Friday, February 17, 2012

Eat Real Food When Looking to Snack

Many people find that later in the day or at night they become hungry or just want to snack. If you are in the latter group, you need to think about why you want to eat and create an alternative. If you aren’t hungry and it hasn’t been several hours since you last ate, there is no reason to eat (unless you have a health condition that requires it). Taking a walk, knitting, meditating, or calling a friend are great alternatives that can keep your mind off of eating.

If you actually are hungry come mid-afternoon or after dinner, eat “real” food instead of relying on “100 calorie packs” or sugar-free items. Eating light or diet foods when you are actually experiencing hunger will only delay your inevitable binge and can actually make you hungrier. Eating a diet product when you’re hungry will not give your body the nutrients it is craving. Furthermore, if the product has sugar or a sugary flavor, it will spike your insulin and actually make you hungrier (since the body thinks more sugar is on its way).

So, if you actually are hungry, eat something substantial such as a bowl of oatmeal, an apple with peanut butter, ½ sandwich, nuts and fruit, fruit and yogurt, etc. If you eat a serving of sugar-free ice cream, you are doing yourself no good. Chances are within an hour of eating that ice cream you will be craving more food. So, just give yourself permission to eat something of substance to suppress the hunger and move on with your day. You will end up eating less over the course of the day if you actually sit down and eat something real. But, to reiterate, only eat if you physically need to; be sure to determine that you’re not eating out of boredom, loneliness, sadness, or some other psychological reason.

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