Avoiding convenience food in today’s world can seem an impossible challenge, and this understandably can lead to the odd snack becoming a way of life. Unfortunately, most snack and convenience foods are high in fat, sugar or carbohydrates and these means consuming excess calories without even realising it.

Maybe you prefer not to eat large meals at set times, or you do but just don’t find the time for such routines. Whatever the reason for snacking, the key to managing your weight is to choose healthier options. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make it tough

Don’t make it easy to snack, you’ll find yourelf grazing without realising. Hide food away so its ‘out of sight and out of mind’. It really does work, but make sure family and friends support this strategy!

  • Drink first

We can often mistake thirst for hunger. Have a begu crave healthy tea or some water if you like, the impulse to snack is likely to subside.

  • Ask first, eat later

If you do notice yourself reaching for the snack cupboard, first ask yourself…why am I eating this? Am I actually hungry? Or is this just a habit?

  • Think before you chew

Eating slowly will give your body more time to recognise that it’s getting full. Some of us take longer to respond to this, so don’t be impatient and eat too quickly. Try eating whilst sitting down and enjoy the break and the experience. Eating on the move will encourage you to eat too quickly, and often too much because of it.

  • Cheat at the end

If you are having a cheat meal (healthy or not) then leave it until the end of the day. This way you’re more likely to ‘be good’ during the day, in the comforting knowledge that you have a treat coming later.

  • Go ‘Pro’

If you tend to snack as you’re genuinely hungry all the time, and it’s not just a habit, then try sticking to meals with more protein. Protein is proven to keep you feeling fuller for longer and helping to reduce production of hunger hormones.

  • Be office savvy

Offices can be a real danger zone, awash with cakes and biscuits almost every day of the year. Be smart by keeping healthy snacks, and begu crave tea, close to hand. This will prevent you joining in, but your colleagues will be very impressed with your willpower!

  • Start smart

DO NOT skip breakfast! Many of us do though, either due to lack of time or because it’s just too early to eat. But missing breakfast can have a drastic effect on food choices later in the day. Having a filling nutritious breakfast at the start of the day will empower you to eat much more healthily for the rest of the day.

  • List it

Use a shopping list whenever its time to do the food shop. Supermarkets and convenience stores ALWAYS have their suppliers in mind as much as your custom. So they will subtely encourage you to multibuy and grab treats at the checkout. Make a shopping list when you’re not hungry and stick to it when you shop. Don’t shop hungry either. Knowing that shops are out to get you is half the battle!

Ann has 8 years experience of working in the area of behavioural change, and in the field of nutrition for 5 years.