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the munchies

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SparkPoints: (34,872)
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Posts: 484
12/10/12 7:58 P

I am a salty munchies type of person. For me, if I don't see them, I forget about them. My solution is to not buy the stuff so it's not at my house. Reduced fat Ritz crackers help me, too. I allow myself treats occasionally, and that helps curb the cravings, too.

SparkPoints: (20,933)
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Posts: 287
12/10/12 2:31 P

The perfect fix for me has to be crunchy, salty, and cheesy and/or creamy. I eat a white cheddar rice cake with a Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedge spread over the top. It's absolutely perfect and only about 70 calories. I tried it with the chipotle queso Laughing Cow, which is my favorite wedge flavor, but something about the white cheddar rice cake begs the Swiss. Its is SO DARN GOOD. emoticon

Posts: 16,748
12/10/12 2:21 P

I find that the munchies is usually a result of boredom, and not real hunger. I eat something with fat to get rid of it though, and find something to do.

What works best for me is nuts, or cheese. Two ozs of sharp cheddar, or 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts will get rid of hunger. Plus the nuts have some crunch, if you want some crunch. On my low carb diet, I can have pork rinds, but don't like them. Nuts, and cheese are OK on most diets though. I find that many of the people on SP who are posting about hunger are at the lower end of their fat range. Just bump it up to the high end on days you get the munchies.

Posts: 1,448
12/10/12 12:57 P

I had to take junk food out of the house, I go all day without and do well but the moment I hit my home I am looking for something either sweet or salty.

Posts: 75
12/10/12 9:50 A

i don't buy junk often....i have even gotten my husband and kids used to having very few "unhealthy" snack options available at home.
so if i get the munchies i usually have fruit, veggies or greek yogurt

Posts: 1,662
12/10/12 7:32 A

Gum and hot tea if I really know I don't need food right then. And for food? I stick with low calorie vegetables, a teaspoon of nuts, or some animal crackers if I want a sweet, crunchy snack.

SparkPoints: (89,341)
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Posts: 16,167
12/10/12 6:44 A

fruit and nuts

Posts: 1,211
12/10/12 5:42 A

Grissini with hummus
Almonds or walnuts

Posts: 70
12/9/12 2:21 P

While this doesn't always work, I often pop a stick or two of gum in my mouth when I get the munchies. Or I will drink some hot tea. And I always drink a glass of water when I feel the onset of the munchies. I also try to limit snack foods in the home, but that is difficult because I have children. But if I do have snack foods, I get stuff they like but I do not appreciate, that way I am less likely to munch on things that I shouldn't. I keep apples on hand and baby carrots because I do actually love those and will try to turn to them instead. emoticon emoticon

SparkPoints: (60,921)
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Posts: 724
12/9/12 11:29 A

I get the munchies when I am feeling empty. I eat to try to fill the void. I am not even hungry. I just eat.

Posts: 142
12/8/12 10:57 P

I usually get the munchies a night...I have been known to wake up hungry at 1 or 2 am, so going to bed early doesn't help. So I try to plan a late evening snack.

3 months ago I started using a product called PGX... it is made from Konjac root which is kind of a super fiber.. it also levels out blood sugar, which helps to quell the munchies. I use the granules so I have a shake sometimes I make a fruit smoothie, or skim milk and cocoa powder, or a 'virgin' bloody. This stuff works... I have not gone on an off the deep end munchie bender since I started it! Also I have lost 30 lbs.

SparkPoints: (4,081)
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Posts: 41
12/8/12 9:49 P

greek yogurt, trail mix, apples & peanut butter, Carrots + hummus

Posts: 5,728
12/7/12 9:36 P

some days I can't stop going for little snacks ... so I make sure I track them as take them (might stop me) and have healthy snacks (strawberries, blueberries, sunflower seeds, raisins etc) so taht I can avoid cutting pieces of cheese, half pieces of bread etc etc

Posts: 14
12/7/12 12:22 P

I found a brand of chips in my grocery's organic food section called Food Should Taste Good. They make tortilla and sweet potato chips out of seeds and whole grains. They are delicious and satisfy my salt and junk food cravings, but they are high in protein and fiber. It may not be a health food but it is a good alternative to potato chips. Just don't eat the whole bag in one sitting :)

Posts: 2,679
12/7/12 12:16 P

my munchies are mostly whatever i was low on during the day. usually fat, so i keep nuts around. 1/4 cup usually is enough. nuts also satisfy crunchy mouth feel, the need to chew something, and protein cravings. i do have some individual small sunchips snack bags for when i want more carbs. these are things that have worked for me.

Posts: 369
12/7/12 11:55 A


Or if it's really bad, protein bars. I don't usually eat protein bars, as they are so processed, but when I can totally get rid of any craving and feel full afterwards, it's worth it. I like special K- 180 calories and 12 grams of protein. Even if it ends up putting me over calories, it's still worth it. Especially at night so I don't end up waking up hungry.

Posts: 1,594
12/7/12 11:53 A

I eat toasted whole almonds when I need a salty crunch. They can be high in calories if you go overboard, but I count out 14 of them, which is a half ounce, 85 calories, and eat them slowly, one by one. There's enough fiber and fat in them that you feel like you ate something. I have them with a cup of green tea. The tea gives me something to relax with and de-stress, and the water helps me feel fuller, but the almonds give me a satisfying crunch. I highly recommend Blue Diamond Wasabi Soy almonds. If you think a half ounce sounds too paltry, go ahead and have a whole ounce, it's still not that bad.

Posts: 213
12/7/12 3:14 A

I have a serious sugar addiction and try to go for baby carrots since I no longer keep Skittles in the house. My husband has a huge stash of chocolate, but thankfully, I don't like that stuff.

SparkPoints: (136,715)
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12/7/12 1:06 A

If I get the munchies I eat what ever is on hand that my brain says that it wont's that I'm able to make up - I try to always have popcorn on hand to pop, but budget doesn't always allow for that to be the case.

The thing is for me my munchies tend to be of the nature of things I've not gotten enough of that day - which tends to be a craving for protein (which can be the hardest one to satisfy at times).

My fav "snacking" items are carrots and hummus, apples and hummus, grapes (fresh or frozen), celery and hummus, lactose free yogurt cup and serving of granola and the list goes on but the general deal is hummus with any veggie or a yogurt cup and any type of fruit (but then again what I list as snacks also tend to be what I'll have for lunch when working away from home minus anything to do with gluten and dairy).

Posts: 679
12/6/12 11:44 P

I have to give into it. If I ignore the "munchies feeling" I end up eating way too much of something else in order to avoid the snacking.... which doesn't really make sense.

So, I try and keep it healthy and within my calorie range: popcorn, rice cakes with a bit of peanut butter or laughing cow cheese, veggies with hummus, grape tomatoes, an apple with a wedge of almond or soy cheese, carrots with Waldan's calorie free ranch (it's not bad!).

SparkPoints: (21,988)
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Posts: 2,801
12/6/12 11:29 P

Brushing my teeth helps. Or I will munch on cherry tomatoes, since they are slightly sweet. Popcorn is also good, since you have eat heaps for not a lot of calories.

SparkPoints: (145,045)
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Posts: 3,919
12/6/12 9:27 P

When I have the munchies, I eat a rice cake. 30 calories!

SparkPoints: (10,720)
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Posts: 294
12/6/12 8:10 P

If I could mind-read, I'd so steal that brownie recipe right now, Seniorswimmer emoticon . I've got a few mouths to feed at a party next week (30+ people in my apartment emoticon ).

Am_Morris, Trident Layers are delicious! I've brought tons of the cherry&lime (my favorite) with me this summer... but everybody keeps asking for/begging for them when I have one so my stock is depleted. Thankfully I'm going back home in two weeks!

Edited by: STARLIGHTSHADOW at: 12/6/2012 (20:11)

SparkPoints: (15,934)
Fitness Minutes: (8,627)
Posts: 298
12/6/12 7:19 P

OBIESMOM2: I love to do my nails. I had never thought of using it as a deterrant to eating. I also like the whitening strips. I'm going to remember this the next time I have the munchies.
Thank you!

Also - I hate dark chocolate. Fortunately, I am not a big chocolate lover. Once in a great while I'll get a craving. I have a wicked brownie recipe for that. I have ONE while they're still warm. DH eats the reast of the pan. emoticon

Posts: 231
12/6/12 7:09 P

I love really good high percentage cocao chocolate although since it has intense flavor, it deserves tiny bites or nibbles to enjoy the subtle flavors. Way different experience than kicking back a couple of Hershey's or Snickers candy bars in about 15 seconds.

Posts: 703
12/6/12 6:26 P

I tell myself that just because my mouth wants to taste something and chew something, it doesn't mean that I am hungry. So I chug an entire bottle of water and pop some gum (love the Trident layers), and then I go clean something to keep me occupied.

SparkPoints: (61,086)
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Posts: 4,472
12/6/12 6:18 P

Starlight said: No chocolate is better than dark chocolate to me

on this we agree, although I think that statement has a TOTALLY different meaning for me!
Milk chocolate = BLEH
dark chocolate = heaven!

Edited by: OBIESMOM2 at: 12/6/2012 (18:18)

SparkPoints: (10,720)
Fitness Minutes: (9,521)
Posts: 294
12/6/12 5:45 P

My munchie food is milk chocolate. There just is no real substitute for milk chocolate. SOL. (don't tell me dark chocolate- that stuff just tastes nasty to me, even the best kinds (Fauchon, Michel Cluizel, Lindt...) are bitter and leave a weird aftertaste on my tongue. No chocolate is better than dark chocolate to me)

When I crave crunchy I rip iceberg lettuce leaves into chips-sized pieces and make a dip of cottage cheese&skim yogurt (in a blender) with herbs, salt, pepper, lemon juice and water (runnier consistency=less calories but all the flavor still). Yum.

Usually, I just crave chocolate though, and distract myself with brushing my teeth (don't like mint flavor really so it more often than not kills the munchies), watering the plants, going online and going through the SP forum...

SparkPoints: (61,086)
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12/6/12 5:16 P

munchy foods for me - popcorn, celery, apple, tangerine, raw veggies w/hummus, a pomegranate (very time consuming!)

I like salt & vinegar potato chips. Lately when I crave them, I eat a lemon with some salt.

and if I'm just outrageously munchy and not the least bit hungry it's time to break out the teeth whitening strips and paint my fingernails. Those strips leave me not wanting to eat, and if my nails are wet...I can't!

SparkPoints: (14,583)
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Posts: 202
12/6/12 4:13 P

When i get the muchies its usually is because i'm bored waiting on something. First i try to find something to do but if that fails i resort to a cup of strawberries or raspberries. For crunch value i eat 25g of rice crips

Edited by: SINAED at: 12/6/2012 (16:22)

Posts: 76
12/6/12 2:22 P

When I just can not go with out something salty/crunchy I allow myself 1 oz of good organic gmo free tortilla chips WITH lots of fresh salsa (go veggies).

SparkPoints: (15,934)
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Posts: 298
12/6/12 2:11 P

Popcorn is my munching food of choice. I will eat Smart Pop mini bags, but my favorite is oil-popped popcorn with nutritional yeast on it. This has been a munching favorite since I was in my 20's. Not likely to change.

A new snack favorite is sesame sticks. I have to be careful with these. They call my name from inside the kitchen cupboard. I think they could become the new potato chip for me, if I'm not careful. I get them from the health food store. They're made with whole wheat flour, but 160 calories per 1/4 cup. That's a little steep.

What bothers me about how I am with the munchies is that sometimes I would rather eat a big bowl of popcorn than have a healthy meal. What is that about?

SparkPoints: (57,089)
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12/6/12 1:57 P

On holiday in Turkey I was looking for something they didn't have in a supermarket and came out with a popcorn maker (just over $20 - I don't have a microwave) in which I can make 40 grams of popcorn for the grand sum of 10 cents! Plain popcorn. My 10 cents worth has about 100 calories and lasts me more than one day.
I don't know if it counts as munching as they're not crispy, but I'm eating vast quantities of mandarin oranges at the moment.

SparkPoints: (1,435)
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Posts: 3
12/6/12 1:56 P

I've found that Kale Krunch Kale Chips (which I get from my local Whole Foods) is the best cure for craving potato chips. Kale Krunch's Cheezy Chipolte flavor is just about the best alternative I've found to unhealthy cheese flavored chips. Even though it's "cheese" flavor, it's dairy-free!

Ingredients: Organic Kale, Red Bell Pepper, Organic Cashews, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Lemon Juice, Nutritional Yeast, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Paprika, Organic Chipotle Peppers, Organic Smoked Salt

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12/6/12 1:16 P

I'm the same way about chips, crackers, anything crunchy and salty. Mmmm. A tostitos commercial came on last night while I was watching TV, and my mouth started to water. Ugh. I can't stop at just one, ever, so I just can't eat them, period. If my sister is snacking on them, I have to leave the room because I know once I have one I'm likely to have half the bag. So frustrating.

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12/6/12 1:15 P

One of the things I do is to let myself have a wee indulge. (I also save about 100-200cals for the early evening when I am most likely to crave munchies)
If I cannot possibly stop myself and my mouth is watering, I figure out how much a serving of the naughty treat is, 1/4 it and put that much on a small plate. I then eat it as slow as I can, savouring the flavour, tasting it all around my mouth and making sure I make the most of each bite.
If after that I am still not satisfied I, like the others, reach for my shakes. I have SureSlim double chocolate. Not as good as some I have seen mentioned here. 97cals with 11g protien (I make it with water)... it is sweet and surprisingly filling.

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12/6/12 11:42 A

When you get the munchies, is it ever because of hunger? I agree with the person who said that having some more fat is sometimes key -- too much fat is bad, but I find I need some to be satisfied.

Microwave popcorn is a great snack for when I just want to shovel anything into my mouth. It comes in salty and also sweet varieties -- the kettle corn flavor is awesome, and you can have a good serving for 100-300 calories. I also like celery with a really spicy salsa -- the spice helps cure my cravings sometimes.

emoticon emoticon

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12/6/12 10:33 A

1 - don't keep potato chips in the house unless you're prepared to eat them!
2 - brush your teeth instead of munching
3 - drink water to fill up
4 - still wanting junk? CHEW GUM.

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12/6/12 9:22 A

Andriana - that's a good idea. Of course, I KNOW why ruffles send me over the edge -- I just love 'em, and could easily eat 1,000 calories worth if I allowed myself!

But there are other times when I'm happy to munch my way through a can of artichoke hearts... or an entire roasted cauliflower... and i have no idea what is pushing me to want so much food when I'm not hungry -- just feeling the need for an oral "fix." It's obviously not the need for more calories -- though perhaps it's related to an unmet need for protein, exercise, or destressing!

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12/6/12 9:19 A

Have you tried:
- evaluating why you feel like munching : restricted your food too much? emotions? boredom?
- activities other than eating: watch tv? exercise ? read? shop?
- if it still does not go away: try to make the best eating choices: I like strawberries, crackers and low fat greek yogurt (this fills me up, I take my time when eating it and try to enjoy every bite)

I hope this helps somehow

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12/6/12 9:18 A

If I want sweet I go for an apple with half a tbsp of peanut butter. If I want savoury I go for some Swedish dry-breads that my Mum sent me, with a thin slice of cheese. Or sugar snap peas. Somehow crunchy food satisfies my munchies more than softer things.

Posts: 56
12/6/12 9:11 A

I use cooking spray (the olive oil kind) and spray a few quick sprays onto my air popped popcorn. It makes whatever seasonings you use stick to it. Love it, and I don't have to use butter.

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12/6/12 9:09 A

Haven't found a plan other than to do something incomparable with painting

Posts: 5,070
12/6/12 9:04 A

You can always use Spray butter-- very few calories per squirt.

I also indulge in popcorn, but not necessarily air popped. I will pop it in a little bit of coconut oil and I mean just enough.
I will also eat my veggies. Normally I don't get the munchies though.

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12/6/12 8:42 A

oh - also with popcorn -- how do you get spices to stick to popcorn if it's not made with oil? Have tried spicing up air popped corn, but I wind up with plain popcorn and a bunch of spices at the bottom of the bowl...

Posts: 2,667
12/6/12 8:40 A

I try to refrain, but sometimes even brushing your teeth helps.

Otherwise, a small piece of really high % chocolate, a few nuts, or even popcorn or a rice cake MAY help.

I try to head to the veggies, with or without hummus or some other dip - but, as you implied, it's not always what you think you want.

I know there's a chart somewhere that says "if you're craving this; have this instead" but I don't have the link off-hand

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12/6/12 8:40 A

tell me more about this fast absorbing low cal low carb shake! what do you put in it? had a lunch that consisted of a big bowl of homemade veggie soup, crackers, and tangerines -- all very low cal and healthy, but low in protein... so maybe that IS the answer?

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12/6/12 8:39 A


SparkPoints: (38,720)
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12/6/12 8:34 A

I'm a fan of the empty calorie popcorn if the munches hit! I add different seasonings depending on whether I'm craving sweet, salty, spicy etc!
Also I find if I get the munches, it's usually a day I've been low on protein. If I throw in a fast absorbing low cal low carb shake,for 50 calories I can get 12g of protein and beat my munches!!

SparkPoints: (8,469)
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12/6/12 7:48 A

you know that feeling you get when you just want to keep munching on SOMETHING, and it doesn't really matter what -- but you're sure that a bowl of carrots won't quite do it? My daughter brought home a bag of Ruffles Potato Chips, and while I didn't dive in head first I couldn't resist a few. Then the munchies hit... wound up shelling and eating a good sized pile of pistachios! The result of all those munchies is that I went over my calorie count, not a lot but enough to sabotage any weight loss.

What do you gobble when the munchies hit? How do you keep that desire to pop salty and/or crunchy foods under control and reasonably nutritious? My faves include roasted cauliflower, garbanzo beans, olives, pistachios, rice crackers, edamame... but I'm guessing I could do better!

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