If, despite dieting and exercise, you can not lose weight, there may be a problem with snacking between meals. It is normal to fall into the temptation of having a snack mid-morning before lunch. That is why it is advisable to make five meals a day, and eat healthy snacks and not industrial pastries or similar products.
Snacking between meals sometimes isn’t too bad, but the problem comes when that snacking becomes habitual. If it is established as an habit it will be much more difficult to get rid of it or control it. Sometimes, snacking doesn’t really means that you’re hungry.
In addition, one of the biggest problems associated with snacking, is that the snacks are usually unhealthy foods, such as bags of chips, industrial biscuits… This type of snacks contain a large amount of additives and are highly processed. In fact many contain a lot of sugar, which can cause anxiety and be addictive.
Facts that cause snacking
As we have already said, many of the snacks that we take between meals cause us anxiety and are also addictive. Many times we eat them because we do not fool ourselves, and it’s known that they are very tasty and very accessible. But let’s really see what are the main causes behind this impulse that leads us to take those snacks between meal and meal.
- Stress: In stages in which you are more nervous you can suffer attacks of hunger or feel more desire to eat.
- Tiredness or anxiety: Just like stress, this state of mind gives you the wrong feeling of being hungry.
- Boredom: It occurs especially at work or when you are at home doing nothing.
- Wrong diet: When you spend too much time between meals, you eat fast, or you eat few carbohydrates, you can get hungry again easily.
What negative effects does snacking have?
Snacking is usually related to unhealthy foods. When there is a feeling of hunger due to stress or boredom, you tend to opt for a snack such as industrial potatoes or pastries. In addition, there is usually very little control over the amount of food eaten. It becomes almost an automatic gesture and hunger comes faster giving a feeling that nothing has been eaten. Eating mechanically favors obesity.
However, when we sit down to eat we create a healthy routine. We know how much food we are serving, we take our time to eat and chew. That time should never be less than 30 minutes. This gives the brain time to realize that the stomach is full and that it is no longer hungry. There are also many products that can help us satisfy our desire to snack. Most brands have chewable tablets. It is a food supplement that controls the sensation of hunger.
In addition, you have to be careful that if you are carrying out a diet it avoids that it is very restrictive. You will only manage to create more craving for food. In the same way, you must reduce the sugar and sweets that you consume daily to avoid rises and falls of glucose that worsen the peaks of hunger.
Tips if you want to stop snacking
Here we give you a series of tips to help you avoid snacking between meals.
- Drink water: When you feel like snacking, try drinking. It helps to feel full and to satisfy the desire to eat. It’s also possible that you are confusing the sensation of hunger with thirst. It is also essential to be well hydrated therefore carrying a bottle of water always on top only has benefits.
- Opt for the fruit: If you are hungry you can eat a piece of fruit instead of pastries or salty industrial snacks. Apples have many satiating properties that take away your hunger at any time. You can also choose whole grain cookies, puffed rice, cereal bars, nuts, skimmed yogurts, dehydrated fruits, and light drinks.
- Avoid stress: As we have said, stress is a source of snacking. To avoid snacking you have to get rid of that stress. Physical exercise, sports, are the most effective solutions to avoid strees. A few simple stretches at work will also work.
- Make 5 meals a day: Eating less times a day makes you feel more hungry in general. It does not help you lose weight because it makes your metabolism slow down. Eating 5 times a day gives your body energy continuously, but your diet should be healthy and balanced.
- Wash your teeth after eating: The taste of toothpaste will make you less hungry. And it never hurts to take care of your oral hygiene.