I’m a known snacker - when I feel a snack attack creeping up to the surface, there’s no stopping me from those raiding the fridge and every single cupboard in the kitchen - which is not always filled with the healthiest things. Luckily, we’ve figured out a few tips to help keep snacking healthy so you can enjoy little treats without the guilt throughout the day.
1. Cut Fruit into Bite-Sized Pieces
Snacking companies love creating bite-sized snacks and advertising them as such because people eat more of them. This is because of the effect small treats have on the dopamine system - it acts a tease as the bite-sized treat releases a little dopamine but doesn’t satisfy completely and the next thing you know, the bottom of the box is staring up at you. Cut up fruit into cute, bite-sized pieces instead of reaching over to a packaged good so you can eat large quantities without the health sabotage.
2. Buy Produce in Season
Foods in season always taste better. For example, berries in the winter are bound to be mushy and expensive so no wonder they don’t satisfy you. Check out your local farmer’s market to see what fruits are in season and stock up on those.
3. Buy Healthy Snacks
If you keep something unhealthy in the house, there’s going to be temptation. Don’t strain your will power and start buying exclusively healthy snacks. This way, you won’t have anything to tempt you and you won’t have a chance to indulge in something unhealthy.
4. Eat Mindfully
Become conscious of what you’re eating. Chew 20 times and savor what you’re eating. Most of the time, we eat unconsciously - in front of the TV, while walking, while driving. Just put your energy into eating and the more attention you pay to your food, the more dopamine is released and you’ll be more satisfied - curbing that temptation to reach for a sugary treat after.
5. Avoid Diet Foods like the Plague
Foods labelled as “diet foods” are generally unhealthier, more processed versions the real thing. If you have a low-carb cookie, it’ll probably make your yearning for the real thing stronger. Instead, have a small piece of good quality dark chocolate and really savor the experience of eating it. Denying your craving could just make the temptation stronger and lead to binging.
6. Eat Filling Meals
If you have meals that are satisfying, healthy, and that you enjoy - you’ll less likely to think “Am I hungry? Should I snack?” Have a filling meal with vegetables and plant-based protein so that your body is nourished till the next meal.
7. Sugar is Sweet Misery
The most dangerous white powder to the human health is sugar. It acts as a drug, the more you have the more your sweetness tolerance is raised and the more you crave sweeter things. Artificial sweeteners, though may be devoid of calories and sugar, still increase your craving for sugar. Too much processed sweetness in your diet will make the sweetness of whole foods such as fruits and vegetables unenjoyable. Time to ditch the diet sodas.
I hope these tips helps a fellow snacker as much as it did me. Let us know if you have any snacking tips that work for you.