Each year, more that 300 new junk foods are introduced to the marketplace. Compare that to the 10 new health foods that are introduced each year, and you can see why America has an obesity epidemic. How can a person successfully stay on a healthy weight loss program with so many junk food temptations staring them in the face all the time?
Once upon a time, when our nation was slim and trim, going out for dinner only happened on special occasions. Fast food restaurants were limited, and the portions were much smaller. There was no such thing as Super Size or Extra Value Meals. There was only one kind of Reese's candy bar to choose from, and breakfast cereal tasted like cereal, not dessert.
One of the most common obstacles people have when trying to achieve a healthy weight loss is overcoming bad snacking habits. What's worse is that most pre-packaged snacks have all the ingredients that make them trigger foods. These foods, like crackers, cookies, and potato chips are designed to trigger your body into thinking you need to eat the whole box or bag.
I lost 70 pounds in 4 months and have kept it off for 15 years by overcoming my bad snacking habits. The five tips outlined below to overcome bad snacking habits worked for me and others I have helped.
Overcoming Bad Snacking Tip #1: Identify Why You Snack
When you know the reason why you snack when you know you should not, it is easier to avoid. For me, snacking on junk food late at night when I watched a movie or television was a way for me to stay awake. Sounds strange, but if I fell asleep, then I would not finish my movie or TV program. Snacking always kept me alert and busy so I would not fall asleep. It had nothing to do with my being hungry. When I realized this was an example of emotional eating, I found ways to overcome it.
Overcoming Bad Snacking Tip #2: Find An Alternative
Once you have identified the reasons why you snack when you know you shouldn't, make a list of things you can do to replace the habit of snacking. The thought of you not being able to snack may not be appealing at first, but once you get used to not having the snack, you will not even crave it anymore. I keep a stress ball with me when I watch TV and movies late at night. When I squeeze the ball, it keeps my hands busy and keeps me alert enough not to fall asleep.
If you truly are hungry, alternatives to snacking on junk food can be other foods, as long as they are healthy. What happens when you drink a bottle of water? You don't feel so hungry, right? The next time you feel the urge to rip open a bag of Doritos, drink some water first. Then if you are still hungry, grab a protein bar or a small bag of soy nuts. Healthy snacks fill you up just as much as junk food without wreaking havoc on your blood sugar.
Overcoming Bad Snacking Tip #3: Don't Go To The Grocery Store Hungry
You have probably heard of this trick before, and for good reason. It works like a charm. Simply put, if you do not have junk food within reach, then you will not be able to eat it. When you go to the grocery store to do your shopping, do it right after you have eaten a meal. This way you will avoid buying junk food you might have otherwise been hungry for. Stay away from anything that says fat-free. Just imagine what kinds of unhealthy things they have to put in a block of cheese to make it fat-free. And it tastes horrible, so why bother? Simply reduce portions of low-fat items to keep your fat intake in check.
Overcoming Bad Snacking Tip #4: Eat Smaller Meals Frequently
If you are the type of person who eats three huge meals every day, you will have a more difficult time losing weight than a person who eats six smaller meals throughout the day. Not only does it keep you feeling full all day long, but you also will be less likely to eat a huge plate of unhealthy food when you sit down. Frequently eaten healthy meals will eliminate your desire to snack on junk foods, and the days of stuffing yourself until your seams burst will be long gone.
Overcoming Bad Snacking Tip #5: Drink Green Tea
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Green tea is as close to a magic drink as you can possibly get. Not only will it curb your cravings for snacks, but it is also packed with so many vitamins and antioxidants that it actually has the ability to speed up your metabolism! So the more you drink, the slimmer and healthier your will get. Did I mention the fact that it also gives you tons of energy? I told you it was like magic.
Eliminating your favorite junk foods does not sound like fun, but it is what made you fat in the first place. Achieving a healthy weight loss and maintaining an ideal weight thereafter requires living a healthy lifestyle. Does this mean you can never snack again on junk food? Absolutely not! But the word "moderation" must become an important part of your vocabulary. Follow the tips listed above and do not eat your favorite junk foods as frequently, and you will be on your way to a healthy weight loss and lifestyle.
About the Author:
Bill Winch is a Personal Wellness Coach whose mission is teaching and coaching others who are struggling with getting healthy, losing weight safely and keeping it off for good. He is also a Certified Business Growth Specialist, former High School and College Business Educator and Counselor, and mentors from his home office in Rochester, NY. If you are interested in receiving his Free Report "9 Weight Loss Myths Exposed" visit his website by clicking on FREE REPORT or by calling him directly at (585) 271-3767 for a free wellness consultation.