How To Combat Cravings: Two Simple Strategies to Snack Less


cravingsI’ve really hit my stride with the out-of-control snacking that’s been going on around here for weeks now. There is no shame to my game anymore – I mean the number of potato chips I consume – so unnecessary! 

You know when the time has come, and my friends, the time has come! It’s time to rein in the snacking and begin making better choices because there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m pretty sure none of us want to come out of this quarantine 15 pounds heavier! 

So if you find yourself in a similar boat, here’s what we’re gonna do to help us regain our composure so we can step away from the bag of chips (or cookies, or bagels or chocolate chips!)

1. We’re going to reach for the healthy fats first. And then we’re going to wait 20 minutes before eating anything else! 

Filling up on foods that will fill our bellies and keep them feeling full is our goal. So think nuts, avocados, and almond butter as a healthy snack. And then, and this is key, we’re going to wait before having a second serving. 

This is where a lot of us get tripped up. We’re eating healthy, so we allow ourselves a little extra, and we end up plowing through a whole bag of nuts or jar of almond butter without taking a breath! 

The key in waiting is to let your tummy have a moment to signal to your brain that they’re all good; no more input necessary. It takes time for that to happen, unlike when you cut your finger or burn your hand, which provides immediate feedback. The tummy to brain thing is a little more archaic… think snail mail vs. texting.

But have faith that all good things come to those who wait and if you wait out a crave after knowing that you gave your body what it needed (healthy fats), not what it wanted (sugary/salty treats), then you shall receive the spoils—which will be averted cravings!

2. Check your watch, you may be habitually eating.

I know for me, making dinner opens me up to a slew of cravings. I’ll take a bite of cheese, or munch on a few salty chips or crackers because I was in the kitchen making dinner, and what else can I do while making dinner? Snack, of course!

Habits can be sneaky. When you stop and begin to pay attention, you can focus on what’s happening on the inside. Are you really starving, or is it that time of day when the munchies strike? I’ve learned that when I’m focused on making something delicious for dinner, I put all my attention into that, which distracts me from my usual hand grab of whatever I have near me that’s quick and easy. Turns out, when I don’t snack, I enjoy dinner that much more.

When we start asking questions instead of simply giving in to the snacking, we can uncover reasons for our behavior, which sometimes stem from sheer boredom. When you realize that, you can make better decisions. Like walking away, or picking up a book and reading. Distract your brain so you can stop reinforcing mindless habits.

And there you have it, two simple ways to begin curbing our out-of-control snacking behavior! Always start small and build upon each little success you create.