Do you think about starting a low-carb or keto diet but you have some bad habits with your eating that you feel like you just can't kick? I might have some solutions! Sometimes it's as simple as thinking about things from a different perspective.
These are some of the habits that many people might struggle with:
- Snacking throughout the day - but especially at night
- Eating too much and feeling like you need to "clean your plate"
- Craving sweets and having a hard time resisting desserts
- Not being able to give up a favorite - even if it's not healthy
There are obviously more bad habits that some might have but I feel like those are probably the biggest. The good news is, you can work with those and learn ways to conquer them or make them work in your favor. I promise! Are you ready for some ideas? Let's get to them! Today we're going to focus on snacking.
If you are a big snacker and you feel like you have to eat something throughout the day you'll first want to evaluate if you're eating because you're actually hungry or if you're eating out of habit. Sometimes we just get bored and turn to food because it's a comfortable way to fill some time and then it just becomes habit. We train our minds to think we need food throughout the day.
The best help for this is to find things to occupy your time and your thinking when you would typically turn to a snack. Ask yourself if you're truly hungry or if you're just reaching for something out of habit. Figure out an alternative that will help you think about something other than food at your traditional snack time. Listen to some good music or a podcast to get your mind on something else, do a crossword puzzle or a jigsaw puzzle to occupy your thoughts, send a text to a friend to say hi and see how they're doing. There are other things you can do with your mind rather than focusing on food. And the more you conquer it, the easier it gets.
One of the most common times for most of us to snack is when we're sitting down to watch a show or a movie. That's definitely a habit you want to break because if you're mindlessly eating without paying attention, you're probably consuming a lot more carbs than your body should have - because let's be real, we're not likely snacking on healthy protein and fats but rather on empty carbs. ;) If it's important to you to have a snack while watching a movie or a show, make some pre-measured bags of nuts with the correct serving size so you don't overeat and consume way too much, have some celery sticks with some cream cheese, or maybe a serving of pork rinds or even some sliced up full-fat, cheese. Any of those, especially when measured out ahead of time, would be great snack choices.
If you're snacking because you feel hunger though, that's a different story and that's definitely easily fixed! If you do your meals right, I promise you won't even think about food in between and you might even end up eating your meals at weird times because you get busy doing things and you don't even think about stopping to eat because you're not hungry. haha! I can't tell you how many times I've eaten lunch later in the afternoon because I hadn't gotten hungry yet and didn't realize it was so late already. ;)
That's actually a whole other issue too - thinking that we have to eat because it's noon or because it's 6pm. Meals don't have to happen based on the clock. Meals should happen based on hunger. If you're not hungry, don't eat because "it's time" to eat. Even if you skip a meal - that's totally fine and totally healthy if you're not hungry. We all have plenty there to sustain us if we don't eat 3 squares a day. ;)
But I digress... Anyway, if you eat enough at your meals to be full - not stuffed to the brim but pleasantly full - then you're less likely to get hungry a little while later. Also, the type of food you're eating makes a huge difference. This is one of the reasons the low-carb lifestyle works so well. If your meal consists mostly of simple carbs, those are going to be burned up as fuel by your body very quickly and it's going to let you know it wants more - which is why you feel hungry. But if you feed your body mostly healthy fats and protein with a little complex carbs added in (which have lots of fiber), your body will feel full much longer because it takes so much longer to digest those three versus simple carbs.
Snacking is one of those habits that can be easily broken - you just have to be mindful of it and pay attention to why you're snacking and when and then make the corrections needed to live a healthy life. Just to be clear though - this isn't to say you should never have a snack - this is just to help you eliminate mindless snacking that isn't truly to satisfy hunger. ;)