When you're home throughout the day, the kitchen seems to become the "business center" of the house. Since you spend so much time there, how can you avoid snacking?
Remember 3 Meals a Day
First, be consistent in eating 3 meals a day. You may not feel hungry for breakfast at 7 a.m., but if you don't eat something, then it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll be ravenous by 10 a.m. Simply giving your body a steady fuel supply can stave off some snacking urges.
However, we all know that snacking occurs more because of boredom than because of true hunger. How do we avoid mindless snacking?
Just Say No!
It sounds simple, but try keeping unhealthy snacks out of the house altogether. After all, if it's not there, you can't eat it. Even if those cookies are on sale and you have a coupon - pass them by! If your only snacking choices are carrot and celery sticks, snacking may not be such a dietary concern. Bring only nutrition-filled snacks into the house.
Good ol' H2O
Another technique is to drink lots of water. Water is good for you; it keeps you hydrated, and has the added benefit of filling your stomach so that you don't feel as hungry. A full stomach will help you avoid snacking.
Practice being mindful of what goes into your mouth. For instance, practice chewing slowly, savoring the various flavors and textures in your food. Never pull out a bag of chips or candy while watching TV or reading emails. It is way too easy to mindlessly eat the whole bag and feel (unpleasantly) suprised when you realize what you've done!
Keep Your Hands Busy
Sometimes, all you may need to avoid snacking is something for your hands to do that doesn't involve food. Unload the dishwasher, go sort through a closet shelf, type up a business proposal - do anything to keep your hands busy with something that's not food-related.
Get copies made of a photo of yourself looking good. Tape these on the refrigerator door, pantry closet, or wherever you go to get your snacks. As you go to get that snack, look at the photo and think: will this snack help you look the way you want to? Is the pleasure derived from snacking worth the extra weight it will produce? Do you want to put in the exercise time necessary to shed the pounds you are putting on?
Brush Your Teeth
Sometimes, the way to avoid snacking is as simple as brushing your teeth. Brush them immediately after eating a meal, and floss too. Then, when the urge to snack hits an hour later, you will feel less likely to give in: do you really want to brush and floss all over again?
Pop in a piece of chewing gum. Perhaps it was flavor, and not necessarily food, that you were craving. The fresh taste will satisfy your tastebuds, and let's face it: it's hard to snack while you're chewing gum.
Good luck in your efforts to avoid snacking!
Susan Braun is a freelance writer living with her husband, three daughters, 2 rabbits, 2 gerbils and hedgehog in Indiana. She writes at girlsinwhitedresses.wordpress.com and Associated Content.