Snacks are the downfall of many dieters. You plan healthy meals, you eat healthy meals ... but you find yourself nibbling in between. That's fine when the nibbles are fresh fruit and vegetables, but when you're eating cookies, cake and chips, you'll be getting all the nutritional baddies (saturated fat, refined sugar) with precious few goodies like vitamins, minerals, fibre...
So how can you distract yourself from the bad sort of snacking?Here's what to do when the cookie jar is calling your name:
IF YOU'RE GENUINELY HUNGRY, EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY
Don't suffer through hunger pangs when you're trying to lose weight.If your stomach is rumbling, have a healthy snack. Fruit, crispbreads, a small sandwich, or even a handful of mixed dried fruit and nuts (go easy on this, though) are great options.
Not eating when you're hungry can eventually lead your body into starvation mode, where it clings to fat as stubbornly as possible. And it can also lead you to binging when you finally do eat, because you're so ravenous.
GET BUSY - RACE THROUGH YOUR TO-DO LIST
If you're not hungry, chances are you're thinking about snacking because you're bored. Most office-workers inevitably have the occasional time when the clock seems to be dragging v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y through the day.
Even if there's nothing urgent in your in-tray, make a list of all those little nagging jobs you want to get done - then see how fast you can get through them! Set a timer, and challenge yourself.
GO FOR A WALK
Sometimes, the urge to snack is a passing craving for some particular item. If you feel you really must have chocolate, or chips, or whatever your snack-food vice is, then go for a half-hour walk. By the time you're back, you'll probably have lost interest in the snack.
Of course, unless you have a very accommodating boss, it may not be possible to wander off for half-an-hour whenever the urge to snack arises. Instead, take a five minute break to walk to the water cooler, or spend some time making phone calls (you won't want to eat and talk on the phone at the same time, so this is a good way to beat those cravings.)