The majority of daily decisions are made without conscious thought and instead by habit. This trend carries over into our eating habits and often results in overeating. Even a few hundred calories a day can add up and make a big impact on our body composition. Try these 5 tricks to prevent mindless snacking.
Making a snack more difficult to obtain will disrupt the habit cycle. Avoid leaving snacks out in the open. Try moving snacks to the back of the refrigerator or higher up on a shelf. Put snacks within multiple bags or create additional steps. If all else fails, try removing snacks from your home all together. This extra work will force you to evaluate whether or not you want to snack. The answer will sometimes still be yes, but it will be a conscious decision.
Disorganize Your Kitchen
We all strive for a neatly organized kitchen. This allows us to efficiently know where every ingredient, utensil, and appliance is located. The downfall is our brains quickly pick up on these patterns and we begin navigating our way without thought. I am not recommending you create chaos, but instead every few months try shuffling around what shelf you store items on. When your body is operating on autopilot and reaches for a snack, it won’t be there. This will force your attention toward an evaluation of whether or not you actually want the snack.
Evaluate Your Meals
Often we snack for reasons other than hunger such as availability, boredom, or stress. On the occasion that your body is genuinely sending you hunger signals, it may be an indication your previous meal was lacking in an appropriate mix of macronutrients. A well balanced meal includes protein, fiber loaded vegetables, and a source of fat. If any of these are missing, it may trigger additional hunger signals shortly after eating.