As the Chinese New Year festivities enter their second week, you may be feeling conscious about the amount of delicious biscuits you’ve been trying out on your CNY visits. Snacking is not only common during CNY, but is something of an everyday habit for many of us. That being said, snacking can be unhealthy when it becomes second-nature to us and we don’t watch out for how much sugar and empty nutrition we’re consuming. So, here are 5 solutions to help you keep your snacking under control!
- Stop stocking up on snacks
Beyond festive seasons and celebrations, the best way to stop yourself from snacking is to eliminate all opportunities for you to give in to sudden cravings at home! This means reminding yourself not to buy chips, sweets and biscuits when you’re doing your grocery shopping – instead, you can think about planning a grocery list beforehand and sticking to it when you’re at the supermarket. This is also a great way to help you budget your expenses!
- Keep a food log
Of course, there are many other avenues where snacks make themselves readily available outside your home, such as your workplace. A great motivating tool you can give yourself would be a food log, where you keep track of what you’re eating daily – set goals for yourself, such as going a day (or a week!) without snacking on unhealthy tidbits, and reward yourself accordingly with a good movie or a good meal somewhere you’ve been dying to try!
A food log is also great at letting you know what foods work for your skin health or affect your mood and digestion. There are many free food log apps that you could try such as:
- This easy to use “casual dieting-weight manager” which allows you to keep track of your weight, log your diet, and comes with cute stickers! Get it for Android phones here, and Apple phones here.
- The Health Promotion Board’s official app, “Healthy 365” – this is a more extensive app that can track your steps, log your food (and calculate calories) and allows you to win vouchers if you decide to participate in the National Steps Challenge. Find out more details here.
- Or, if you like taking pictures of your food and sharing them on Instagram, consider getting “See How You Eat” which is a photo-based food log that allows you to see what you’ve eaten each day at a glance! A simple, visual way for you to motivate yourself and pinpoint what time you’re most likely to snack, and how much snacks you’re really eating. Get it for Android phones here, and Apple phones here.
- Plan something after meals
One of the most common times where we are prone to snacking is right after meals and in-between them. So, the best way to stop your snacking habit would be to keep yourself occupied with work right after lunch – set a task to be done immediately after lunch, and you will gradually kick the habit of reaching for the snacks automatically after meals!
Snacking after meals may also be a sign that you are eating too fast during meals – this means that it will take you awhile longer to feel ‘full’ after a meal. Take it slow and enjoy the lunch and dinner time conversations at the meal table, and you’ll be replacing unhealthy snacks with fun conversations with your friends and family before you know it!
- Pay off your snack debt with exercise
In the event that you’ve succumbed to snacking, a good way to steer yourself back on track is to commit to exercising every time you’ve diverged from your meal plan. Not only is regular exercise a good way to boost your health and mood, it also acts as a condition that will make you consider twice before snacking: “If I eat this snack, will I have time tomorrow morning to squeeze in a workout?” – If you can’t, and you’re committed to disciplining your snacking cravings, chances are that you will forgo the snack altogether!
- Treat yourself to healthier snacks!
At the end of the day, we snack because our mouths ‘feel itchy’ and because we’re feeling peckish between meals – this may be something that we can’t help. What we can control, however, is what we snack on. Try out alternative snacks that actually benefit your body, and you’ll be astounded at the changes you’ll feel – no more sugar highs (and lows), for instance.
Fruits are an easy and delicious snack that you can take, as are steamed veggies and nuts. A good way to achieve this at work is to stock up the pantry at the beginning of the week with your own fruits, nuts and other healthy snacks – this is so that you know that you’ll have to clear them by the end of the week, and keep you from sidetracking to try other kinds of snacks.
Whatever you’re eating, just remember to keep everything in moderation, and to always have full, nutritious meals that can keep you going through your day!