The whole concept of snacking between meals is a relatively new one in the scheme of things, only really catching on in the last half of the twentieth century. Prior to that people ate a more balanced diet of three meals a day, with the upper classes throwing in some cucumber sandwiches for afternoon tea. It is no co-incidence that the huge increase in the size of people parallels the period when high fructose corn syrup, sodas, fast food and snacking all took off in a big way.
Unhealthy snacks are laden with sodium and high fructose corn syrup, ensuring that snackers receive a regular dose of nutrient free calories. People snack out of habit as much as hunger, plus easy availability. It really is so much easier to rip open a packet of chips or a chocolate bar, than take the time to prepare the cucumber sandwiches which would be a far healthier alternative to satisfy hunger.
Snack addicts may have a hard time breaking the habit, as the additives in unhealthy snacks lead to cravings for more. The simplest way to stop is to go cold turkey and simply stop buying them. Sodas also increase the cravings for junk food so make sure you stop drinking those too. Don’t buy snacks or sodas to have on hand in your home, and don’t carry any cash at work which can make the vending machine an easy option. You could save a small fortune by eliminating processed snacks, as well as losing weight and feeling more energized.
The need to snack will be lessened if a healthy balanced diet of three meals a day is followed. A diet which includes more fibrous foods will leave you less hungry and thus less inclined to be tempted. Start the day with a filling bowl of oatmeal and a piece of fruit, and it should reduce the mid morning urge to snack.
If snacking in front of the TV is your preference then replace unhealthy snacks with healthy ones such as fruit and vegetable sticks. Instead of chomping away on packet chips which are laden with additives, drizzle some potato skins with olive oil and pop them in the oven. Replace ice cream with frozen Greek yogurt, and sweets with frozen grapes.
Olives, nuts and seeds are really healthy alternatives to unhealthy snacks as they all contain monounsaturated fats which the body approves of. This choice of snack will help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. If chocolate is your weakness then opt for dark chocolate in moderation.
As a final incentive to give up unhealthy snacks, start reading the labels and learn just what nasty additives are included in those processed packets. If the range of chemicals and colorings really appeal you’re probably already a lost cause.