Weight Loss Support - Tips for a constant snacker?

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11-11-2011, 03:09 PM
I have an awful habit of being unable to stop snacking. It's the reason why I can't lose weight and it's probably the reason why I even gained in the first place.

I go to school, so during the day I bring just enough food to get me by, and it's no problem (though I do have moments where I'd kill for anything to munch on). When I get home is the real problem. I just can't help myself from constantly reaching for something. All of my snacks are healthy, but they're just so constant that it's a real problem. I have big self control issues. Does anyone have advice that can help me overcome this?

11-11-2011, 03:17 PM
I drink alot of teas and coffee..sometimes it's just the constant hand to mouth motion that keeps us busy.

gum can also help.

11-11-2011, 03:27 PM
eat things that take awhile like an orange or an apple... I also drink tea and sometimes just reading will take my mind off eating... I once read it takes 12 minutes for the craving passes!

11-11-2011, 03:28 PM
I had to get hard on myself. I am sorry I don't have a better answer than that - but as you can see, the snacking is getting in the way of your weight loss.

I will say it has become way easier the longer I have repetitively made "no" decisions.

11-11-2011, 03:30 PM
Eat more during the day. You're snacking all evening in part because you're hungry. The other part is that you've made it a habit.

Also, schedule your snacks. Plan to have a snack at a set time and then be done with it. Put off snacking until that time rolls around, and don't snack after that.

Choose carefully what you eat, and don't keep tempting foods around in bulk quantities, like large bags of chips or packages of cookies. You can't eat what isn't there.

No one can teach you self-control except yourself. Make a commitment for a set snack or two at set times (preferably no more often than two hours apart) and stick with it.

Good luck!

11-11-2011, 07:35 PM
I too get the snack attack quite frequently. I have to force myself to plan out everything before I go into the kitchen to keep myself from mindlessly munching. If I'm eating something like crackers or popcorn (which are hard for me to eat in normal quantities), I measure it out, put the rest away and sit down at a table before I start eating. I find that if I start eating in the kitchen, it's going downhill fast. I also second the idea of not keeping tempting things in the house, especially in bags/containers with multiple servings. I can't keep tortilla chips in my house for this very reason :).

11-12-2011, 01:13 AM
What do you snack on? Is there anything you like well enough to eat, but not to overindulge in? Like for me, chips are too hard to resist not having too many. Fat free pretzel sticks on the other hand, I like but am more than happy w/ 1/2 a serving and it's only 50 cals. Also, try something like dum-dums or gum...sometimes just keeping your mouth occupied helps.

Princess Squish
11-12-2011, 03:37 AM
I snack on popsicles and sunflower seeds. That's what helps me because I LOVE snacking.

11-12-2011, 04:21 AM
The other comments are helpful.

I'd like to say the one thing that helps me combat snacking or grazing is a distraction. Find a distraction of any kind. Or even study at the library in the evening. Go to the university gym.

If possible, the easiest solution would be to change up your environment and make snacking more difficult to do.

11-12-2011, 04:35 AM
I'm the opposite, I don't snack at all at home but I feel so out of control at work with its subsidized canteen and no healthy options. I've taken to eating oranges, because by the time I've peeled it and gotten rid of all that horrible white stuff that I dislike, the cravings for snacks have pretty much gone.

11-12-2011, 01:21 PM
Thanks for all the advice, everyone! Just having people reply to this thread motivates me to cut down on the snacking. I don't do it because I'm hungry - I have the urge to eat even when I'm full. It's really just something to do. I tend to go for snacks that will last me a little while, like an apple that's cut into pieces, grapes, raisins, etc, but once I'm done with one snack I just crave the next. I think what I have to do is try to stick to meals and plan out certain times to have a snack but not allow munching in between those times. I'll do my best to find activities to distract myself. I'm trying to write a book but have trouble making myself sit down to write, so I think that's a good start for a distraction. Two birds with one stone!

11-12-2011, 02:10 PM
How about a hobby that keeps your hands busy? Knitting, sewing, puzzles, video games? Even reading can be enough of a distraction.

11-12-2011, 02:20 PM
Exercise some self-control. Blunt, I know, but it's the truth.

11-12-2011, 10:34 PM
Have you considered having dinner when you get home? Then just have a small snack in the evening, like an apple &/ cheese ... some people find this works for them.

11-12-2011, 10:57 PM
I have a problem with this too. I just count calories and I try to make them last all day. Lately, I"ve made a rule for myself. Nothing after dinner. Done. I sometimes feel like I'm climbing the walls, but I try hard to refrain. I might chew on lots of gum if I"m really desperate.

11-13-2011, 07:33 AM
You say you can't lose weight, but your profile says that you've lost 13lb, so could you explain more about that?

How are you dieting? Are you writing down every morsel that goes into your mouth? Sometimes that can really help when fighting a snack attack, as you can see the consequences right there.

Meanwhile, raw veg are good for snacking on and have very few calories.

11-13-2011, 08:29 AM
I second the recommendation of coffee/tea/etc. I drink coffee and tea throughout the day and it satisfies both my "wander into the kitchen and fix myself something" urge and the "have something within reach that's nice and warm and I can ingest" urges. It would probably be better to overcome the urges entirely, but I'd rather spend my willpower elsewhere.

I do use truvia in my drinks (which you might want to avoid) and I also use non-fat powdered milk (which works well and doesn't dilute the drink). I budget in the calories for the milk each day, and I figure NFPM isn't such a bad source of calories.

I also sprinkle a little cinnamon in both my coffee and tea (and often add ginger and other spices to my tea), which is supposed to be helpful for maintaining blood sugar levels.

Beach Patrol
11-13-2011, 10:52 AM
I don't do it because I'm hungry - I have the urge to eat even when I'm full. It's really just something to do.

So it SOUNDS like it's just out of "habit" - I mean, if you're NOT hungry, & you have the urge to eat even when you're full - yup, sounds like habit to me. And even if you're "snacking healthy"... it's STILL a habit... AND HABITS CAN BE BROKEN! :yes:

This has also been a problem with me (as I think it probably is with most bingers) and I have found that the most important thing is to constantly scrutinize what I'm doing. I ask myself "why do I want to eat right now?" - esp. if I'm not hungry or even full. I converse with myself "well, I am a little bored" or "we're watching a movie, I'm SUPPOSED to be having popcorn!", etc.

This is where the self-control comes in -you have to WORK ON BREAKING THE HABIT. Like any other habit... biting your nails, smoking, playing too much video games, etc. I have to literally tell myself, MAKE MYSELF not eat. I give myself reasons to understand that EATING is not what I need to be doing at the moment. FOOD IS FOR SUSTENANCE. Not for funzies, not to give me "something to do", etc.

And as others have mentioned, I also find it helpful to keep my hands busy. Specifically something such as giving myself a manicure... can't snack away when your nails are wet!! :D

11-13-2011, 01:02 PM
Drink lots of water before your snack. There is only so much a stomach can endure. Get full on water. If you really feel like snacking after that, portion something out and eat it and be done. When you're done, drink more water and walk away and pick up a task--even if it is cleaning the bathroom, scrubbing the floor, vacuuming-----see? Your home will get cleaner....lol...if you distract yourself from the snack with an activity.

Maybe your belly isn't telling your brain that its full. Maybe you need to learn "that full feeling." At the very least of it, find something to munch on that does the least damage. Freeze some juice in a plastic cup--it will take a very long time with a spoon to scrape that juice into eatable spoonfuls.

As suggested up above, take up a hobby, but start it after the snack--seriously, if you convince yourself that a) you've eaten....and b) you're full (by drinking water and eating the snack--your full), it will be easier mentally to make the connection.

11-14-2011, 05:18 PM
You say you can't lose weight, but your profile says that you've lost 13lb, so could you explain more about that?

That was about 3 months ago now, when I was hiking several times a week and somehow had the will to not constantly eat. At the end of August I went back to school so I didn't have time to keep hiking, but I did continue working out at the gym. Unfortunately my good eating habits didn't make it past summer :( I've recently gotten better at eating slower and making sure I actually stick to my calorie counting, but it's a challenge to refrain when I get it into my head that "half of that muffin would be delicious right now..." One thing always turns into many for me.