With our kitchen just around the corner, less to do and no routine to our day, we can find ourselves - snacking...more often... maybe all throughout the day even. Many of my clients have reported that with all of this time at home, they are struggling with snacking. They find themselves reaching for food throughout the day - which makes them feel guilty - and in turn affects their psychological wellbeing and leaves them feeling down.
So what can you do if you notice that you are snacking throughout the day?
Out of sight out of mind
We eat with our eyes and the more we see a food, the more we will want to eat it and the more likely we are to eat that food. There is lots of research that demonstrates that the more visible and accessible a food is - the more likely we are to reach for it. So to reduce snacking on unhealthy foods you can make them more difficult to get to and perhaps also make some healthier snacks more visible/easily accessible. Better still - perhaps don’t keep the foods that you don’t want to eat regularly in your house at all - to avoid that temptation completely. Even those with the best willpower in the world wouldn’t be able to resist that banana bread if it was sat there on the table top staring at them all day.
Replace the snacks for something else
Sometimes we snack not because we are hungry but just because we are bored and want something to do - or as a way of giving ourselves a break from work. If you instead replace the snack for doing something else - such as drinking a herbal tea - this can often still give you that quick break from your day, without making you feel guilty for eating too much.
Replace your coping mechanism
We also often turn to food as a way to cope with stress, sadness, anxiety and other emotions. It can be helpful to replace your coping mechanism with something else that will serve you better long-term. I help my clients to resolve any underlying stress/anxiety/sadness that they may be dealing with as well as to develop new coping mechanisms so that they can stop turning to food to manage emotions. Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any support in building new coping mechanisms.
Make sure that you are eating enough
It may sound strange to say this - but often people snack throughout the day because they just haven’t eaten enough at meal times. This is a pattern that I see play out time and time again with the people that I work with. They may skip breakfast completely, have a small lunch and then wonder why they are eating so many snacks throughout the afternoon and evening. Often eating more can help to control that physical hunger throughout the afternoon and evening.
If you would like some support to manage that snacking throughout the day - please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. The online course Free Yourself From the Diet Cage also coaches you through the process of changing your relationship with food in lots of detail. This is a challenging time for all of us but the last thing we should be doing is feeling guilty and beating ourselves up over our food choices.
I hope you have a great day and weekend!