The habit of snaking
Do you sometimes nibble between meals or at the end of the evening? If so, rest assured you are not alone! Once in a while, no problem, but if these cravings are more and more frequent and sometimes difficult to control …, a small assessment is in order. Do you snack out of hunger? Out of boredom? By habit? Out of stress? Or simply by temptation?
By Layla Willow
“To help you understand this craving for snacking, it is important to analyze the way you eat and listen to your hunger and fullness.”
To avoid evening temptations, know that the best ally is to eat adequately during the day. So, by eating regularly, the body will have enough nutrients to meet its needs and function efficiently. In the evening, your body will therefore not seek to fill “a need” and your desire to eat should slowly decrease. So it’s really important not to skip meals.
Meals and snacks should also contain satiating foods to avoid feeling hungry early. The optimal combination is a meal based on the principle of the balanced plate which offers a sufficient source of protein (meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds) accompanied by a whole grain cereal product (dough, bread, rice, quinoa, bulgur) and vegetables. The fiber in vegetables and grain products has the advantage of being effective in improving satiety in addition to being beneficial for gut health.
Another tip to avoid snacking is to drink! The presence of liquid in the stomach tricks the brain into sending it the same signal as when eating, which helps to calm snacking cravings. Water remains the best choice for hydrating compared to other drinks such as; flavored coffees, soft drinks, hot chocolates, energy drinks, fruit juices… which have a high caloric intake. Ideally on a daily basis, for each calorie consumed, it is suggested to drink 1 ml of water. Since an adult consumes on average 1,500 to 2,000 calories, we recommend drinking between 1.5 and 2 L of water per day, or the equivalent of 6 to 8 glasses of water.
Emotions are also sometimes responsible for our snacks. So, if you happen to eat out of boredom, reward, sadness … it would be interesting to find an alternative activity that makes you happy (reading, knitting, walking, painting …). The main objective is to create a diversion from your snacking craving, allowing you to take your mind off things. In addition, we try to move! Physical activity is good for your health and it also helps reduce stress! Who we know, tends to eat …
Finally, to reduce temptation, simply avoid exposing yourself to temptation by avoiding buying foods with “sometimes dubious …” nutritional value. Also, know that everything that is visible and accessible becomes much more tempting! So we put aside the cookie jars in favor of the fruit bowl.
- 91% of adults eat at least one snack a day. More women than men are more likely to eat between meals than men.
- 1 in 4 adults has three to five snacks per day.
- 3% of people admit to constantly snacking.