If animals and babies know to eat only when they’re hungry and to stop eating when they’re comfortable, then what the hell is wrong with the rest of us? Why do we feel the need to have dessert after a filling meal? Why do we crave snacks and drinks even though we’re not hungry or thirsty? and why do we have a hard time with portion control when it comes to our favorite meals? All of these are challenging for me and I’m sure most of you as well!
I believe that the culprits for these munchies are lack of self control, lack of sleep, stress, depression, hormones and the way our society has conditioned us! I know whenever I feel the least bit stressed, I reach for junk food and whatever snacks I can find lying around,whether I’m hungry or not! Horrible right!
Most of us also tend to be multi-tasking eaters. We eat while we’re on the computer, watching TV, reading and even when socializing. For some reason, we feel the need to have something in front of us to munch on. But what we don’t know, is that our stomachs have “stretch receptors,” which send a signal of satiety to our brain when food hits our stomach to tell us “we’re full!” However, that signal does not work if we’re eating while distracted! So, the key to not overeating is to steer clear from distractions while chowing down. I know this may be difficult at first but it’ll just take a little getting used too and actually remembering to do so!
For me, as a child, my home always had snacks lying around so naturally when I felt hungry, I’d nibble on whatever there was, then go back outside to play. What a happy life! Back then, I used to eat like a bird, never having an actual full meal. I had the smallest appetite ever! But with getting older, naturally everything started changing. I started snacking more and filling up on junk food. I am naturally a petite person, measuring about 5ft maybe 2 inches at most. So, if and when I went overboard with my horrid eating habits, it would definitely become noticeable.
Because of this, I started practicing portion control so as to not go overboard. Two (2) pounds gained on me can look like a lot compared to 2 pounds gained on an average sized human. At first it will be difficult, but you’ll get the hang of it. When I first started, I found it was easy to just cut down the portion sizes of my regular everyday food. I hadn’t changed my diet yet simply because I wanted to get used to the new portion sizes first. It’s also easier to take baby steps into things like this, especially if it’s all new to you. It’s helpful to use a smaller plate size for your meals rather than what you’re usually used to. You can fill up a little plate and it will still be less than what you would’ve been having on your regular sized plate. This tricks the mind into thinking you won’t need more than what’s there in front of you. Once you get the portion control down, you can start adjusting your diet bit by bit.
- Cut out excessively sugary drinks and snacks!– I found that when I did this, the cravings weren’t as strong as before!
- Substitutions! – if you’re craving something sweet, like chocolate, have a dark chocolate instead, it’s healthier than regular milk chocolate, it helps to lower blood pressure and is filled with antioxidants. You can also try apple slices dipped in a bit of peanut butter for a cool snack. No matter what crazy snack you feel for, there is always a healthier alternative!
To curb your appetite, try not eating way past into the night. If you’re like me and stay up until ungodly hours watching Netflix, and you start feeling munch-ish, drink a cup of tea and nibble on some mixed nuts- that usually fills me up for the night. Once you start incorporating these tips, you should begin to feel a bit more in control. Remember to be conscious of what and how much you’re consuming.
Hope this helps your munchies! 😉