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Tips for avoiding snacking?

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  • Tips for avoiding snacking?

    I have an extremely bad habit of snacking on crap and then that sets off a major chain reaction of binging. I know myself and I'm positive I am not snacking because I am hungry and need the food. I am snacking because of bad habits and basically boredom.

    What are some good ways I can break this nasty habit/addiction? Right now I just try to chug a glass of water and find an activity to take my mind off of it. Or if I do get a snack, I try to opt for high protein/low carb stuff so that the carbs and sugar won't set off a big chain reaction for me.

    I am F, 30yo, 5'6", 219lb, been primal for 2 weeks and lost 8lbs so far. My husband refuses to go primal/paleo and I have 2 very young children so I can't just toss out all the carbs and snacks in the house.

  • #2
    Eat enough nutrient-dense satiating food at your meals that you aren't hungry for snacks. If you're nutrient-replete, the cravings will lessen.

    Otherwise, you might want to look into the whole food reward hypothesis and try eating blander foods for a little while. I'm sure somebody has a link to a good synopsis.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      If you were snacking due to hunger, I'd recommend more filling meals. This still couldn't hurt, but since you say you're sure it's not due to hunger it may not help much, either. What do you eat in a day?

      Regarding temptation, can you talk to your husband about the snacks? He doesn't have to eat primal if he doesn't want to, but his choices affect you. And there's nothing in those sugary, processed snacks that your kinds need or should be eating -- although there's nothing wrong with growing kinds having plenty of carbs (rice, potatoes, fruit, etc.).

      If you do have to snack, try and make it something that's filling but not super dense calorically (i.e. eggs, plain baked potato). Nuts would be a bad choice if you're trying to loose weight. In the end though, it might come down to some willpower if it's developed into a habit.

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      • #4
        Perhaps you could move your husband's and kids' snacks to their own shelf or drawer (and you just stay away from that shelf/drawer)? It's easier then to just consider that area off limits.
        Re the snacking itself: it won't go away quickly; it's a habit that needs retraining most likely, since you say you're sure it's not because of hunger. I had the same issue, and still do sometimes. Here are some suggestions--try having some snacks already prepared and available without needing any preparation so that you don't decide on something "quick and easy" but junk. Make them protein (sliced left-over meat from last meal)--yeah, it's not the same as potato chips, but you're retraining the taste buds for snacking, rather than tackle both taste buds AND snacking at once. Have raw vegetables on hand--bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, carrots. Fruit triggers my sugar cravings (and i like veggies better), so i don't 'snack' on fruit. Stay away from nuts for the obvious reason (tendency to eat too many...). Cold veggies (raw) have a snap and a sweetness that works.

        I often simply eat a bell pepper like an apple--i don't really like apples anyway, and this gives that same feeling. I tend to like raw veggies better than cooked ones most of the time (like mushrooms). That may or may not work for you...

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        • #5
          You might have to get out of the house. Go for a walk. Go do some shopping even if you don't buy anything.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            Knitting if you are stuck in the house. Knit and pull apart if you have to. It keeps both eyes and hands busy & you can do it endlessly.
            My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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            • #7
              Control your own actions. If you don't want to eat something then don't eat it. I don't mean for this to sound over-simplified, but this really is the only real answer to your question. Pretending it is more complicated, that you are unable to control yourself, will just cause more difficulties.

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              • #8
                I found that eating full, nutrient dense meals really decreased my cravings for snacks trememdously. I will say at first it does take a conscious effort though. There are going to be some times where you will get up and start heading toward the cabinet out of habit and you have to stop yourself. You just have to tell yourself you have made the decision not to snack and fight through it. I found that part went away pretty quick though.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JenPoston View Post
                  My husband refuses to go primal/paleo and I have 2 very young children so I can't just toss out all the carbs and snacks in the house.
                  wow, sorry to read that! My wife and I are 100% in it, it would be very hard otherwise

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                    Eat enough nutrient-dense satiating food at your meals that you aren't hungry for snacks. If you're nutrient-replete, the cravings will lessen.
                    I agree with that. Even if you are not hungry, you have to give something to your body if you want your cravings to stop. Trying to resist is OK but IMO can't last long.
                    How is your digestion ? I had cravings for years (still have them sometimes but not as often as before) and my therapist found out I had a terrible gut flora and that was gave me cravings. I treated that with lots of pre/probiotics and L-glutamin.

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                    • #11
                      A good intellectual exercise is to write down everything you eat, including the snacks, for a few days. Calculate your calories, then set up your meals so that is how much you are eating (of real food, of course). After a few days of deliberately overeating meals, it will seem like a blessing to drop back to maintenance level.

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                      • #12
                        few things....first your not eating the right foods and you need will power to avoid snacking because it will only deprive you of real solid primal meals - do this...

                        ~drink crap loads of water until it comes out your ears
                        ~eat more fat and fiber
                        ~chew gum
                        ~do intermittent fasting

                        I fast all day until 5pm - I love it and wouldnt go back to eating during the day - it has chnaged the way I look at food and my physique has gotten leaner and healthier while still enjoying LARGE primal meals at night

                        Give it a shot..

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Markbt View Post
                          Control your own actions. If you don't want to eat something then don't eat it. I don't mean for this to sound over-simplified, but this really is the only real answer to your question. Pretending it is more complicated, that you are unable to control yourself, will just cause more difficulties.
                          It is actually much more complicated than that. Maybe you have experienced food addiction or don't think it's a real thing, but it is very real and the mind is a powerful thing. If I was able to just pick up and control my actions then I wouldn't be as fat as I am right now. I am making a real effort for change and have seen some impressive and amazing results so far but old habits die hard. It's basically like telling an alcoholic "The rest of your family drinks, and there is beer and wine available in the house, but just CONTROL YOURSELF and don't drink." Even with the healthy foods and snacks in my house (fruits, nuts, nut butter, raw veg) I sometimes find myself saying "Well, it's been a couple hours since breakfast... time for a snack." I often have to stop myself and say "Why am I doing that?" Most of the time it's just a simple habit of walking past the kitchen and, like a robot, opening the pantry or fridge and not real hunger. I'm not following the leptin reset plan my any means but I found the concept of eating a BAB to be really helpful and beneficial to me in keeping me satisfied for a long time. So overall I feel like my eating is really great, I'm making good choices, I'm "controlling myself", I am just finding it hard to stop that completely unnecessary snacking habit. It's not all day and it's not every day (anymore) but we all have our bad days and weak moments.

                          I like the idea of just plain getting out of the house or a tedious activity like knitting.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JenPoston View Post
                            It is actually much more complicated than that. Maybe you have experienced food addiction or don't think it's a real thing, but it is very real and the mind is a powerful thing. If I was able to just pick up and control my actions then I wouldn't be as fat as I am right now. I am making a real effort for change and have seen some impressive and amazing results so far but old habits die hard. It's basically like telling an alcoholic "The rest of your family drinks, and there is beer and wine available in the house, but just CONTROL YOURSELF and don't drink." Even with the healthy foods and snacks in my house (fruits, nuts, nut butter, raw veg) I sometimes find myself saying "Well, it's been a couple hours since breakfast... time for a snack." I often have to stop myself and say "Why am I doing that?" Most of the time it's just a simple habit of walking past the kitchen and, like a robot, opening the pantry or fridge and not real hunger. I'm not following the leptin reset plan my any means but I found the concept of eating a BAB to be really helpful and beneficial to me in keeping me satisfied for a long time. So overall I feel like my eating is really great, I'm making good choices, I'm "controlling myself", I am just finding it hard to stop that completely unnecessary snacking habit. It's not all day and it's not every day (anymore) but we all have our bad days and weak moments.

                            I like the idea of just plain getting out of the house or a tedious activity like knitting.
                            Two words..

                            Cold turkey.

                            Pretend your a cave woman and need to trek across the forest to hunt down that snack.

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                            • #15
                              I would recommend just getting occupied. Finding something to do (that you actually enjoy) can help you keep your mind off of food.

                              I don't really agree with the advice given above to fast until 5. That works for some, but it's probably not a great idea for someone to go from snacking constantly to simply not eating until the evening.
                              My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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