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Tricks to Stop Snacking Between Meals

Updated on January 6, 2013
Still life by Albert Anker
Still life by Albert Anker | Source

Eat Enough at Mealtimes

It is very possible you eat between meals simply because you don’t get enough at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start tracking if you snack because you are genuinely hungry, or if you do it simply because you are craving extra goodies. If the answer is the former, you can probably fix everything by starting to eat three square meals a day. Eat healthy! Simply consuming high-calorie foods will not necessarily keep you from feeling hungry. Eat lots of fruits and veggies; and concentrate on foods that are filling such as grains and pasta.

For those who snack between meals simply because of a sweet tooth, here’s a few tricks you can try:

Make Deals With Yourself

Try bribing yourself and making deals in little ways. For example, tell yourself “If I eat this cookie, I can’t check my e-mail for another hour” or “I can’t watch that movie until this weekend if I eat between meals today”. Obviously, don’t do anything to yourself that will be harmful: simply trade one guilty pleasure for another and try to build some discipline.

Brush Your Teeth

Seriously! If you brush your teeth, you will have nothing but an overpowering mint flavor for quite awhile. This will make most things taste terrible and will therefore kill your cravings. This can be a good idea when you plan on cooking and know you’ll want to dip into the cookie batter just a teensy bit.

If you’re concerned about tearing up your gums with incessant brushing, try swishing a little bit of mouthwash. Sugar-free breath mints and menthol cough drops can provide the same effect as well.

Tough it Out

No matter how strong your cravings get, they will not last. Tough it out and they should be gone within 10 to 15 minutes. Try the aforesaid suggestion of overpowering your taste buds with something that won’t add to your daily calorie intake. And keep busy! Have a standby list of things you can do the moment you feel a craving coming on: get involved in something that will keep your mind occupied such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and online research; consider doing something that will get your hands dirty – and therefore keep you from wanting to put things in your mouth – such as yard work and cleaning.

The desire to eat between meals is like a chronic disease: it will never entirely go away and will make a resurgence occasionally (I speak from experience, sadly). However, the more you simply tough it out, the more likely you will be to have at least a decrease in your urge to snack.

Above all, do not allow yourself to seek consolation by drinking high-calorie beverages such as soda, cocoa, and fancy coffee drinks! The whole point to avoiding snacking between meals is to cut out unnecessary calorie intake. Don’t ruin it by having a 300 calorie beverage.

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    • SimpleJoys profile image

      SimpleJoys 4 years ago

      Ohh the cookies, I really fall for cookies! I guess it would be best to just not have them around. If they are in the house, I know I will eat them.

    • UndercoverAgent19 profile image

      Jen Corrigan 4 years ago

      Very helpful tips, especially the one about making deals with yourself. Positive reinforcement really goes a long way when trying to reshape behavior and bad habits.

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