If a food is bite-size, you will eat more of it, according to Psychology Today. Eating bits of something is a tease for our bodies and brain. It stimulates the dopamine system, but does not satisfy it completely. So, the thought that you will have just a few is a “come on.” We are wired to finish what we start including an entire bag of potato chips. But, you can choose whether the small “bites” of food are brownies or almonds. Also, you can put a certain amount in a container and once it’s gone, consider yourself done. Avoiding sugar altogether is the best plan because those who eat high amounts of sugar throw off their taste buds. They no longer taste the sweetness of fruits or carrots and must eat sweeter and sweeter goodies to feel satisfied.
Why do you snack? If it is because you are hungry between meals, it might be a good idea to analyze what you are eating for meals. Protein is important for fullness. Make sure that you are eating lean proteins like Omega 3 eggs, almond butter, chicken, fish or turkey at every meal. A meal that lacks proper nutrients will likely leave you feeling the need for a snack. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, there are predictable reasons for why people snack and they may not be what you think. If you smell or see food, you will want to snack. Stress is a popular trigger for wanting to eat. Additionally, your mood can affect and predict whether you will reach for a quick bite. And who you are as an individual may predict how often you snack. The Power of Food Scale (PFS) was devised to analyze differences among individuals in how aware of food they are, react to it, and respond to tasting it. A higher PFS means an increased likelihood of snacking. On the other hand, a professor at Cornell University, Brian Wansink, hypothesizes that if you perceive food as a “snack” versus a “meal” you will eat less
In case you did not know, there is a science to snacking. In other words, marketing experts spend a lot of time determining how to get people to snack. They know that smaller bags mean bigger appetites. They also know that if you are in front of your television, you will eat and not remember what you had or how much especially if they bombard you with ads. So, take charge of your health and figure out why you are snacking. Then, have a few go-to snacks that you know are healthy. For example, celery with almond butter is a healthy alternative to chips. Cut up your fruit into small bites and enjoy these between sips of fresh water. Take the leftover chicken from the night before and cut it up into perfect snack size pieces. Finally, when the urge to snack does pop up, ask yourself if there may be an emotion or other underlying reason for it rather than hunger. If it is hunger, then eat healthy!