Beat the Sweets!
We all know how tempting it is to reach for a bar of chocolate at work when the 3pm slump hits or to over-indulge in an extra packet of crisps or a few more scoops of ice-cream at home in the evenings. While difficult, it’s not impossible to break these bad habits for good. Read on for some useful tips on how to beat the munchies when they strike.
1 Vice: Sugar for Breakfast
Solution: Natural yoghurt with fruit
Sugar is addictive and gives you an instant high, so it’s no wonder we all crave sugary, processed foods at certain times of the day. Sugary snacks cause the pancreas to secrete insulin which in turn tells your body to pull sugar out of your bloodstream. Since your brain needs that sugar, you'll want to eat more. This type of behaviour could lead to type 2 diabetes.
Solution: Eating fresh fruit is a good substitute for sugary snacks. Try eating natural yoghurt with a few of your favourite fruits to ensure you’re eating healthily while also satisfying your sugar cravings.
2 Vice: Chocolate Bars
Solution: Dark hot chocolate with low fat or skimmed milk
Who doesn’t love chocolate? The chocolate habit is hard to break, but it’s important to remember that chocolate bars are packed with calories and little nutritional value.
Solution: Opt instead for a cup of hot chocolate made with low fat or skimmed milk, a compromise which will satisfy your chocolate cravings but with far less calories. Dark chocolate contains less sugar and is a good option when you need the taste of real chocolate.
3 Vice: Salt
Solution: Mix salty snacks with unsalted snacks
Salt is a major ingredient in processed foods and fast foods. Without being aware of it, you can become addicted to salt. High salt intake makes you more susceptible to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.
Solution: If cutting out salty foods completely is too difficult, try mixing salty snacks (like nuts, for example) with unsalted snacks before eliminating them altogether.
4 Vice: Emotional Eating
Solution: Wellness activities
Learning why you desire certain unhealthy foods is key to breaking the habit. Everyone has emotional triggers that sends them running to their favourite comfort foods; it’s understanding what these triggers are that helps break the unhealthy eating cycle.
Solution: Invest in your own emotional wellbeing. Finding outlets to increase your emotional wellness may help you feel more balanced and less likely to reach for the crisps. Yoga, for instance, is easy to do at home or in a class and encourages both inner and outer health. Additionally, practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety.
4 Vice: Constant Snacking
Solution: Out of sight, out of mind
It’s difficult to cut back on unhealthy snacks when your cupboards are full of them. We believe in the old adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
Solution: Smart shopping is key. If you can’t see your favourite snacks, you’re less likely to crave them. The next time you’re stocking up for the week, pass over the soft drinks, salty snacks, and chocolate. Then, when you crave a midnight treat, your options are limited to the sneaky substitutes you purchased: yoghurt, unsalted nuts, fruit, carrots, and the like.
It’s the little things that will make a big difference in the long run. It’s always nice to cosy up with a cup of tea and your favourite snacks, and with a little bit of creativity, that doesn’t need to stop. Swapping your usual unhealthy foods for more nutritious options will help you feel like you’re not missing out.
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