Last week I spent a day on the telephone catching up with quite a few people, who would normally have had a monthly weigh in appointment which we offer to everyone who attends one of our Eat Well courses. It’s a chance to see how they are getting on with their healthier eating and exercise habits and to offer support and advice to anyone who feels they are struggling.
It appeared that during “lockdown” some people are struggling with boredom and finding they are snacking more than normal. They also said they were turning to snacks that were not so healthy so I thought I could share some tips here today.
Our first blog recommended the following: Eat three regular, balanced meals a day. Try to have meals at planned times during the day and only include snacks if you are physically hungry.
So if you find yourself reaching for a snack, a good idea is to ask yourself first:
- Am I really hungry?
- Do I really need this snack?
- Why I am reaching for this?
- How will I feel after I have eaten this?
It may be you are bored, anxious, stressed or thirsty, so by stopping yourself and questioning what you are doing, it could lead to better habits. Try to distract yourself and put off reaching for a snack, do something you enjoy instead and wait for a while to let your craving subside.
Think about what else you could do if you are bored and how else you could help yourself to stop feeling anxious or stressed, something non-food related, perhaps some gentle exercise, reading, listening to music, a warm bath?
If you do need a snack, try not to have something high in fat and sugar. There are some good examples of healthy snacks on these links:
British Dietetic Association – https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/healthy-snacks.html
NHS Choices – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/surprising-100-calorie-snacks/
And Change4life – http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/healthier-snacks-for-kids/100-calorie-snacks
Remember eating regular healthy meals keeps your blood sugar levels stable and stops you wanting to reach for high fat/sugar snacks.