Crunch Not Munch - Alternatives to Snacking
Snacking is a major factor that leads to putting on weight. Snacking is often not a result of feeling hungry, the desire to snack can be brought on by boredom, loneliness, stress, or habit. Often you know you shouldn't have a snack, but you often succumb. What can you do about it? Here's a simple idea that may work for you.
Each time you find yourself wanting to snack, instead of eating, do a short period of exercise, such as 20 push-ups or sit-ups. Not only will the extra calories burned help offset whatever food you were going to eat, but more importantly, you might find that after the exercise bout you aren't interested in eating anymore. A short burst of exercise can stimulate your body, making you more alert, and helping you feel better about yourself. There's a good chance the desire to eat may just drift away.
You don't always have to exercise as an alternative to snacking. Why do you snack? If you can identify why you are snacking, you can then target the alternative response. If you snack due to habit or boredom, exercise may be effective, but also other activities too. If you snack because you are stressed, look at what types of things help you unwind. It might be exercise, or some yoga, stretching, a walk, even some time relaxing and chatting with friends, which can all help relieve your stress.
The aim is to avoid unnecessary snacking, you just need to select what alternative works best for you. Here are some ideas to try:
- Do 20 sit-ups.
- Call a loved one or old friend for a chat.
- Do some gentle stretching.
- Do 50 jumping jacks.
- Read a magazine for 10 minutes.
- Walk up and down the stairs.
- Do some yoga. Concentrate on relaxing each part of your body from toes to head.
- Have a drink of water, or make a cup of tea or decaffeinated coffee.