REMOVE the temptation. Hide it, throw it away, don’t buy it!!! You are way less likely to snack on a treat if you have to go out of the house to get it. So, do yourself a favor and don’t keep items in the cupboards that tempt you. My husband and I keep very little food around (in fact when guests visit, they think we are crazy) but this is one of the ways that we weight manage. I am the type of person that if I know chocolate is in the house, I will seek it out and I will eat it. So, it’s just better for me, not to have it around. Be honest with yourself and remove the foods that call your name.
Choose ACTIVITY over snacking. Let me warn you, this one won’t be easy but I promise you that the urge will go away if you distract yourself. And why not turn something potentially destructive into productive like walking on the treadmill, vacuuming, etc. I know I feel pretty great afterwards when I do this.
If the snacking urge is relentless, choose a healthy option like a fruit or vegetable. This is where you can decipher if it’s the snacking habit talking or you really need some energy. Tell yourself you can have a healthy option or nothing at all. The truth is always revealed when doing this and either outcome will be just fine on the waistline.
Drink zero to low calorie beverages. Did you know that most of the time you aren’t hungry, you just need to drink some water? If you want a bit of flavor add lemon or cucumber to it. Looking for something more? Grab a coke zero or vitamin water (just make sure it’s low cal as some of them can be quite high in calorie count).
Make it a rule to ONLY eat at the table and nowhere else (ahem, the couch). Snacking has become a habit formed out of boredom for many people. I’ve heard of people with snack drawers at the office and cmon’ who hasn’t accidentally eaten an entire bag of peanut m&m’s while watching their favorite tv show (totally me!). When I made the couch a resting spot and NOT a snacking spot everything changed for me. Now, don’t go depriving your family of popcorn & movie night on Fridays, that’s not what I am saying. That is special and a way you can keep it special is by keeping it a treat and not the norm. Remember the couch is a resting place NOT a snacking place! This helps me so much!
Eat less throughout the day and save your calories for supper. This is honestly my best trick! If I eat a hearty breakfast, it starts my metabolism and I am hungry all day long (and tend to snack) BUT, if I keep food to a minimum throughout the day, I hardly think about it and I look forward to a delicious supper. My tip: stick to beverages like low calorie smoothies or lattes throughout the day. If I eat anything, it’s only vegetables or fruit.
Use the scale daily to keep snacking at bay. Your weight is just a number and DOES NOT define you but I am a firm believer in weighing yourself to keep an eye on productive and non-productive eating days. Scales should keep you on track with your healthiest self. They should never tie you to a number, instead keep you aware of your eating choices.
Choose your treat days. If you have the mindset that you can’t eat treats you will crash and burn! But if you know that on Friday you can have pizza for supper, and eat fries with your burger on Saturday, you won’t feel the need to snack on treats all week long. I eat fairly low carb throughout the week and enjoy them on the weekend, like chocolate at my inlaws on Sundays, hehe.
Get your family members ON BOARD. If you are in this alone, you can succeed but it is going to be so much harder than if your husband, etc is on board. I understand that it can be tricky with kids (or maybe your husband is the stubborn one). You might have to lead by example for awhile but once your loved ones start seeing the results, they’ll want in on it too. And remember it’s not the worst thing if potato chips aren’t in the cupboards. I bet ya they are capable of picking up their favorite flavor at the grocery store or gas station.
Drink tea before bed! This is one of my favorite things that my husband and I do. It’s something that I look forward to because it’s quality time together and it keeps my mind off of snacks after supper because I know I get to have tea. Bonus, tea is zero calories -or minimal calories if you add in half a teaspoon of honey for a little zing like I do. xoxo