Confession: I’m a snackaholic and should probably be a member of snackaholic’s anonymous.
Whenever I decide it is time to get in shape and eat healthier like I do at the start of each year, I target my weak spots and make adjustments so I don’t fall prey to my bad health habits. My worst may just be my intense focus on what I’m doing and need to accomplish it, that I often forget to eat lunch. I’ve had this problem my whole life, I just love to graze and get so excited about what I’m doing at work/school/mom life that I let my schedule get the best of me that I forget to eat lunch. I make up for that with snacks, lots of snacks, and I don’t always make the best choices. It’s amazing how your body just wants food when you get to a certain point, so you blow the healthy morning exercise and healthy breakfast by afternoon. Guilty as charged, ready to start the support group.
I’m a firm believer in planning lunch and prepping lunch so it happens! Sometimes I even set a reminder on my phone or put an event in my calendar so I know it’s time to eat. It sounds like such a weird problem, and trust me, on the days I’m not distracted I have no problem remembering to eat, but the more excited I am about a mom-and-me date, a work project, or accomplishing chores, the less likely I am to be smart. So here I am, making lunch happen more regularly, and finding 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon to be my snacking witching hour. My body knows it’s not dinner time, it knows lunch is long gone, and I feel this Pavlovic response to run to whatever sugar stash I have and indulge. I believe in a little indulgence now and then, but it always turns into a sugar binge or over-snacking time. Anyone work in an office that provides snacks? Yikes, I had this even worse during my agency years! But, the problem still creeps up, and I’ve found four ways I nip it in the bud and tackle the snacking hour.
- Drink more water. Isn’t this always the answer? I learned to buy a larger reusable cup and fill it up so I have more water accessible. I don’t have an issue remembering to drink it luckily, but I do run out when it’s a small cup and fail to refill it as I need to. If you do forget, I’d set an alarm to remind yourself. A simple pop up on your computer or phone makes it easy! Either way, get a big cup, set a schedule, and drink more. It significantly helps with how full you feel, and often your body is just thirsty instead of hungry.
- Go for a walk. This may sound funny in an office setting, but I found a group of friends who were in it with me! When that itch came, we’d all do a lap around our office buildings for 10 minutes. This may mean putting laundry away on the days I’m mom-ing, this may mean heading to the park and chasing a toddler, or it may mean just standing up and stretching. But conditioning your body with fitness instead of that daily cookie can go a very long and the amazing thing is your body adapts!
- Plan for healthy snacks! Often my body just needs a little protein or a little healthy fat to feel like it’s got what it needs and move on. A small protein bar, a handful of nuts, or a spoonful of peanut butter go a long way! I’m all about not depriving yourself, but I having a small, healthy snack instead of grabbing that cupcake someone brought into work goes a long way! You know when your body is truly hungry and when you’re just eating because you’re bored, it’s social, or you’re classically conditioned. Just like lunch prep, a little snack prep goes the distance!
- Gum is your best friend. I love chewing Orbit® gum to help me minimize mindless snacking and keep things balanced. There’s a variety of flavors that meet my snacking craving. I can go sweet with Bubblemint, Strawberry, Citrus, or my personal favorite, Sweet Mint. I can also go with Spearmint, Peppermint, Wintermint, or Orbit White. I love that these flavors leave my mouth feeling clean and fresh from Orbit® gum, which makes me less likely to dirty it with a sugary snack. I also feel more confident and ready to make the most of the moment instead of fall prey to temptations. Wrigley’s #ChewToABetterYou campaign encourages consumers to incorporate sugar-free gum into their Health and Wellness routine to promote balance through mindful consumption and I love that they are on to this because it makes a huge difference when you really just need to keep your mouth occupied!
So a healthy breakfast, a healthy lunch, and being mindful of the snacking hour is going a long way in helping me keep my healthy diet goals in check! And because I’m doing so much better with this, I find that a cheat day now and then really doesn’t bring guilt, and long-term healthy habits are taking over!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.