"Are you hungry or are you bored?" I ask my kids this all the time. All too often as a parent when my kids are bored, fighting, need a time filler we use snacks. We also go to food out of habit. What's a movie with out popcorn or a holiday with out baked goods? There are ways to help fight cravings and snack better.
Start out by allowing yourself to have snacks. Schedule your self a snack after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don't skip them. Otherwise like Christy mentioned here you will binge or run to junk. Eat lean protein, healthy fats, or produce. Easy lean proteins are things like turkey, Greek yogurt, hard boiled egg whites, soy or black beans. Some great healthy fats can be avocado, nuts or almond/peanut butter. If you are going to have a higher sugared or carb snack eat it sooner rather than later. That way you give your body more time to burn it off.
A new study shows raisins as a great snack. Compared to other snacks raisins help you feel more full so that you intake less calories. Raisins are cholesterol and fat free, and have very little natural sodium. Plus they are a great anti-oxidant. Raisins are easy to take anywhere.
Celery and apples with peanut butter are one my kids favorites. I eat mine with almond butter. My son loves to make "peanut butter ants." Which are raisins with peanut butter. It's a little messy but healthier than a fruit snack. Click on the picture below for 100 more snack idea's
What do I do if I still crave things between snacks and meals? Hopefully if you are eating 3 proper meals, and 3 filling snacks you shouldn't crave too much. If you do here are some things I use to help me with cravings.
First of all I use any kind of positive motivation or sayings. I put them on my fridge. I use to have this picture on my fridge, right now it's a Hawaii picture.
If I you are craving sugars try eating a huge spoonful of actual sugar. Chances are you won't be able to do it. Even if you do I wonder if it would be healthier than whatever the alternative was?
When I have a chocolate craving I get out 10 chocolate chips, usually dark chocolate. I eat only 1 every minute. That way for 10 minutes I get a nice chocolaty snack. Usually those 10 minutes and a tall glass of water help hold me over till the next meal.
Try drinking some water or chewing some gum. Try something to keep you busy and occupied. I am sure there is some laundry, or a good book somewhere to help get your mind off food.