The door opens and I get attacked. My kiddos climb on me and I play with them for a little bit, I give Emilee a kiss, and then open the fridge. I finish some coding, come out of the office, and open the fridge. I finish with some yard work, get a cool drink, and open the fridge. I wake up, get out of bed, and open the fridge. Sometimes I just find myself in the kitchen staring at the fridge for no good reason. This is grazing. Anytime I felt an urge or a hunger, I would go to the snack area and put something in my mouth. Most of the time it didn’t matter what it was, just something that sounded good to eat.
Grazing is the antithesis to healthy eating. With no structure there is no accounting for what is being consumed. It is easy to loose track of what you have eaten and what you need. I have seen a few strategies around solving this issue, but the one that has worked the best, and also I have liked the most, has been to not let yourself get hungry.
Don’t Get Hungry
It’s actaully is pretty simple. If you don’t let yourself get hungry then you don’t get those cravings for food. You don’t end up in front of the fridge or cupboard looking for something to satify your hunger. This isn’t just eating when you want, that is grazing what we are avoiding. In order to do this you need to have an eating schedule.
In essense you begin eating every 3 hours with your first meal being within 30 minutes of waking up and alternating between a snack and a meal. A snack would be around a serving of something – like a serving of almonds, or a whole fruit, like an apple or banana – and should be something healthy and consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, or seeds. Breads could be part of a snack, like avacado toast or almond butter toast, but shouldn’t be your staple. A meal would be a normal meal consisting of multiple servings from the different food groups in proper proportions.
It is also important to stay hydrated. Not with juice or other liquids, with water. I drink half my weight in ounces every day. For example I weight around 180 lbs. I drink 90 ounces of water every day.
When you plan this way you are purposefully choosing your food instead of just reacting to your hunger. Here is an example schedule with some of my favorite meals listed.
The whole point of a snack is to eat something healthy before you get hungry to take control of what you are eating. In order to make it not so hard I had a few staple snacks I could just grab or put in my bag and take with me. It is important to keep little stashes around. In your car, at your desk or work area, in your home in order to keep your schedule. You will essentially train your body to get ready to process foods at certain times.
To help you get started here are a few of my favorite snacks.
1/2 c. Almonds – My favorite all time snack! I love to get my almonds and munch on them. They need to be dry roasted. I love salted.
1/2 c. dried figs – Look for dried figs that add nothing. I especially like to mix the figs with the almonds.
Almond butter and honey on a rice cake – I typically make my own almond butter and use about 1-2 tbsps of almond button on a rice cake then add a little bit of raw honey. You need to be careful with store bought almond button because most of them include other oils or ingredients, look for only almonds and salt.
1 whole Fruit – A whole apple, banana, orange, peach, pair, or similar. This is simple and easy to throw in your pocket and eat.
3-4 c. Watermelon – I would generally use a large container of watermelon, it would probably be about 3-4 cups.
Berries – I personally love raspberries, but any berry is good. I would eat aroud a cup to a cup and a half.
Spinach blueberry smoothie – Vegitables is one of the secrets, you can eat those when ever you want, even between snacking times. So makeing a blueberry spinach smoothy is awesome. For some recipies head over to our food section.
Crackers and Hummus – This is really yummy, and there are some great hummus flavors. Use about a 1/2 Cup of hummus and crackers to go with it.
These are some of my favorite Snacks. Just typing them makes me want to go get some…wait, it’s time for a snack.