Surprising Tricks to Help You Fight the Urge to Snack
Feeling an urge to snack? We’ve all been there, but not all of us take the same approach when hunger strikes. There are people who give in as soon as their stomach starts rumbling, people who wait but then let themselves go and last but not least, people who can resist. Those who can resist are few and far between, which is why FizzUp is giving you these tricks you can depend on to stop snacking.
Trick your brain
A study presented at The Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts focused on ways to fight the urge to snack by tricking the brain. Researchers triggered food cravings by asking several obese subjects to imagine themselves smelling and tasting their favorite foods. Pretty mean, isn’t it? Yes, but once the subjects had a craving, they asked them to tap their foreheads, stomp their feet on the floor or stare at a wall. Subjects had to fill out a questionnaire before and after these actions in order to determine how strong their urge to snack was on a scale of 1 (weak) to 100 (strong). They found that the most powerful trick for reducing food cravings was to tap your forehead.
The author of the study, Richard Weil, director of the Weight Loss Program at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City, explained that these actions were “dynamic,” meaning, that they trigger a movement that stimulated several areas in the brain, far more than staring at a wall. Encouraging the cerebral cortex to create a movement requires more work from the brain, and as a result, distracts you more when you have the urge to snack. For this movement to really work, you only have to do it for 30 seconds. This is how you can pay less attention to your urge to snack so that you can quickly forget about it. It might look at bit strange tapping your head, but isn’t it worth a try?
FizzUp tip: Your FizzUp app tones your entire body and has a positive impact on your brain.
Empower your thoughts
Don’t underestimate the power of your thoughts, which can also tempt you and distract you from what you’re trying to achieve.
- Getting off track does have its consequences.
You CAN suppress the urge to snack just by thinking, and it only takes a minute! How? Brown University studied brain activity using MRI scans in overweight or obese people after they saw images of high-calorie and attractive foods such as French fries, pizza or ice cream. Researchers then used various strategies to encourage participants to focus on a one way of thinking for one minute, among many others:
- They had to forget what they had just seen by thinking about something else.
- They had to accept the urge they had as something they didn’t need to act on.
- They had to focus on the long-term consequences of these eating habits.
- They had to think of the satisfaction of giving in to temptation.
The best cognitive strategy to fight the urge to snack was to imagine the consequences of these foods for their body and health over the long term. But the two studies mentioned above have yet to be proven in real life, since they were conducted in a scientific setting and on overweight subjects.
- Urges vs. Awareness
Develop your awareness by practicing meditation, which helps you to focus your attention on other things. Also try to analyze your eating habits. When the urge to snack overwhelms you, ask yourself why. This simple question can turn out to be a great tool, because you’ll probably find that your urge isn’t a real need, but is triggered by an emotion or mental conditioning. Your urge to snack will disappear when your emotions stop controlling your stomach.
Accept what you feel without trying to act on your desire to eat. Let it go, but also try to be more flexible. If you deprive yourself on a regular basis, you’ll always get frustrated. You have to be less hard on yourself. Dieting and other restrictive eating diet methods can be dangerous ways to lose weight and stop snacking. The FizzUp trainer couldn’t repeat this enough in his nutrition tips. Don’t always say no to your cravings and treat yourself from time to time, otherwise you’ll feel like a prisoner. And what’s the number one thing on a prisoner’s mind? To escape!
- Get back into healthy eating habits
The urge to snack often comes from an unbalanced diet. Relearn how to eat by adding meals to your day. Try having a light meal at 10 am and 4 pm so that you can control how much you eat and not have to pay the consequences. Stick with healthy snacks like yogurt with fruit or smoothies. These tide-me-overs shouldn’t replace your main meals. They should just keep you full enough until your next meal.
Take your time while eating your food. Remember to chew slowly. Turning off your computer or TV screens also helps you become aware of the amounts of food you eat during your meals. This means that you’ll be less prone to getting the munchies.
FizzUp tip: You also shouldn’t forget that drinking water throughout the day is vital. Staying hydrated acts as an appetite suppressant.
- Get the guidance you need to eat a balanced diet
If you can’t fight your urges by yourself, that’s because your diet isn’t giving you what you need or because you don’t know how to eat a balanced diet. The FizzUp trainer recommends following the advice in the FizzUp Nutrition Guide, which takes your goal into account and helps you easily change your bad habits. 150 tips, tricks and recipes are waiting for you.
To put an end to your urge to snack, try these simple tricks and rely on your FizzUp trainer. You’ll feel so much better in your own skin. What about you? Got a trick to share with us?