8 May 2008

Healthy Snacking

"You can't eat it if you don't have it in the house" is my motto. I have cravings for chocolate sometimes that if I had the stuff in the house it would be devoured. I find if I don't have it at home and I have a craving, the thought of having to go out and buy the treat stops me from doing it. Once the initial craving passes I am no longer hungry for it. Not having the treats within easy reach gives me time to consider whether I “really” want it or whether to make a healthier choice. “I don’t feel good” is my usual response after I have given in to the craving and stuffed myself with my favourite junk item.

It is easy for me to regulate what comes into my home because I am now an empty nester, but what if you have children? You want to have some snacks for them. As a parent you can control what kinds of things your children and guests eat by what you put in the cupboards. We are attracted to snack foods because they are quick and easy to eat when we are hungry. Have lots of fruits available that are easy to grab and eat on the run.

Read the labels

You will be surprised at the calories and fat content on some things that appear healthy. Read the labels so you can make a better choice.

As I'm sure you have all heard, never go shopping when you are hungry. If you are hungry it will be the quick snacks that you grab for instant gratification when you get in your vehicle.

What about at work?

I would recommend having a variety of healthy choices at your desk to eat when you need a quick pick-me-up. At many workplaces they unfortunately provide cookies to snack on or treats from the vending machine. If you have your own healthy snacks you will reach for them to munch on and bypass the high-calories in the cookie tin.

Treat yourself sometimes

I find if I deny myself all the time I will go overboard when I do get a chance to have a treat and eat too much. I look forward to my treat times. I anticipate having a treat at some family function because I know there will be cake and ice cream and other goodies. I won’t eat treats all week just knowing I have a special reward coming up on the weekend. I can then eat it and enjoy it with pleasure and not feel guilty because I know I have been good all week.

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