For those of us stuck at a desk all day, snacking can be more like grazing – non‐stop eating between meals. Now that you’re tracking your meals using an online journal (*cough cough*), try to focus on coming up with better strategies to determine what you’re going to eat, how much, and why.
Here’s the focus: Come up with a concrete plan of attack for meals and snacks.
The first step to gaining control is knowing what you are going to eat. And by that I mean – how many snack calories or points do you have a day?
Most of us wouldn’t eat steak and mashed potatoes and consider it a snack. That’s because certain foods and portions are meals. Snacks are similar. What’s the maximum number of calories you want to spend on a snack and what does that look like?
After tracking your meals for a while, you should have a good idea of what your typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner contain calorie-wise. What you have left is your snack/beverage budget.
Once you have your snack budget, you need to schedule your snacks. Eating at regular intervals ensures that you won’t be famished by nightfall but also helps you avoid constant grazing. Aim to have one snack between each meal so you’re never starving when you sit down to eat. Just make sure your snacks pack protein, healthful fats, and/or carbs for extra staying power (think apples with peanut butter or nuts with yogurt). If you know that snack time is at 11am, you can refrain from grazing before then.
Know your snack limits!
Here are some common snacks and the number of calories they contain.
Banana, medium: 105
Chocolate chip cookie (from packaged dough): 59
Peanut butter (creamy, 2 tablespoons): 180
Granola bar (chewy, with raisins, 1.5‐ounce bar): 193
Potato chips (plain, salted, 1 ounce): 155
1 Piece of String Cheese: 80
Snickers, fun size: 80
Baby Carrots: 25