Mindful Snacking

Lets talk about snacking. Particularly snacking after deprivation driven eating, healing from chronic dieting or emotional compulsive eating. I’ve come across all of the above mentioned in my work and have a few tools to help you snack more mindfully. While the ultimate goal of nutrition therapy is to get individuals back to trusting their internal hunger and satiety cues without external help {counting calories, food groups, monitoring} most of the women I’ve worked with need some structure before they can get back to trusting their bodies cues.

What’s important to recognize is that snacking is an opportunity to venture out of the restrictive eating style provided by meal plans and diets. You are the authority of your body, and thus, you can choose whether you need something to hold you over until your next meal or if your satisfied. When we feel hunger, we might feel caught off guard and look at the clock wondering how long it will be until our next meal. Being able to feed ourselves when our bodies indicate its time to do so can help foster body trust.

Three Tips for Mindful Snacking

{ Check In }

First things first, do a hunger and fullness check in. Decide if the need your trying to fill is hunger related or may be an emotional reaction or coping mechanism.

{ Identify Needs }

If you’ve identifying that your are physically hungry, explore what your needs are. Guiding questions below.

  • How long do you need this to hold you over?

  • What flavor is appealing? {salty, sweet, spicy}

  • What is available around you?

  • Will the possible selections keep you satisfied?

{ Carry a Food Bag }

This snack bag idea is originally from Karin Katrina in Moving Away from Diets and has been quite effective. This food bag can contain previously restricted foods, nutrient dense foods or foods to keep blood sugar elevated in the event of a hypoglycemic episode. Having access to food whenever you need it can help you ease “food worry” or anxiety, can help you assess you bodies needs and help you discern how much fuel you body actually needs.