Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Beat the Boredom-Snacking Habit

Have you ever gone all day making one healthy choice after another, only to blow it on an entire bag of chips you started eating out of boredom? If you haven't, you're stronger than me. You can go ahead and skip over reading this. If you're normal like the rest of us, I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I use to help curb boredom-induced munching.

A clean mouth is a happy mouth.

Your pearly whites and fresh breath form a pretty good team force in defending you against snacking. If you're at home when fighting the urge to munch, brush your teeth or rinse with some minty-clean mouth wash. If you're out and about, you can pop a piece of sugar-free mint gum. This keeps your mouth busy too.

Keep your hands busy.

If you're someone who has to be doing something all the time or you'll go crazy (like me), then it's probably a good idea to keep your hands busy. Try an activity like painting your nails or toe nails, cleaning the house, taking a walk, reading a book or paying your bills. Sometimes, these small tasks take up just the right amount of time for you to resist opening the refrigerator.

Stay hydrated.

One of the best tips for shrinking your stomach, thus curbing your appetite, is to drink a big glass of water before and after eating. For me, this helps me stay full nearly a whole hour longer than without it. Some of my friends make fun of me because I drink like a fish. I always keep a big gulp cup from Quik Trip or a Route 44 Sonic cup at my desk or in my car. I like to keep it full of flavored water, sugar-free iced tea, or iced coffee. These styrofoam cups keep my drink cold too, which is perfect for someone who's always on-the-go. 

Prepare your pantry.

If you just can't resist the urge to eat, grab something that will last you longer than the 10 seconds it takes to eat half the bag of chips and salsa. (Oh, maybe that's just me . . . .) Sugar-free hard candies and lollipops are great for keeping your mouth busy for a while without racking up too many calories. Fresh veggies or fruit are all good choices, as well as some air-popped popcorn. The best way to defend yourself against blowing your diet is to be proactive. Choose not to buy snacks or keep foods that will tempt you. For instance, I've been known to eat the whole carton of my fat-free frozen yogurt at one time. Therefore, I try to buy individual servings of fro-yo or low-fat ice cream bars instead. 

Dear Diary, Today I ate . . . 

Keeping yourself accountable by either writing what you eat down or telling someone may be your saving grace throughout the day. Even better, tell God. One thing I've learned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle is that you cannot do it — better yet, you can do it much more easily — if you ask God for help. 
Give all your worries to God, for he cares for you. — I Peter 5:7

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