If you’re trying to kick your snacking habit you need to read this advice to keep your healthy diet on track.
No matter how healthy our breakfasts or the superfood credentials of the salad we have planned for lunch, many of us still find ourselves reaching for chocolate at 11am. We caught up with psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman of The Private Therapy Clinic at The Nature Valley Protein Bar, who shared with us the best ways to take control of our cravings and change our snacking behaviour for good.
1/ BE MINDFUL
One of the most common causes of bad snack decisions is a lack of consciousness about our internal feelings. All too often we eat our food quickly without paying attention to the taste and texture of it, or the effect it has on our body. More often than not, if we are more mindful when eating we soon realise that the guilty pleasure we scoff at our desks isn’t actually so pleasurable after all. It’s a common thing, if people slow down their eating they can end up making different healthier choices.
2/ PREP IN ADVANCE
Planning is really important. If you plan out your food for the week and write it down, you are far more likely to stick with it compared to just promises made in the mind. Plus, if we prepare the food in advance then we have already made that decision to snack in a healthy way before we are even hungry. Taking a Sunday afternoon to make packs of nuts and fruit for the week can make a big difference.
3/ DECIDE TO SAY NO
Visualisationcan be a really powerful tool to break bad habits and prepare you to say no to that cupcake. If you imagine saying no to something, when the situation arises you’ll instinctively want to walk away. Carry that image of making a healthy choice with you and that’s will empower you to make the right decision. It works differently for different people but it is an evidence-based technique.
4/ DON’T BE TOO STRICT
The way you eat should make you feel happy, happy because it is balanced and happy because you look forward to it. If you’re on a rigid diet it’s very easy to slip up because the way you eat is making you miserable. So if you want to eat clean for most of the day, make sure your snacks are something a bit sweeter, like a protein bar or shake, so that you look forward to it. Balance is best.
5/ USE APPS
It is difficult to make informed decisions about snacks if you don’t know the exact nutritional content of what you are already eating. Use apps to raise your self-awareness of what you put in your body. Scan the barcode and get an idea of the protein, carbs and fats, to ensure you’re getting a good balance. Great apps to try include MyFitnessPal,Fooducate and Shopwell.