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  • Writer's pictureArina Hunter

Manage Snacking with These Powerful and Easy to Start Tools

Let’s talk about snacking,

Many clients come to me asking about tools to help them with snacking.

Snacking can feel a tricky part of your overall nutrition and health.


Ever grabbed a bag of chips, crackers, something crunchy and the next thing you know you ate all of it and feel a bit bubbly?

Ate the whole package of cookies? Chips? Popcorn?

Do you watch TV while eating and suddenly your food is gone?⁣


Now that’s okay sometimes.

However, we often don’t feel very good tummy wise or mentally after.

These tools will help you to find a balance within your snacking choices and overall nutrition.


Yes you can still eat the foods that you enjoy eating while supporting your goals and feeling good.


You do not have to excessively restrict and limit your diet to see big results.

You don't have to give up the foods you love, exercise all the time, or change everything to feel better. 


Real change comes from making small changes and sticking with them.

Sustainable long term health is reached through finding habits, tools, actions, small shifts that work well for you, feel good and doable, and still allow you to enjoy food, life, and moving your body.


Know that snacking is not for everyone. For some it works best to stick to their main larger meal times. For some having specific set snack times. For others eating a mix of snacks and small to moderate meals throughout the day so they are never super hungry or crazy full. 


Here are some tools to help you feel good in the snacks that you eat:

Let’s explore how much, what they are, why we are eating them, and ways to still indulge without the guilt, shame, or discomfort and while supporting your long term health.


  1. Put the Snack you are Eating into a Smaller Container

Put whatever snack you are eating into a bowl, mug, dish, Tupperware, or smaller container.


This gives you a built in amount or stopping point check in point.


Instead of continuing to reach into the bag or package until suddenly the whole thing is gone. (Been there 🖐)


It has been shown that when things take extra effort (like getting up to refill your bowl) it is less likely we will do it!

Even just that extra effort to get out and grab more can be a great check in point.


This is a great tool to test out and see if it helps you to be more aware of your snacking choices and quantity.


Using a bowl, mug, plate, or smaller container for your snacks will help you to:

-Check in to see if you are still hungry or still want more when you finish

-Make a choice about grabbing more or not and being okay with whichever choice you chose

-Using the container as a check in point, are you still hungry? Will you feel how you want to feel later if you grab some more?


Sometimes we really just need a small push to check-in on our hunger cues, why we are eating, and our feelings around our food choices to be able to make a choice that feels good.


  1. 𝐄𝐚𝐭 𝐒𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫 𝐄𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐞⁣⁣

Take an extra moment to truly enjoy the food you are providing your body with.⁣⁣

Truly chew each bite and taste all of the unique flavors and textures.⁣⁣

This gives your body time to check in on its hunger cues and better tell you if you are still hungry or full and ready to stop eating.⁣⁣

Take an extra 5 seconds per bite.

Chew until the texture changes.

Fully swallow before the next bite.

Take 4 extra chews.

Aim to take one extra minute to eat your snack.


  1. 𝐓𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐏𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞.⁣

⁣Between bites of food:⁣

-Put your utensils down⁣

-Take a breath⁣

-Take a sip of water⁣

-Rest your arms on the table

-Put the food you are holding down

-Take an extra moment to savor the bite you are eating

-Fully swallow and finish your bite before preparing the next one

-Break up bites of your snack between tasks

This pause gives your body an extra moment to check in and assess your hunger signals, properly digest, and fully enjoy eating the meal or snack you are eating.⁣


  1. Put the Foods you Want to Eat More of Easy to See and the Ones you Want to Eat Less of Harder to See or Not Available (If possible)

Try putting the foods you want to snack on less in places that are harder to get to or that you will not see first.


And try putting the foods you want to snack on more in easy to see, easy to reach, obvious places.


The goal here is to put what you want to grab in the most obvious, in eyesight, where you will easily grab place.


While putting the foods you want to eat less of in a place you are less likely to look or that you will have to put in a little extra effort to go for.


We, as humans, tend to go for the options that are easier, simpler, and a quick grab and go. 

Test out putting the snacks you want to eat more of in your go to spots and see what you discover.


Eye level shelves in the pantry or your storage area. Top of the fridge. Your go to shelf of the fridge. The front of the shelf instead of the back. Put the things you want to eat more of where you will see first.


Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t go for the things you are aiming to eat less of. We are just supporting eating more of some and less of other options.

This tool might depend on your shared household. Are they onboard to shift things with you? Could you have an area that is yours?


  1. Buy Smaller Amounts of the Things That are Easy to Overindulge or Leave you Feeling Gross

This one is similar to putting your snack into a smaller container. If you buy a smaller amount to begin with, it can make us slow down, enjoy, and savor the snack that we do have.

Try out buying a smaller bag of chips. The chips that are separated into smaller pouches. The smaller ice cream container. One ice cream bar vs the box. The smaller package of cookies vs the value size.

This tool is useful if you are the type that if it is in the house you will eat it.

(Now this can be harder in a shared household. It could also mean setting things into different areas as possible within your shared spaces).


6. Create a list of simple make you feel good snacks

Take a moment to think of snacks that you can enjoy and control yourself while eating. Ones that support your goals. That provides you with nutrients.


Some feel good snack ideas to get your personal brainstorming started:

-Fruit: Berries, apples, bananas

-Nuts: Peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, mixed

-Veggies: Carrots, peppers, cucumber, celery

-Fruit with nut butters

-Hummus

-Crackers with cheese, protein, a spread/dip

-Prepped and cut fruits

-Cheese

-Granola

-Bars

-Trail mix

-Protein Balls

-Chocolate

-Dried Fruits

-Greek yogurt

-Cottage cheese

-Kale chips

-Cherry Tomatoes and cheese

-Hard boiled eggs

-Smoothie

-Jerky

-Edamame

-Oats

-Avocado

-Chickpeas

-A small portion of leftovers (also great if you have just a little leftovers left yet area already full the night before)

-Chia pudding

-Prepared veggies

-Apple chips, banana, fruit chips

-Veggies and hummas

-Celery and peanut butter. Apple, banana, etc

-Sunflower seeds



Use these as a starting place and build your own list of snacks.


This helps to reference as you make your grocery shopping list.

You can also use it to build a snacking area. Create a place in your kitchen, your workspace for snacks.


7. Take a moment to check in

𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟:⁣⁣

Why am I eating?⁣⁣

Am I hungry? (or is it boredom, emotions, stress?)⁣⁣

If I eat now or keep eating will I feel how I would like to feel later? If yes, eat. If not, maybe stop or wait a little bit and check back in. ⁣⁣

If I wait five minutes, will I still be hungry? ⁣⁣


⁣⁣If you are struggling to tell if you are truly physically hungry or if you are bored, stressed, or eating emotionally, wait five minutes and check back in.⁣⁣


Physical hunger will remain, while others may subside if you get active doing something else like reading, drawing, walking. ⁣⁣


As adults, it can be harder to distinguish your hunger signals, taking an extra moment to check-in or to enjoy your food can help give your body a chance to listen in. ⁣⁣


8. Be aware of your mindset going in


Go into whatever choice you make about your snack (what it is, how much you eat, etc) knowing how you will feel afterward.

Be okay with whatever choice that you do make.


When choosing a snack, going out to eat or at a social gathering, go in knowing how you can feel good about your choices. Can you simply enjoy this single snack or meal? Could you find options that work for you? Can you go in with a plan for what types of foods you know you can feel good eating?


Know that you are in control of your food choices and your mindset around them. 

You can enjoy without excessive and overwhelming restriction knowing that your choices support your goals and wellbeing. 

You can enjoy the foods you love without guilt or shame.

Check in with yourself beforehand as you shop and as you pick your snack. And make a choice.


9. Setting check-in times if they are helpful for you


Finding yourself snacking a lot at a certain time of day? During the busy work afternoon? In the evening while watching TV? While lounging with your partner?


Set a check-in time for yourself to see if you are still hungry, if you eating because the food is there, for stress or mental release, etc.

This check-in could be before snacking, mid snack, before grabbing another snack, etc.


10. Knowing what foods you can eat and enjoy while still feeling good, and which foods bring negative emotions, struggle to control indulging, and leave you feeling poorly after. Aim to eat more of the foods that you enjoy and make you feel good. 


Enjoy the foods you love without guilt.

How do I actually do this?



-Make a list for yourself separating foods into red, yellow, and green light categories.

Green: Foods that you feel good after eating. That you can enjoy and control yourself while eating. That you like. That support your goals.

Red: Foods that you do not feel good after eating. Cannot control yourself with. Easy to overindulge in. Do not digest well or tolerate. Foods you dislike. That do not support your goals. 

Yellow: Foods that you can somewhat tolerate. Can eat in some situations. Can digest okay sometimes. 


-From this list, aim to include green light foods daily in meals and snacks. Yellow and red light foods occasionally and less often. 


-Use this list to help in creating your grocery shopping list, planning meals and snacks, choosing your food while out to eat or at a social gathering, and to guide you in knowing your choices support your goals. 



There are your 10 starter tools to manage snacking and support your overall nutrition and health.


As you read through this list, did any tool or two stand out to you?


Take that tool and test it out this coming week.


Each of these tools is a base idea that likely needs to be shifted to match you, your schedule and week, your snacking style, your goals.


Pop in and send me an email if you’re ready to chat through turning this list of ideas into your doable action that you can and will make happen.






Your coach,


Arina



I help you feel confident, comfortable, and strong in your body and health. To enjoy life!

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