There’s no doubt about it. When you’re on the journey to improving your health, the snacks that you choose are important. But often overlooked, is how you’re snacking. When you shift your focus away from the what you’re eating and tune into the how, you’ll find the what actually starts to follow anyway.
The tips I’m sharing in today’s post are ones that helped me move into a healthier relationship with food and actually tune in to my body’s hunger cues.
1. Portion it out.
Get a portion size that looks and sounds good to you and put the bag away. (Not on the counter, left open…but AWAY.) If you decide you want more, you have more conscious steps to go through to make it happen.
I used to stand in the pantry or at the kitchen counter eating straight from the bag. That was a recipe for disaster! I always ended up eating too much and feeling bad about it (both mentally and physically) afterwards. The strategy of portioning out my snack, putting the container away, and leaving the kitchen to eat it were tremendously helpful in my mindful eating journey.
2. Remove distractions.
Put your phone away. Turn the TV off. Enjoy the flavor. The crunch. Or whatever it is you love about that particular snack.
There was a time when my phone was only feeding my mindless snacking habit. No pun intended! Getting rid of as many distractions as possible and being present with myself at snack times helped me tune into my hunger cues. Over time as I put this into practice, I discovered that I ended up eating the right amount to satisfy my hunger and/or craving with no regrets afterwards.
Before you go back for more, wait 5 minutes. If you wait 5 minutes and you still want more, get more- still following tips 1 and 2 (portioning it out and removing distractions). You might notice after waiting, that your snack hit the spot.
When I first started to practice this strategy, waiting to go back for more was so difficult. Honestly, removing distractions and waiting five minutes brought to light how much of my snacking was actually emotional eating. These are practices that I have to continually revisit knowing that I have a tendency to lean toward emotional eating in times of higher stress.
Give these tips a try and tell me how it’s working for you! Putting any one of these ideas into practice will help you enjoy your snack without overdoing it. Bonus points if you do all three!
P.S. If you want more help creating healthy nutritional habits that produce lasting results, check out my nutrition membership program: EatWell. You can learn more about it here!