Suppressing your appetite doesn't actually work. You will just end up binging on food later, especially anything high in carbs or sugar.
The best solution to curb the munchies... is to munch!
But you do so by packing healthy snacks that you love and then eating those whenever you feel hungry.
Apples, fruits, low-fat granola bars, nuts, berries, yogurt.
You can eat healthy and still snack if you know what to eat.
Why do we crave junk food or large portions of food?
- We are bored
- We waited too long to eat and now the hunger is insatiable
- We like to watch TV or be on the computer when snacking
- We like to eat with friends
- Junk food just tastes too good.
The common reasons seem to come down to these five. Let's match them up with solutions:
- Boredom. Don't laugh when I suggest this, but exercise. I'm absolutely serious. Not only is it good for you and a productive way to spend your time but after working your butt off you may just be motivated to reach for almonds instead of chips, or make a healthy meal instead of hitting up the closest fast food joint.
- Waiting too long to eat. Simple solution, don't get to this point! Remember to eat a hearty breakfast and lunch. Even if you don't feel like it. Your body will adapt to earlier eating and by the evening, you won't even be that hungry! Don't be afraid to have a snack too as that tiny snack will prevent you from overeating later.
- Do NOT watch TV and eat! I know it's really hard not to but try something else instead, like having a conversation. If you're on your own just eat and listen to music instead of watching TV because at least with music its only 3 to 4 minutes to the next track, whereas with TV you feel compelled to go get more food during commercials and watch the rest of the show. Think, scheme, or just look into the bowl and focus on the meal. It may seem weird at first but when you're doing something else and eating, it's almost as though you haven't had anything to eat at all. You eventually look down onto the plate, and the food is gone! It's seconds waiting to happen!
- Social eating can be a real problem. Every time you go out with friends it won't take long until someone pops into the convenience store, or heads out to grab a slice of pizza. Remind yourself that hanging out with friends is social, and that's what you're going to focus on. Spending time with people you care about is fun and enjoyable, and by the time you get home, you'll be ready for your healthy dinner.
- The best solution to avoid irresistible junk food is to not have it in the house. Just put it back on the shelf and don't buy the stuff. Eat junk food sparingly when you're out or once in a while but if it's always in the cupboard, a handful here and there will easily turn into a daily habit.
Drinking tea or water will also fill you up until you can get home, to avoid unhealthy snacking, and junk food alternatives like dried fruit and nuts. In the end you will have to learn to exercise your willpower to break junk and fast food habits... but the tips above will make finding that willpower easier.