Sunday, December 30, 2012
Successful smart eating, at least for me, is about planning ahead and being prepared. I plan my menus and buy the weeks ingredients ahead, even add my planned menu to my food tracker in advance so it becomes easier to follow the plan than to veer off it.
But it's still a given that at some point, even if I've planned good meals and followed the plan, the urge to munch will hit. Usually it's not about hunger at all, and often I'm not even thinking about food. Maybe I'm just bored, or thoughtful, or restless, or anxious, but for whatever reason foraging for something to nibble just seems like the way to get through the moment. But if I can get through the moment (or few moments) without munching, the urge will pass, my calorie count for the day won't be blown, and I won't have eaten the little snack(s) that I didn't even want and hardly even taste.
So I'm brainstorming 10 go-to activities that I will use to curb the urge. Please feel free to share yours!
1. Grab a water bottle instead. Sipping keeps my hands and mouth busy, and I need that water anyway!
2. Go for a walk. Fresh air and exercise give me time to chill and think--away from the frig and pantry.
3. Listen to some music, soothing if I'm stressed or upbeat and bop-able if I'm bored.
4. Login to SparkPeople and read/post some encouragement.
5. Clean something. I add this in a hopeful way...I WISH I dealt with stress by cleaning because my house is a permanent disaster.
6. Chew gum. There is a reason babies use pacifiers--I don't think we really outgrow that urge for oral stimulation; chewing gum releases stress without calories (depending on the gum).
7. Brew a cup of tea. Ahhhhh, relaxing and a good filler for that after-dinner/before-bed time that can be dangerous, or that little something while I prepare dinner so that I don't EAT dinner before dinner!
8. If I'm actually run-down tired and am grazing in an attempt to keep my engine running, take time to stop and shut my eyes. Even if I don't have time for a real nap, closing my eyes for even just a few minutes helps.
9. Text, call or e-mail a buddy. Diversion and encouragement!
10. If truly nothing but eating will do, make it a piece of fruit or other healthy snack (if a snack is really all I need), or if it really IS time to eat, stop and have a real meal instead of grazing through a series of snacks that will eventually add up to more calories.
So there's my list. What's on yours?