I am a big fan of you and love love love your blog!! Every single entry! I love how honest you are, that's very inspiring to me.
In one of your blog posts you wrote this:
"I space my meals to around 3 hours apart. I am not a big snacker. I used to be; and I found I was hungry constantly, and obsessed with food. Once I stopped, my hunger levels and endurance improved."
To be honest I am a big snacker. I could snack all the time, an apple here, some nuts later, why not a little chocolate and another cappuccino during coffee break at work. I really want to stop snacking as it's unbelievable how much rubbish I sometimes eat only with snacks. You were a big snacker as well. Can you share some tips on how you stopped your constant snacking and changed this habit?
Looking so forward to hear from you ;)
Hi there! Thank you so much for your kind words 😃 Much appreciated!
I certainly used to be a big snacker, and once I cut it out I found my energy and digestion was so much better. What worked for me may not be what works for you, and I am also not a doctor. You may need to be more of a grazer – some people certainly are – and if you feel this is true for you, I would advise you to have better snacks on hand. Carry healthy snacks like fruit, cut vegetables, nuts, hummus, air popped popcorn and hard boiled eggs with you, and make sure everything is pre-packaged to serving sizes. That way you can’t mindlessly polish off an entire bag of something.
Next I would advise you to look at why you are snacking. Are you hungry, thirsty or bored? Is it just because it is there? Make sure to have a drink bottle full of water near you – often we mistake thirst for hunger. Write down a food diary for a few days to see just how much and how often you are snacking. Add in what you were feeling or doing at the time of snacking, and see what patterns emerge.
I used to snack because I wasn’t eating enough at meal times. I would consciously try to limit my food, and restrict my fat intake, and would never feel full after eating. So an hour later I would start picking. Focus on your meals, and make sure they are well balanced with protein, fat and carbohydrates. Try eating a little more at mealtimes and see how that works out for you.
Once I make up my mind about something I usually have no trouble following through. I dedicated a month to changing my eating habits, and every single day, no matter the craving I stuck it out (regular spacing of meals and no snacks, except for an avocado between lunch and dinner). At the end of the month I felt more balanced, and I looked forward to my meals. I learned that I was never actually hungry when I was going for food, it was always emotional. It is a great feeling to be hungry, and then to eat! And to be able to eat a good amount of what you want. When I was snacking I was constantly a little bit hungry, but never really hungry enough to truly enjoy my meals. Then you add in the guilt and worry over how much you are consuming – and I was getting caught in that bad cycle around food of guilt.
So commit to letting go, and to trusting your taste buds. Don’t diet at mealtime – eat enough of what you want and then let yourself get hungry between meals. It won’t kill you, and it will help you truly enjoy your meals when you do eat. Focus on fat and protein; they are both more satiating and stay in your stomach longer. Between meals, when you feel the need to snack, look at why. Are you bored, thirsty, or tired? Then do something to address those feelings, other than eating. Go for a quick walk around the office, do a short meditation at your desk, drink some tea, or talk to a colleague.
Once we stop overriding our bodies’ natural eating rhythm, and feed ourselves with what we want; our bodies start to tell us everything we need to know. All we need to do is give it a chance, and our bodies natural hunger cues will do the rest.
I hope this helps!