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Snacking – Reasons, pitfalls and smart choices!

Stress can trigger cravings for foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat due to the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. These cravings often lead to consuming unhealthy snacks that provide temporary comfort but can negatively impact overall health and well-being.

Here are some strategies to manage stress-induced snacking:

  • Recognize Triggers: Identify triggers that lead to stress eating. Being aware of what causes stress-related cravings can help you find healthier ways to manage stress.
  • Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by being aware of your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Before reaching for a snack, check if you’re truly hungry or if you’re eating out of stress or boredom.
  • Stock Healthy Options: Keep healthy snacks readily available at home or work. Opt for fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, whole-grain crackers, or hummus for nutritious options.
  • Portion Control: If you feel the need to snack, portion control is key. Instead of eating directly from the package, portion out a reasonable amount of the snack into a bowl or plate.
  • Stay Hydrated: Sometimes, feelings of hunger are actually signs of dehydration. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which can help manage cravings.
  • Find Alternatives: Substitute unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives. For example, swap potato chips for air-popped popcorn or choose dark chocolate over sugary sweets.
  • Manage Stress Effectively: Engage in stress-relieving activities like exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies to alleviate stress instead of turning to food for comfort.
  • Plan Balanced Meals: Eating balanced meals with a combination of protein, healthy fats, fibre, and carbohydrates can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings.
  • Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or a professional if stress eating becomes a persistent issue. Seeking support can provide valuable strategies for managing stress and emotional eating.
  • By being mindful of triggers, making healthier snack choices, and adopting stress-relieving strategies, it’s possible to manage stress-induced snacking and maintain a healthier relationship with food.

Offering healthier options that can curb those cravings while providing nutritional value is a smart approach to managing stress-induced snacking. Here’s some awesome tips from Susan Bowerman and additional information on these alternatives.

If You’re Craving a Sweet Snack:

High Protein Snacks

When you’re craving a chocolate, opt for high-protein snacks instead, such as Herbalife protein bars. Not only can these satisfy your craving for sweets, but it can also control your hunger.

Cooked Fruit

The texture of cooked fruit makes it seem more dessert-like. Try running grapefruit or orange halves under the broiler, roasting peaches or pineapple in the oven, or cooking sliced apples or plums until tender with a spicy-sweet cinnamon or nutmeg.

Adjusting Your Morning Coffee

In today’s market, many coffee beverages include sugar, fat, and calories, which can offset the inherent benefits of caffeine, such as alertness and a feeling of increased energy. If you have a sweet tooth or simply can’t stand black coffee, go with a latte but have it made with non-fat or low-fat milk. Add a little bit of sweetener, cinnamon, or cocoa powder. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try a glass of Herbalife High Protein Iced Coffee – a protein and energy-packed refreshment, and with only two grams of sugar per serving.

Smooth Chocolate Shake

If you’re on a weight loss journey, consider making your Smooth Chocolate Shake with protein powder with less water for a thicker shake to satisfy your cravings for chocolate or even your Mint Chocolate Shake.

If You’re Craving a Creamy Snack

Foods with a creamy, smooth texture are pleasurable to eat, and many people associate them with comfort. If you’re looking to satisfy your craving by turning to rich ice cream or high-fat cheeses, then you might want to try one of these alternatives:

Yogurt

Try plain non-fat yogurt mixed with a little honey or maple syrup and topped with fresh fruit. Frozen Bananas Peel bananas, wrap in waxed paper, and freeze. Afterwards, you can slice and eat them, or throw them in the blender for a “one ingredient” ice-cream-like treat. Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese Blend with a little fruit and a dash of sweetener for a pudding-like treat with some hunger-busting protein.

Chia Pudding

Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with ½ cup of vanilla soymilk. Let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to thicken, then top with fresh fruit.

If You’re Craving a Crunchy or Savoury Snack

The craving for foods that are crunchy and salty are sometimes triggered by frustration or stress. That’s because the act of chewing and working the jaw muscles actually relieve tension. Here are some healthier alternatives that could satisfy that salt-fat craving:

Cottage Cheese Dip

Whirl non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese in the blender until smooth. Stir in a little dark mustard and use as a dip for crunchy veggies.

Kale Chips

These are easy to make. Remove tough stems, break leaves into bite-sized pieces, wash and dry thoroughly. Toss leaves with a little olive oil and salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, turning occasionally until edges are brown.

Popcorn

After popping, dust with a little low-fat Parmesan cheese or chili powder to satisfy that craving.

Herbalife Protein Chips

High in Protein and low in calories, Herbalife has these available in two delicious flavours, Barbecue for Vegans or Sour Cream and Onion for lacto-Vegetarians.

Incorporating these nutritious alternatives can help manage cravings while providing healthier options to indulge in. These snacks are not only satisfying but also contribute positively to maintaining a balanced diet, making them excellent choices for managing stress-induced snacking or timed for a healthy balanced calorie controlled diet.

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