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9 Ways to Curb Your Snacking Binges

by: Renee Kennedy

When you're dieting, the thing that can really wreck a healthy eating plan is that awful feeling that comes over you to just grab a huge bag of potato chips and polish it off while watching your favorite sit-com.

We've all been there before!

There are things you can do to help yourself avoid the ugly urge to snack uncontrollably.

  1. First things first: Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plan to have healthy snacks throughout the day. Do not skip meals or planned snacks. Skipping nutritious foods will make you feel uncontrollably hungry!
  2. If you can, avoid purchasing any unhealthy snacks. There are so many "good-for-you" snacks on the market today, there is really no reason why you should have a cupboard full of ring-dings and cheesecurls. Start learning to read the back of the packages of foods - look at the fat content - if it says that the fat content is over 5% per serving - look for a different snack.
  3. Here's a list of healthy snacks that are low in fat content, but still high in satisfaction (and I'm not talking about carrots and celery!):
    • pretzels (watch the sodium content, though.)
    • graham crackers
    • any type of low fat crackers - (there are many different varieties - read the back of the packages to make sure that they are low in fat. Again, be wary of the salt content.)
    • add some gourmet preserves to those lowfat crackers
    • low fat cookies
    • popcorn without butter (you can buy butter flavored salt.)
    • a cup of fruit with non-fat cool whip on top or a spoonful of honey.
    • fat free pudding
    • a stick of sugar-free chewing gum
    • a couple pieces of licorice
    • a cup of raw veggies with non-fat salad dressing for dip (ok, so you may have to eat a few carrots.)
  4. Treat yourself to scented candles. When you feel like you need a snack - light the candles and enjoy them! This actually does work - I've tried it.
  5. Instead of a snack, have a drink. Try a non-caffeinated herbal tea with a spoonful of honey. There are several drinks on the market with no caffeine and no sugar - buy a lot of that stuff - different kinds - and keep it on hand. Before you go for a snack - drink 8 oz. of your favorite drink, then decide if you really need a snack.
  6. Take up something you can do with your hands -- crochet, knitting, puzzles, cross-stitch, sewing, playing piano, paint your nails and toenails, weed the garden, do a little housework, look at a magazine for the fashions you will buy when you're thinner... In other words, get your mind off food and onto a healthy hobby.
  7. Don't watch TV. TV encourages snacking - you're sitting there, you feel like you should be doing something - so you go for the snack. Also, most of the commercials are about food. Stay away from TV, take up reading or another activity in number 6 above.
  8. When you're finished with a meal or a planned snack, brush and floss your teeth - this will help you stay away from food for about an hour.
  9. THINK - just take about one minute to think about what you are doing. Go look at yourself in the mirror during this minute. Ask yourself, "Do I really want to eat this and PAY the CONSEQUENCE?"

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