In case you missed Part 1, click here. Now, for all of you who’ve been waiting with bated breath (snacking can be a nail-biter), solutions for the rest of your snacking sins…
Salty snacks are your vice
Pitfall: All that sodium can cause bloat and put you at risk for high blood pressure.
Problem solved: Cutting back gradually can nix your salt lust. Other strategies: chug water (dehydration can cause of salt cravings), or opt for healthier options. Pop pistachios instead of potato chips (studies show that people who eat nuts in the shell consume 40 percent fewer calories, plus they’re the lowest calorie nut), or try edamame with a pinch of salt. Rule of thumb: Don’t go over 2300 mg sodium a day.
You graze on your kids’ snacks
Pitfall: Processed snacks packaged for tots aren’t always healthy. They can be filled with sugar, salt and artificial coloring, plus all those extra bites can translate into extra pounds.
Problem solved: Stop buying crap for your kids. Whole foods are the most wholesome (eg: natural peanut butter carrots and hummus, apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon). Snack with your kids but stick to your serving.
Rule of thumb: Set a snack time. Having an established time keeps you from constant grazing.
You’re a victim of the 3 o’clock snack attack
Pitfall: Having a mid-afternoon snack can be a good thing – it can even out blood sugars and tide you over till dinner – as long as you’re snacking for the right reasons. Eating out of habit, boredom or to break up your long workday are all wrong reasons.
Problem solved: Picking the right bites is often as simple as packing them. Grab-and-go snack suggestions: Brown rice cake with peanut butter, trail mix in individual snack packs, apple and cheese string. Try to eat something satisfying with fiber and protein between 100 and 200 calories. If you’re not hungry, go for a de-stressing walk instead.
Watching TV leads to non-stop noshing
Pitfall: Eating without thinking can lead to consuming unneeded calories and weight gain
Problem solved: Turn off the TV (it can cause you to eat 40% more) and tune into your food. Instead of eating right out of the container, dish out baby-sized portions. Eating with your non-dominant hand can also slow down your snacking.