After a long day of work or class many of us, including myself, just want to relax. For me, this means opening up my cupboard, grabbing the first snack I see, and plopping down in front of the TV. This month has been about mindful eating, but unfortunately, we fall victim to mindless eating in situations like these, which hinder our quest for weight loss. I find myself eating from the bag of my favorite after-work-snack like a robot without even taking a second to ask myself if I am actually hungry! This can happen while sitting in front of our computers doing work, with an appetizer at a restaurant, or even as a way of procrastinating from other work that needs to be done.
This can be one of the hardest, yet most beneficial habits to overcome, as it can lead to your weight loss. Mindless behavior can contribute to extra calories, fat, and sodium that our body does not need and is not craving at the time. This isn’t to tell you not to eat your favorite snack, but instead to eat it in moderation. One way to kick this habit is to follow the serving size. Put your snack on a plate following the guidelines given on the packaging. After eating, gauge if you are actually hungry by touching your stomach. If you are still hungry, eat more! Instead of the snack food though, try foods that will fill you up like vegetables and hummus. Remember- there is no limit on how many vegetables you can eat!
Another good way to monitor how much food you are actually eating is to use an app on your phone or online. One of my favorites is My Fitness Pal because I can access it on my phone or on my computer, depending on where I am. It gives the nutrition facts and serving sizes for my favorite foods, which makes me conscious of how much I am eating. I do not use this as a way to count calories, but instead as a reminder that I should monitor how much I am eating so that I can make sure to have an overall balanced diet.
Monitoring portion sizes can be tricky, especially when it comes to snacking. Before anything, ask yourself why you are eating. If it is emotional eating, find what you are truly hungry for. Don’t restrict how much you are eating, but instead make sure your snacks are balancing out with nutrient dense foods that will keep you full and help you in your weight loss goals.
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Call to book your complimentary coaching call with Kay today at: 301-869-1787
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park