Mindful Snacking While at Home

by Trista Yuan

 

While snacks are a great source of fuel to get us through the day (and night), it seems like many of us, have a concern about the non-stop munching at home. Know that it’s experienced by a lot of individuals. It’s hard to resist those tempting snacks when you are stuck at home and they are within arm’s reach.

Baby Yoda Quarantreats

Source: healthbeet.org

Don’t want to eat all your quarantine snacks in a day? Below are some tips for you to reduce snaccidents!

Tip 1. Listen to your hunger cues and avoid mindless eating

Be mindful of what your body wants. Ask yourself before you are about to snack: “am I feeling hungry, or am I just using it as a coping mechanism when I’m bored, tired or stressed?”.

If you are not hungry, try doing something other than mindless eating. You can divert your attention to activities such as trying something new, organizing your place, doing exercises, and writing a journal. For example, I have set up a routine where I work out with friends on Zoom every day. Sometimes we try intense workout challenges and sometimes we just do silly dance moves. Apart from taking my mind off of snacking, it is super fun and energizing.

On the other hand, it is important to avoid excessive hunger, as it can drive you to nutrient-empty food choices and overeating at your next meal.

Tip 2. Take Control Over the Portion Sizes

People tend to eat almost everything that’s in front of them, especially when it comes to snacks. This is also why food companies are selling more “club” or “jumbo” sized products. Have you stocked up on those big bulk packages in preparation for social distancing? No worries if you did – just means you know how to spend your money (unless it was toilet paper).

However, always re-portion them yourself. Instead of snacking from the original package, divide the snacks into smaller portions beforehand and take one at a time. You’d be surprised by the difference this makes compared to just munching from the original portion.

Did you know about US Portion Sizes?

Source: me.me

Tip 3. Stay Hydrated

Good hydration is one of the easiest and most important things we can do to take care of our bodies. The more hydrated you are, the less likely you will feel hungry, so be sure to keep water near you at all times and try to sip it consistently throughout the day. Especially if you are eating foods that are high in salt, sugar, or fat (which are most snacks).

Tip 4. Hide Your Treats

Can’t stop seeing the treats around your place? Feel like they are calling your name? Then put them away – somewhere you can’t see and takes effort to access! It could be the top kitchen cabinet, a box in the basement, or drawers and high shelves. You might still think about them from time to time, but at least now you won’t be constantly exposed to them when you walk around your place. Plus, the more barriers you set, the less likely you will be eating snacks mindlessly.

Tip 5. Make Your Own Snacks

Now that you are stuck at home for a while, it is the best time to try making your own snacks! This way, you’ll engage yourself in an activity and you’ll know exactly what’s in them. You can tailor the ingredients to your preferences. There are many good (and simple) recipes online for you to experiment. Not only do you get to enjoy the fruit of your own work, but also the process! Lots of people find cooking and baking fun and relaxing, even more so than eating the finished product.

Let's make woofles

Source: lolpix.com

Tip 6: Cut Yourself Some Slack!

At the end of the day, don’t be so hard on yourself. This is an uncertain and stressful time and self-care is important. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself with your soul foods – as long as there is a healthy balance. A good rule is to have one treat per day and one more if you are feeling down or having intense cravings. If you went overboard in the morning, you can do better in the afternoon. If you had a bad day, there is always tomorrow. We’re in this together and we’ll get through this together!