at heart, training with the Adventurers
[sTR 5] [DEX 1] [sTA 2] [CON 2] [WIS 2] [CHA 3]

 

I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game

Link to post

I've had this issue since I was around 13-14 and dealing with severe depression, and while the depression mostly eased off the eating has unfortunately stuck around.

 

Switching over to healthier or at least not-utterly-god-awful snacks has been a massive help for me, both in that its better than junk food and that (at least for me) I actually get fuller out of it. The money I used to spend on junk food I now spend on fruits I like or anything else better that I know I'll actually eat. Its hard to eat garbage when there isn't any around.

 

I don't know your money situation but if its not great I completely sympathise, there's three of us living here with maybe 400$ a month going into groceries so its not always easy, but its definitely doable, at least to a point.

  • Like 1
Link to post

Ah, snacking :D Seems like you know your trigger: being bored. I have the exact same trigger, and it's been a long path to learn how to deal with it. Keeping an emotional eating diary helped me to see that my hunger was usually just emotional, a habit.

 

Some coping strategies:

 

- stop and take a few deep breaths. Try to identify, whether you're hungry or bored

- drink a glass of water or tea

- distract yourself. Playing games is a good way of staying away from the fridge (also knitting, watching a movie, drawing, going out for a walk...)

- listen to some music that makes you wanna dance!!

 

Whatever your coping strategy, it has to make you feel good. Music is especially good for this, just pick your favourite happy song and listen to it. Dance a little, if that's your cup of tea :D

-:*~ Journal ~*:-

Link to post

Brush your teeth after your meals. It'll not only help with your dental hygiene but it will also effectively tell your body the eating time is over (plus, food always tastes awful with toothpaste).

"No-one tells a T-Rex when to go to sleep".

- Jim Wendler

Link to post

I used to snack between meals as well. Now I don't as much since I started working out more. Between not buying the junkfood and not being hungry for it anymore, it's not a problem for me now. It certainly used to be. I was told to stick to the outside of the store mostly, where the fresh produce, eggs, etc are, because most of it's a lot better for you than much found in the center aisles. I found that to be helpful, because if I don't buy it, I won't want it. Besides, these days, an apple tastes better than most of the junk...

DireWolfCurse

Don't think about it, just DO it.

My Challenge  Battle Log  My Epic Quest

Link to post

I try to read topics before I reply to them. Disclaimer: I only skimmed this time, after reading the OP. Someone may have already said this.

 

I'd like to suggest you start by changing what you snack on. I'm not convinced that snacking, in and of itself, is unhealthy. But I shared your problem with junk food- especially sweets.

 

I keep a bag of nuts at work, and at home. Usually these are almonds, and often flavored ones at that, but I am careful with the ingredient lists. It gets good fat into my system, with a little bit of protein, and helps curb my appetite.

 

Also, often we feel hungry when in fact we're partially dehydrated. If you haven't already, try upping the amount of water you drink. If you feel the need to grab a snack, start with a glass of water. If you're still munchy after that, go for a handful of almonds or walnuts, or something. 

 

That's what worked for me.

  • Like 1
Link to post

Besides what Hulk said (as in, don't keep unhealthy crap at your place) thewritescott is in the right of it.

 

What's worked for me best was a toll snack. As in: you want to destroy a bag of chips, first eat an apple (or any healthier replacement). If after finishing you're still craving that junk snack then have at it. The crave usually disappears.

  • Like 1

MOTUS VIRTUTE - STRENGTH TRAINING THROUGH THE EYES OF AN ENTHUSIAST

Link to post

For me, I started replacing my chips and junk with lower cal snacks. This way I don't feel deprived. But changing the behavior as others have suggested is prob better in the long term, so is fruit/veggies.

 

Turkey jerky. It's a bit a high in sodium but low in fat, cals, etc. Takes a while to chew.

 

Popcorn (not microwavable), popped with hot air popper. Same deal as turkey jerky.  

 

Rice cakes, plain, not flavored kind.

 

These are substitutes for salty snacks. I usually get the craving when watching TV.

  • Like 1
Link to post

Thanks for the good advice, everyone!  There were a lot of good suggestions in there.  Keeping healthy options around is definitely a good strategy.  I love baby carrots, so maybe I'll look around to see if I can buy a ton of them cheap.

Sky Pirate Monk

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 

NF Character

 

Battle Log

 

 

Impossible is just a word people use to make themselves feel better when they quit - Vyse the Blue Rogue

 

Link to post

I'm glad you asked this question - this is my problem as well. Having just started trying to clean up my lifestyle, I'm trying to take it one step at a time - rather than eliminate all the snacks, just replace them with something that isn't as bad and clean up my actual meals. In my case things are complicated  touch by not having anywhere to store a lunch at work - options end up being all of the fast food choices you can imagine, with nothing healthy at any of them.

 

Jerkey sounds like a good alternative - salty maybe, but better than sitting at my desk with a bag of chips or whatever. Are there other suggested snack foods that don't require refrigeration?

 

Increasing water intake is an interesting idea that never occured to me, I will do that and see if it helps as well. Water is plentiful, at least :P

Link to post

In my case things are complicated  touch by not having anywhere to store a lunch at work - options end up being all of the fast food choices you can imagine, with nothing healthy at any of them.

 

 

Is there a grocery store nearby? You might be able to pick something up at lunch that way, and avoid the fast foods. Also, how about investing in an igloo cooler?

Link to post

What works for me is: 

  • Always having a glass of water nearby
  • Chewing gum
  • Setting myself a weekly limit to the number of "bad-snacks" I can have and sticking to that limit.  

Level 5 Shapeshifter Monk


STR 10.75   :   DEX 7.5  :   STA 8.5   :   CON 5   :   WIS 7.5   :   CHA 7


 


Challenge: I am an Avenger


Past: 1st, Draugr, Super-hero, Rocky


 


  A soon-to-be married Kung Fu enthusiast  

Link to post

What works for me is:

  • Always having a glass of water nearby
  • Chewing gum
  • Setting myself a weekly limit to the number of "bad-snacks" I can have and sticking to that limit.

So, can I have minty chewing gums for them snacky times? Because, my friends at college are always pulling me to the canteen and stuffing themselves crisps and I successfully avoid all that stuff but all the smells make me hungry.

This message was brought to you by "my five fingers and co."backed up by, "the jolt of electrical signals from my brain speeding through a network of nerves and ganglia".

Class and Profession: Rangers
Background: 25 year old Nerdling. Here to kick some health......butt?? I need to work on that.

Current Challenge: Hani Gets Back On The Health Choo-Choo

 

Link to post

Is there a grocery store nearby? You might be able to pick something up at lunch that way, and avoid the fast foods. Also, how about investing in an igloo cooler?

 

A cooler is a great idea; I have a cooler lunch bag and if I toss in a very small ice pack, my food stays cold for many, many hours. If you're looking for something to keep your food warm, this Crock-Pot food warmer is also great for taking to the office.

Aeshnidae, The Girl with the Dragonfly Tattoo


Human Ranger


Level 4 | STR 9 | DEX 8 | STA 5 | CON 5 | WIS 8 | CHA 3


 


Aeshnidae Flips the Bird at Being Sick | Battle Log | Skull Crushers III


Intro Post | MFP | 2nd Challenge


 


"Fire bad, tree pretty."


"Nothing but the rain..."

Link to post

Brush your teeth after your meals. It'll not only help with your dental hygiene but it will also effectively tell your body the eating time is over (plus, food always tastes awful with toothpaste).

 

This is a great idea!

 

If you can't get yourself to brush, trying snacking on some almonds, walnuts. I like frozen berries. Try adding some good quality dark chocolate to the mix.

No.1 thing to cut from your diet! <---  Subscribe to my Health and Fitness newsletter.

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines