How to stop snacking and stay healthy during the lockdown
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
Let’s face it – Lockdown life is tough and by now, most of us are over it. On top of that, staying home 24/7 makes it easy for bad habits to creep upon us. One of these bad habits is snacking.
Whereas we would usually go to the office, meet friends or do sports, we now spend our days walking from the couch to the fridge and back. The sudden loss of routine and the stress associated with the Coronacrisis can take a toll on our healthy eating behavior. Moreover, high levels of stress are associated with greater Cortisol production that can lead us to snack more unhealthy foods.
So how can we STOP snacking?
First, define your goal.
Do you want to lose weight, keep it, or simply not snack at all? These are among the questions you’ll have to answer in order to define your goal – it is the first step to changing your behavior.
A simple and effective way to understand your goal is to visualize your desired outcome. Visualization techniques help us to paint a mental image of what it’s like to achieve our goal, boost confidence and increase self-efficacy (the extent to which you believe that you can actually achieve your goal). Take a moment and really dive into what you want. What does it feel like when you reach your goal? Who is with you to celebrate your achievement? What do you look like? Once you have a clear picture in mind, it becomes much easier to define your goal and plan how you will get there.
Second, get to know your snack habits.
Awareness is key when it comes to changing your behavior. You may think you know that you snack too much or too often. But at what time do you mainly snack? Is there a certain event that precedes your snacking behavior? Getting to know your behavior is important in order to identify possible patterns. You can start by simply tracking your behavior and making a note of what, when and where you snack for one week. At the end of the week, look at the results and see if you can identify a pattern. When you become aware of and learn to see a pattern in your habits, it’s much easier to achieve behavior change.
Third, take action.
Once you’ve learned when and where you mainly snack, you can work on replacing your behavior through alternative actions. For example, if you find that you snack mostly after work, schedule an exercise routine for exactly that time. If you frequently snack biscuits, chips or chocolate just because you don't have a healthier option at home, then prepare healthy snacks in advance and have them available the next time. Buy dried fruit instead of candy, coconut yoghurt instead of ice cream, nuts instead of chips...there are so many healthier and tasty options. The key is to think ahead and have something at home for the next snack attack.
Foto: Anna Tukhfatullina