I’m pretty sure that most of you who are currently on a diet have problems with snacking. It seems like nothing serious. A piece of cake or a candy eaten between meals surely won’t make a difference. After all, you’re still exercising and following a healthy, balanced diet. However, as it turns out, these small pleasures can really hamper or even halt our progress – which is after all the main aim of our diet and training plan.
To give you an example: the energy values of common snacks such as a single row of chocolate (85 kcal), a handful of chips (80 kcal), a glass of your favorite soft drink (101 kcal) and a cup of coffee with 2 sugars (40 kcal) add up to more than 300 empty calories – something most people aren’t even aware of!
So, how do you curb your snacking? Here are 5 useful tips: 😉
1. Don’t buy snacks or keep them at home
What the eye doesn’t see, the heart (or in this case – the stomach) doesn’t grieve over. Not having any snacks within reach will help you avoid eating them between meals. Even when hidden somewhere at home, they will subconsciously tempt you. Without an iron will, this will make it all too easy to break your diet. By leaving sweets in candy shops and bakeries where they belong, you only help yourself.
2. Fruits > sweets
People who have just begun a diet often complain that they miss the taste of sweets. It’s important to remember that choosing fruits instead of sweets is more beneficial to your health, especially when picking fruit with high water content, e.g. strawberries (28 kcal/100g), raspberries (29 kcal/100g), red currants (31 kcal/100g) or watermelons (36 kcal/100g). You shouldn’t forget, however, that fruits still have much more calories than vegetables do, so they should be eaten in limited quantities.
3. Use substitutes
There are many products available that will allow you to eat a tasty meal and still keep in shape. We can try tricking our minds by using sugar substitutes such as ERYTHRITOL or XYLITOL. They have low glycemic indices (GI), which means that they not only raise blood glucose levels at a slower rate but also have fewer calories than white sugar (about 40% less in the case of Xylitol and only 0.3kcal/g in case of Erythritol).
You can also try using your imagination while cooking. How about baking a carrot cake or a brownie made from beans? They taste as good as the original treat but are way healthier. You can also exchange beverages sweetened with sugar for their calorie-free counterparts. Everything within reason of course!
4. Eat frequent, smaller meals and always carry a bottle of non-carbonated water
By eating regular (every 3-4h) small meals you avoid feeling hungry; which in turn helps you curb snacking. You should also drink a lot of water, especially the non-carbonated kind since carbonated water makes you crave sweets! By drinking small amounts of water throughout the day, you keep your stomach full which makes you less prone to want to snack.
5. Don’t go shopping for food when you are hungry
When we’re hungry, we’re much more susceptible to the smell and sight of food we see around us in a grocery store – so it is best to eat before going shopping. That way you can avoid giving in to any temptations.