IS GRAZING MAKING YOU FAT?
Health experts often say that having several small meals a day can really help activate your metabolism so grazing could be a good idea for those wishing to lose weight. I myself find it hard to do this and prefer like many people to have 3 meals a day and snacks, but it does depend on the choices you make with food.
If you choose to graze on food that is high in fat and dense in calories it could wreak havoc with your weight. Two key components that assist with weightloss is being active and having a metabolism that is working well.
How to Stop Snacking and Grazing on Junk Food
Let’s face it – America has an obsession with snacks. Chips, cookies, candy, trail mix, etc – easy to grab and easy to access foods that many of us unconsciously graze upon during the day and at night after dinner. Some of us have a sweet tooth, some a more savory palate, and there are processed delights for all.
Why we snack? There can be many reasons why we decide to grab a family size bag of Doritos before we settle in for a movie. Here are a few:
We’re bored: food and boredom go together hand-in-hand. People tend to graze because they are not doing anything else. This happens at work too – if you aren’t challenged, you may hit the vending machine.
We’re stressed: snacks can be a coping mechanism. Eating something that is a guilty pleasure releases endorphins, and therefore turns that frown upside down.
It’s a habit: One of the toughest things smokers have to deal with when quitting is the habit of always putting their hand up to their mouth. For snackers, it could be the habit of sticking your hand in a bag or always having some sort of food around when you are in a sedentary position.
It’s there: I recently came back to my office to find 2 packages of M&Ms on my desk. Thank goodness I’m not a fan, but if they were Reese’s Pieces, consider them gone.
How to Stop Snacking and GrazingNow I warn you, none of these steps will be popular. Eating healthy takes a lot of hard work if you are ever going to lose weight.
Be Disciplined and Commit: I decided to start with the most unpopular. Now you’re not going to just quit cold turkey (a good healthy alternative snack, by the way), but start by making a promise to yourself that you are going to do this.
Make a Snack Journal: Food journals are popular, and making one specifically for snacks can help you to identify your weaknesses and make the appropriate changes. For example, for one week write down every time you snacked (day and time), what it was, and how much. Then, look back and see what you indulged in, and what little changes you can make.
Set An Alarm: Once you grab that bag of whatever, set an alarm for 5 minutes. When it goes off, the bag goes back to where it came from.
Plan Your Snacks: if you plan out the good snack you are going to eat, you will start a new habit towards eating healthy. Be sure to include a protein to help to satisfy your hunger faster. For example, make some turkey or lean roast beef roll ups with a piece of cheese, or buy 100 calorie packs of almonds or pretzels, or prep some tuna with salt, pepper, spices and a little olive oil, and place on top of vegetable crackers.
Get Rid of It: Out of sight, out of mind. If it’s not there, you can’t snack on it. If you finish off a box of oreos, don’t add it to the shopping list. In fact, avoid that aisle all together.
Do Something to Get Your Mind Off Snacking: Try this – if you snack while watching TV, try getting some housework done instead of just sitting on the couch (fold laundry, dust, organize items in the room, etc). Or, you can use this time to exercise! The TV is the best place to exercise as it distracts you. Do some crunches, push ups, stretches, leg lifts, etc.
Baby steps. Small changes little by little will help you to change your snacking habit.