Snacking & Overeating: The often-mindless act of eating outside of one’s meals which can easily derail goals.

Whether it’s a bag of popcorn during a movie or a late-night handful of whatever cereal is easiest to grab, snacking is something that we’re all guilty of doing every once in a while. Especially while we aren’t preoccupied, it’s easy to make a B-line for the pantry as a way to fill empty space and subside even the slightest pang of hunger. As satisfying as it may be, though, snacking can get in the way of allowing you to reach your goals. Overeating, too is a big issue. Often times it’s brought upon by obligation to eat everything you’ve been served or when your eyes are too big for your stomach.

Without planning for what you’re eating or not measuring the amount of something that you’re consuming, calories can build up and cancel-out any progress you may have been making in terms of your dietary goals. It’s especially difficult to make healthy meal decisions when your appetite isn’t under control.

Learn how to curb your appetite and stop snacking & overeating once and for all! Follow these tips to learn how to be mindful, separate snackiness from hunger, and make it from meal to meal without a too-big desire for a second lunch.

  1. Control blood sugar with cinnamon or vinegar

A great way to add flavor to anything is to add a splash of vinegar or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Vinegar has been proven to lower the body’s glycemic index, which helps control blood sugar. Adding a great acidic flavor, vinegar (we’re loving the current Apple Cider Vinegar fad) is an awesome touch to salad dressings, sauces, and even roasted veggies. Cinnamon, on the other hand, has been shown to slow the rate at which food travels, meaning you feel full for a longer period of time. Add cinnamon to your smoothies, coffee, or even dinner recipes for great health benefits & a yummy aromatic twist.

  1. Don’t let yourself get too hungry

When we get “starving” and finally get our hands on food, it’s easy to shove our faces with whatever is most convenient. This, though, both advocates for overeating as well as unhealthy food choices. If you find yourself in this situation often – don’t fret! Consider eating smaller versions of your meals throughout the day instead of at 3 separate sittings. This way, you’ll never feel like you’re going hungry.

  1. Drink water

Sometimes we mistake our boredom or thirst for hunger, which is a vital mistake. Even just mild dehydration can trick our bodies into thinking that we’re hungry, so make sure you’re staying well-hydrated with pure water (not sugar-ridden juices or sodas). In general, full-grown adults should aim to drink 8-12 or more cups of water per day depending on age, activity level, climate and more.

  1. Eat slowly

When you consume something, it can take a while before our bellies feel full from it. For this reason, try and make it a practice to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. This way, you’ll experience the sensation of being full more quickly and you’ll enjoy your food more!

The best part about salad, arguably, is the toppings which can accompany a classic bed of greens and turn it into a Mediterranean tour of flavors or make you feel like you’re spending a relaxing day by the pool. For the most part, salads are a fantastic way to get all kinds of healthy foods into our bodies and provide an array of nourishing vitamins and minerals.

The ever-popular flavor and texture additions like croutons and bacon bits, though, can actually have the opportunity to sabotage your health efforts. When salads are over-portioned or over-accessorized with fatty foods or topped with nothing but empty calories, things can turn south quickly. Picture-worthy as they may be, your favorite toppings could push your salad to be more calories than a slice of cake!  Get smart about your salads and avoid the following foods or ones like them and you’ll be on your way to a truly healthy lifestyle.

Avocados:

Heart-healthy, natural fats like avocado can be good at times, but certainly not in excess as they usually are when used as a salad topping. Just one avocado has 240 calories and 24 grams of fat, making it one of the easiest foods to accidentally over-eat.

Nuts:

Nuts, especially those which are honey-roasted, salted, or in an otherwise unnatural form, add entirely unnecessary calories to otherwise healthy salads. While a nice crunch is satisfying, under-estimating how much you’re eating isn’t. Just a couple ounces of the crunchy goodness can be heavily-packed with fats that should be avoided.

Crispy chicken, shrimp, etc.:

The crispiness of meats can often mean that they were cooked or fried in large amounts of oil, breaded, or both. The preparation of such meats adds unsatisfying amounts of calories which lack any nutritional value. Instead, opt for well-seasoned grilled and baked proteins which will satisfy both your protein requirements and taste buds.

Croutons, tortilla strips, crunchy noodles, etc.:

As satisfying as it may be to pour a handful of caesar-flavored yumminess onto your salad, resist the urge! A truly healthy lifestyle is worth much more than the crunch of a carbohydrate-ridden serving of croutons.

Dried fruit:

Just because it’s fruit doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthy; dried fruit actually has higher concentrations of sugar than fresh fruits and can be ridden with preservatives! Fresh fruit, on the other hand, has more antioxidant benefits and higher vitamin content to keep you healthy and happy.

Cheese:

Cheese is a large source of saturated fat, which, in excess, can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Not only that, a too-big serving has the power to overpower the calories of your salad itself. Instead, get your calcium from veggies like broccoli and kale.

Get smart about your salads and really take inventory of what you’re putting into your body! By avoiding certain foods and meanwhile mindfully including proper portions of others, you will be able to get the most out of your mealtimes.