Not only kids, but all of us love to snack on our favorite foodstuffs. Having a cheat meal rarely is fine, but craving for your favorite food every now and then is going to create health problems at some stage later in your life. You may be on a weight loss program or you may be inspired to pursue a healthy eating lifestyle. The guidelines given here are sure to help you stick to your regimen:
- Promise to never skip your meals. Many of us are used to skipping breakfast or even lunch. Though we might feel that this is the easiest way to cut calories, it actually works the other way around. Missing meals makes you terribly hungry during the latter part of the day and you end up gobbling down mega-portions of snacks to stock your body with easily digested sugars.
- Be aware of what you pop into your mouth: Do you watch your favorite movie or soap with a bag of chips or a bottle of soft drink in your lap? Here, we are talking about such mindless snacking which can contribute to unnecessary calorie additions. Keep it a rule to never snack while reading a book, watching TV or surfing the Internet. If you feel like eating something, stop your work and eat. It is better to have a piece of chocolate knowingly than stuffing yourself with a whole chocolate bar.
- Never bring junk food into the house. Though the joke might be old, the essence of it is still new: “see-food diet” makes you feel like eating everything that you see. But, the opposite is also very true. You don’t feel like eating something that you don’t have at your place. Even if some other household member stores junk, request him/her to keep it out of sight.
- Know your cravings. Cravings can be due to starvation, deprivation of certain foods or just like that. Analyze the root cause of your cravings. Do you feel like eating something really because of hunger or due to feelings like stress, boredom or loneliness? Question yourself whether food is really going to solve your problems? For instance, having a mithai is not going to help you fix your problems at work that you are concerned about. Alternative options such as walking, listening to your favorite music or chatting with your friend can uplift your mood. After doing all this, if you still feel like eating something, ask yourself about the food that you really want. If you want something sweet, eat a small piece of chocolate or mithai. Remember, it is always better to snack on what you’re craving for rather than foregoing the craving. Eating food while craving for something else might only make you eat unnecessary extra portions just because the craving isn’t satisfied.
- Make sure that you are 100% hungry. Before eating something, question yourself if your hunger is physical or due to emotional reasons such as stress and fatigue. If you are unsure about it, visit the website www.firsteatright.com to differentiate between the two types of hunger and then conclude on your hunger type. If your answer is physical hunger, ensure that you’re not confusing it with thirst. Drink a glass of water, wait for 10 to 15 minutes. If you are still hungry, go for a healthy snack.
- Take a healthy snack with you. Don’t hesitate to carry a small bag of puffed rice or some assorted fruits in your purse or car. Though others might feel like you are overdoing it, you are the one who is going to finally carry the extra calories that you eat. Having a healthy snack at hand, especially the ones that we like, is sure to prevent us from looking out for calorie-laden cookies or candy.
All said and done, life is meant to be happy and feel good about what we do. So, do what you feel is best for your health. Your friends, colleagues and family might initially comment that you are being too fussy, but if you are confident that you have started taking steps for a lifetime of good health and your goal is positive, keep the good work going. Once they start seeing the changes, they might even ask you for a suggestion or two for their journey to good health.