Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8. Freedom From Oversnacking

Snacking is big business. Companies rely on us to become regular consumers of the products they create. Because they see great competition for our snack dollars, they are constantly experimenting to design new products that will capture our attention, loyalty and our hearts (stomachs). I imagine test kitchens where exotic and unusual flavor combinations are assembled to tantalize hungry snack shoppers with the promise of high quality, health benefits and pleasure.

At one point, I saw somewhere that snacking was bad, caused weight gain and all kinds of  other undesirable situations. Health news urged us to stick to meals and avoid snacking. Later, other news came out, describing the benefits of snacks, such as stabilizing blood sugar and maintaining optimal energy levels. All day grazing and snacking was the thing to do. What to believe?

For people who work from home, having constant access to lots of food can be tricky. Snacking can be good as it provides a quick energy boost or it could be a way to stall or delay some task we don't want to do. I had a looming deadline once for a big writing project. When I hit a dry spell and felt stuck, I decided baking a huge pan of brownies was the answer. It fulfilled the (perceived) need for chocolate chewiness, filling the house with a great smell and most importantly, a big diversion. I made 5 trays of brownies during the next two weeks to get through the project. At some point, I realized I wasn't really hungry for anything and decided to free myself from this habit.
  • Identify the reason for getting a snack. (hunger, frustration, boredom, diversion, stalling, stuck feeling, procrastination, etc.)
  • Decide if it was hunger, to have a healthy snack. If it is for any reason other than actual hunger, have a glass of something to drink and do a quick stretch
  • Put the snack into a dish so you can see how much you're having. I found that nibbling from jars (assortment of nuts) meant I had no idea how much I'd actually eaten.
  • Enjoy the snack and the feeling of freedom from overdoing it

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