CONFESSIONS of an AFTER DINNER SNACKER Part 2: Tackling the Habit
Check in! After part one in this series yesterday, were you more aware of your after-dinner snacking? I was cognizant of it and limited my portion of peanuts. (I’m telling you guys, nuts are a problem for me)!
Depending on the day or night, my snacking can be caused by just about every reason I discussed in part 1: habit, a nutrient deficiency, procrastination, emotional reasons or self-sabotage. What’s a perpetual snacker to do?! First things first, you have to break free of the habit, so let’s focus on that today.
- Start a new evening routine—This could be as simple as changing the room you sit in after dinner or the clothes you wear. For example, I won’t eat in the living room or bedroom, but if I sit in the family room, snacking is on! Also, it’s easier to snack and go overboard if you have loose clothes on (such as PJs or sweats), so don’t change your clothes until you’re going to bed.
- Substitute your snack with herbal tea. This will satisfy that need for oral gratification. Just make sure it’s decaffeinated tea or you’ll be up all night! I’ve been a bit obsessed with this Sweet and Spicy Tea from Good Earth lately. It tastes like Christmas in a cup.
- Chew gum—There are differing opinions on this. Personally, I find it helpful because it keeps my mouth entertained. Some people believe chewing gum makes them hungry. This isn’t the case for me. Note: Pass on the sugar laden gums as well as those with artificial sweeteners. Choose a natural gum such as Glee Gum.
- Brush your teeth. Immediately foll0wing dinner, do your nighttime oral hygiene routine. I’m talking mouthwash, brush, and floss. After you put all that effort in, who wants to eat and have to do it all over again? LOL! Plus, there’s evidence showing that having a fresh, clean mouth is a deterrent to eating.
- Replace the behavior with a new hobby. Pick up a hobby that will keep your hands busy. Knitting, crocheting,drawing, or painting are some good ones.
Replace the behavior with a healthier habit. Do a quick little evening yoga routine to relax you and center your mind on your health and fitness goals. Choose one cleaning chore to do every night. Yes, I included cleaning as a healthy habit! For those of you who don’t know, I also am a clutter-hating, organization-loving, sparkly mirror-loving neat freak!
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Old habits die hard, and after-dinner snacking is no exception. The first week will be the hardest. After you get past this hurdle, you’re practically home free. Sustain your new healthier habits for 21 days, and you can be confident that you’ve kicked the after-dinner snacking to the curb. As with any habit, if you allow it to creep back in, it will come back strong. Be aware of this, and when you slip up—you’re human, it’s going to happen—jump right back into your no snack zone and implement the strategies I discussed here. It’s a process, but one that is well worth it as you continue to #FuelUpforaFitLife! Check back next time for more strategies on how to put an end to the after-dinner snack monster.