Do you have a snack monster following you around? And no, I’m not talking about your teenage children! Are you one of the many, many people who lives for snacks and loves snacks of all kinds? I know I was. And when I’m talking about snacking I’m not just talking about those 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. snack times, but any time when you are eating between your main mealtimes.
One thing I’ve realized over the years is that a lot of snacking is related to certain situations. Think about the following scenarios:
• Do you always have crackers or chips when you sit down to watch TV?
• Do you tend to pick up a candy bar or goodie every time you stop for gas?
• Are you a taste tester when you (or your spouse) is cooking?
• If you drink alcohol, are you accustomed to drinking a glass of wine before certain meals?
• Does a football game just not seem complete without cheese nachos, chocolate candy, and salsa?
• Does the vending machine at work call your name at a certain time every single day?
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you – relax – you are not alone! I had many situations during my obese years that I felt required a little “snack or two or three.” And if I had stopped to add up how many additional calories I was consuming by downing those little bites of things here and there I probably would have been surprised. I was easily adding more than 500 calories a day to my food intake – easily. No wonder I just kept gaining and gaining. Between the snacks and the cokes I was a mess.
I realized as I was on my weight loss journey that much of my situational snacking was a habit. And as such I needed to break myself of snacking unnecessarily. Unnecessary snacking is different from planned snacks! Unnecessary snacking almost always involves a situation that you have associated with a certain food. It’s similar to the thought that you “have” to eat certain foods at certain holidays. Sometimes those stereotypes are meant to be broken – as was the case for me. I needed to break myself of those situations where food was involved unnecessarily – like eating plates of chips and cheese after dinner for no good reason. For me, I had to substitute other things for food – like scrapbooking or knitting or just talking on the phone. I also had to plan for those times as I knew I had the tendency to fall easily back into old habits.
Have you identified situational snacking on your journey? What was your solution to reigning in the unnecessary snack times? Diane