Updated: Feb 13
Mostly everyone enjoys a good snack. But what happens when you can’t control the munchies and your nibbling gets in the way of your fitness goals? A more important question might be: why is this happening? I believe it boils down to one or more of the following: stress, skipped meals, or cultural habits. Understanding where you stand, and developing a plan can help you get off this rollercoaster.
For some of us, food is a form of self medication during stressful moments. The satisfying crunch of a potato chip, the pure pleasure of a scoop of ice cream all involve chemical processes within the body. Sometimes in a world that's out of control, food feels like the one thing we have power over. Other times we skip balanced meals because life is so busy we either don’t have time to prepare whole meals, or don’t want to interrupt work to focus on food. Under these circumstances our bodies still crave nutrients, and snacking is an attempt to nourish the body, though it usually falls terribly short. Most popular snacks are vitamin and nutrient deficient, so we never solve the problem. We just stave off hunger until the next snack. Finally there are just some daily activities that seem to just be better with a snack. For instance, we may have grown up snacking while watching television or while entertaining guests. All of these scenarios feel so natural, but are accompanied by empty, extra calories that slow our progress. So what do we do?
First, recognize which category you’re in. Being mindful of WHY you engage in a habit can help you better manage your behavior. This allows you to pause and think, breaking the natural rhythm of throwing a snack in your mouth. Secondly, be prepared. Meal prepping is the most ideal response, but having healthy snacks or supplements available can be really helpful for the busy individual. In another post I will give some recipe ideas, but for now here are a few snacks that have helped me and many of my clients snack responsibly: