From a young age, we learn that snacking is a great way to keep hunger at bay before our next meal. As we get older, many of us reach for treats that are high in sugar, sodium, or fat. While these little nibbles here and there throughout the day can be satisfying in the moment, they often provide no real nourishment for our bodies.
Instead of attempting to cut out snacking all together (which seems unrealistic and challenging), here are some tips to help you snack more mindfully.
Just you and your snack
It’s common to start munching while you’re watching tv, reading, or scrolling through social media. Rather than being distracted, give your snack your full attention. You’ll likely realize you’re feeling full quicker than if you were multitasking and eat less as a result.
An important distinction to make is whether you need a snack or a treat. Try choosing foods that are more filling, satisfying, and nutritious to help fuel your body and help you stay full longer. Greek yogurt, fruit, hardboiled eggs, and veggies with hummus are just some snack examples that will give you more sustainable energy throughout the day.
Look for signs
Each time you have the urge to snack, see if your body is hungry or if you’re responding to a signal from your brain or environment (like stress, boredom, emotions, watching a cooking show, etc.). Try to distract yourself and your mind with another activity – reading, taking a break to switch up what you’re working on, going for a walk, or even doing a quick yoga workout. Listen to your body and see what it needs.