Are you a regular snacker? Is it the same time of day every day that the snacking starts? There are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you hungry? Is your stomach growling at you?
- Are you bored?
- Are you thirsty?
- Is it a habit that has formed that needs cracking?
Most the time it’s because you have formed a habit that needs cracking. For example, getting in from work and before tea you have 2-3 hours to kill before starting the tea you sit down with a cup of tea and think of food, a biscuit to dunk in your tea that tastes nice!! You need to replace the snacking for something else. Ideas are as follows:
- Go for an hour walk with the dog (if you have one) out in the fresh air and taking time out for you helps with your mind especially if you have been stuck in doors and have a sedentary job
- Read a book for an hour and take time
- Relax listening to your favourite upbeat music to keep you focused
- Start preparing your favourite home cooked food from scratch
- If possible, bring your tea time forward by an hour so if you eat at say 6pm eat at 5pm.
If you are finding that you are hungry and it is not possible to bring your evening meal forward due to family time, then try and have 4 meals a day instead of 3. You could have your breakfast at 7.30am, lunch at 12pm, light bite at 4pm and evening meal at 6pm. I would go for a slightly smaller lunch and evening meal or take out snacking completely and avoid the mid- morning and afternoon snack to accommodate for the calories for your light bite. If your calories are based on 1500 then try this as follows:
Breakfast: 300 calories
Lunch: 400 calories
Light bite: 200 calories
Evening meal: 400 calories
Milk for tea, coffee and porridge: 200 calories approx.
*You can see I have taken out snacking mid- morning and mid- afternoon to allow for the light bite.
Light bite ideas up to 200 calories:
- Small bananas (80g max), apple all chopped in 125g 0% Greek Yogurt at 195 calories which would also give you your 2 pieces of fruit and satisfy a sweet tooth
- 2 Ryvita crackers, 25g Philadelphia extra light cream cheese and a small bowl of mixed basic salad at 180 calories
- Big bowl of homemade mushroom soup at 188 calories- make a batch and freeze the soups makes it easier when you get in from work
- Warm beetroot and feta salad at 205 calories
- Roasted pepper soup from the book at just 147 calories
- 2 egg omelette made with no milk and add peppers, mushroom and onion to your taste at approx. 160 calories plain with vegetables added between 160- 200 calories
These ideas will be far more nutritious than snacking on cakes, biscuits, chocolate, jelly, toast, sweets and will also help to keep your blood sugars stable.