Today I’m talking about ‘Snackitude’. Snacking out of stress or boredom, or just general snacking because things are there is something that I’m sure we can all relate to. I know for myself working from home, most of the time, that if I have a lot of snacks in the cupboard it can be very easy to just go on over and pick up anything out of there that I fancy. I’m at home and I’m working and I think, “oh just fancy a bit of that”. I definitely have to think about these things before I buy them, and I have to think about these things before I consume them.
I have a bit of a base diet routine that I stick to on a day to day basis. I eat relatively similar meals in terms of what those foods are at what times and I train at the same time each day, which is just four or five days a week at the moment. Then I have the snacks when I have snacks, so it’s quite simple for me to say okay well that’s going to last me X amount of time and I only buy certain snacks. I think that could be a lesson as well for you guys reading in terms of when you do buy in terms of snacks.
It works well to have multi-pack options. So things like boxes of bars, big bags of small packeted crisps, which are quite small these days. Things like that avoid you just taking the entire packet and demolishing them all. It’s definitely one way to manage the calories from them so that you just give yourself a certain amount to have each day.
When you do have larger bags of sharing style food I recommend that you serve them up into bowls or plates and measure them out in some way so that you are aware of how many calories you’re eating. The last thing you want to do is just take a share size bag of Doritos to the sofa when you Netflix and chill and find yourself at the bottom of a delicious bag of chilli heatwave with the chilli residue all over your fingertips. I’m sure you can tell I’m speaking from experience here, that has happened to me before in the past.
Snacking can come in many forms: mindlessly snacking as you cook dinner; mindlessly snacking as you watch TV; the treats and everything else that are always in office scenarios. These little ‘bites, licks and tastes’ can definitely add up over time. When I do food recalls with new clients and I get them to tell me absolutely everything they’ve eaten that day. A lot of the time it’s quite funny how these things may have been forgotten about at first or how as you recall things honestly, you can see how a lot of small things add up over the course of a day. If you were to track everything as honestly as you possibly could, I think a lot of you would be surprised with how many little calories are sneaking in throughout the day from this kind of mindless events.
My question to you or my mission for you this week in fact is this: before you snack, consider: do you really want the food? Do you really need the food? Are you actually hungry? Or are you just feeling some kind of void be that emotional, or otherwise, if you do find that you eat a lot of these types of foods when stressed. And it’s purely just for stress relief it’s not the fact that you really want them, desire them, they taste nice or that you’re hungry. You’re just eating them out of stress. I would massively urge all of you to look at ways that you can manage your stress throughout the week that are not related to food, be that exercise, activities, hobbies, playing games, having sex, those kind of things. All of these ways can help you reduce stress and relax, or without adding extra calories to your day.
There’s definitely a time and place for snack-type items, But it’s up to you to decide where those fit in with relation to your overall goal, your week and daily food at the time. Remember that we’re never thinking about ‘bad foods’. We’re thinking about our food habits in general, and how we can engineer these for long term success. This concept of delayed gratification, where you pass up the short-term food for long term results in a physical or health sense, is definitely one of those where you might reduce snack item foods, at the time, in order to have lower calories while you lose weight. Before then returning to maintenance calorie intake later on down the road of your journey.