Whilst we're locked down in our living rooms and working from home, the temptation to snack when we otherwise would be more saintly, is all too easy. Because let's face it, most of us have turned our dining tables into our deskspace, so we're ever so temptingly closer to the fridge.
Although our bodies only need food when we are physically hungry, most of us regularly, eat for reasons other than physical hunger. It's important to listen to ourselves and our bodies to tell us when to eat.
To get a sense of how often you are eating when you are not hungry below is a list of emotions and situations that can sometimes trigger us to eat...
We Eat When We're...
We Tend To Eat Mindlessly When We're...
- Enjoying the weekend
- Chatting on the phone
- Watching TV
Of course, weekends are made for pleasure, and a catch up with your bestie is always best served with a cuppa tea and a choccie biccie. Though, a little sensible tweaking to your snacking habits can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy balance.
If you were to ask yourself how often do you feel hungry what would the answer be? Use this hunger scale to determine just how hungry you really are.
Whenever you feel peckish, ask yourself, 'On a scale of 1 to 10, how hungry am I’?
If you register 5 or below, you aren’t hungry, but your brain has suggested food to you for another reason. Perhaps you are thirsty, bored or in need of mental stimulation. Grab a glass of water and get into a good book!
If you feel a 6, 7 or an 8 on the scale, you are feeling true physical hunger. You many have a rumbling stomach, find yourself losing concentration, and begin thinking about specific foods you want to eat. This is time to eat!
If you get to a 9 or 10, you are probably over-hungry, so you may overeat. At this point, it’s really important to remember to eat slowly, choose healthy snacks and watch for the signs that you have had enough.
Serial snacker? A few pointers for when you feel peckish...
Have small, well balanced snacks throughout the day to keep you from feeling tempted to mindlessly eat. Dried fruits, nuts or rice cakes make a great snack to keep cravings at bay.
START THE DAY
Enjoy a full, healthy breakfast to keep your stomach from growling by 11am. Oats with fruit, natural yoghurt or eggs are all great brekkie choices to keep you feeling full.
Don't feel the need to finish what the kids didn't eat. Save it in the fridge for later or reduce their portions.
Plan what you'll have for lunch and dinner in advance, so that when hunger hits, you know exactly what you'll be eating, and avoid grabbing what's convenient.
WATCH YOUR PORTIONS
Keep in mind portion control. Just because what you're eating is healthy, doesn't mean you can eat twice as much! Weight gain is just as easily caused by poor portion control as it is by choosing the wrong types of foods.
WAIT A WHILE
If you just can't adult without a little snack, don't have a tantrum over it. Wait ten minutes and see if you still fancy it. The likelihood is, you'll become distracted by something else.
LIVE A LITTLE!
Restricting yourself will only lead you to feel more tense, more irritable and more likely to want to comfort it with a tasty snack. So allow yourself something delicious from time to time, but keep your main meals balanced and on a set schedule whilst you're stuck at home.