I Can't Stop Snacking! Help!
After a very rough year and a half, most of us are struggling as we work our way back to a new normal, and it's making us even more stressed than we already were in lockdown. For many of us who struggle with our weight, that can mean intense cravings for sugar, carbs, and fats, and snacking all day long, blocking weight loss and fat burning.
Most of us picked up some not-so-healthy habits during lockdown that are hard to break, especially sugar and carbs that can be extremely addicting. I get it …you’re not alone. If you’re struggling to get back on track, I have some tips that can help make it easy.
For most of us, the #1 priority is to get back on track with our healthy eating habits.
"I Can't Stop Snacking! Help!"
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this in the last 18 months. For many of us stress eaters, we crave when we are stressed and end up eating! But that’s not the only reason we eat. For me, I eat when I'm stressed, stuck at home, bored, and tired. Being home with the kitchen as my office and snacks calling my name makes munching seem inevitable. Don’t worry! I have a few tried, true, and proven to work tricks up my sleeve that can help kick hunger and cravings to curb.
Here Are My STOP SNACKING STRATEGIES
Surround Yourself with The RIGHT things for SUCCESS
Create a “slimmer” environment to set yourself up for success by getting rid of the not-so-healthy foods that you have a hard time avoiding, or you can't eat a small portion of (for me, it's anything chocolate), or you eat even when you're not hungry.
This can seem challenging when you live with kids, teens, or people who aren’t onboard with clean eating. While family members may say they are supportive, and they do mean well, often they don’t realize that for most women over 40 years old we simply can't eat what we want, when we want, and maintain a healthy weight. For many of us, we want to eat all day, if we could. So, when we throw away their chips, they aren’t very supportive.
If you can’t get rid of the foods that tempt you, do the next best thing…. get them out of your sight. Out of sight will eventually mean out of mind.
Designate a cabinet that is full of foods you can snack on and create another cabinet that’s out of the way. Designate it as a “not for me” cabinet and don’t open it. You can ask family members, roommates, or significant others to keep certain foods in their room if they absolutely MUST have them. I have a snack shelf in a pantry/food closet that’s out of the way, so I’m not always bumping into it instead of in a main cabinet that I'm always opening all day.
When shopping, make a list, check it twice, and if snack foods mysteriously end up in your cart when you grocery shop, consider using online grocery shopping with curb side pickup instead. This trick helped me drop a few pounds without trying, just by cutting out the little things I would grab that weren’t on my list (and I'm a pretty frugal shopper). You’re much less likely NOT to impulse buy this way.
Also, don't shop when you’re hungry or feeling emotionally vulnerable. If you must, bring a delicious smoothie or Lean Bar with you, so you have something to chew on.
The next few tricks are proven to work, if you do them 😊 and are often the reasons underneath our cravings. They nutritionally address the issues that make us crave.
Fast for 12-14 hours overnight (aka intermittent fasting): This technique is one of the BEST things we can do to improve every aspect of our health. It helps reduce blood sugar levels and resets hunger hormones, so we aren’t hungry all the time. It makes it easier to walk away from the not-so-slim snacks, and also makes it easier to make healthier choices.
Break the fast with a LynFit Metabolic Boosting Complete Protein Shakes instead of a sugar, carb-filled Smoothie that can trigger cravings and make you feel hungry all day. Most fruit, vegan, or juice smoothies are void of the amino acids our bodies need to stay healthy, regulate blood sugar and hormone levels, and keep us feeling fuller longer, so we aren’t tempted by sugary snacks. Often, the reasons we feel hungry all the time is due to the fact that we aren’t eating the right things for our bodies at mealtimes, and sometimes our food choices can trigger cravings.
Either way, replacing your current "break the fast" meal with a protein shake instead is THE VERY BEST WAY to nourish your body with the essential amino acids it needs, which prevents hunger and cravings. It also makes you feel great, boosting your mood and providing natural energy.
NOTE: If your hunger and cravings are severe, consider adding LynFit 5-HTP twice daily.
Snack slimmer mindfully. There’s no denying that most of us make significant weight loss and health improvements when we start eating less frequently. But sometimes snacking is necessary, even if it is emotional hunger and not real physical hunger.
Rather than depriving yourself, which only makes hunger and cravings worse, try breaking your meals up into smaller, more frequent meals. Remember, however, that our body requires two and a half to three hours in-between meals to digest the food we ate at our last meal, regardless of its size. It’s a digestion thing, and of course, it's never back and white. Some may only need two and half hours in-between meals, but for many of us who are overweight and metabolically resistant and have to work hard to lose weight and burn fat, the three-hour rule IS BEST. Three and a half is even better.
Try it for yourself and you’ll QUICKLY see and feel the results. I’m not saying you won't be hungry, but I am saying it will be real hunger. It will train your body to burn stored fat as fuel (aka ketogenic), and once it does begin burning off stubborn belly fat, hunger actually disappears, which is why it's so popular and effective! Adhering to the only eat every three-four hour rule does more than lower elevated blood sugar levels. It also builds mental strength and discipline, so we feel less out of control with our eating. Overeaters Anonymous uses this “meal time rule” to help those who struggle with compulsive overeating to get back on track. (*If you are struggling with an eating disorder, it's important to consult with your health care provider first beforehand.)
Studies show that frequent small meals or snacks throughout the day actually impair weight loss, effect glycemic control, appetite regulation, and many other metabolic health markers.
On the flip side, some people's bodies have become so deregulated due to overeating throughout their life (no judgment, I'm one too) that smart, mindful snacking can be beneficial for these same parameters when we snack on the right things and stick to the three hours rule, allowing our bodies to digest and assimilate our previous meal, even if it is a mini one like a half cup of fruit or a small apple.
Sadly, today's snacking is a far cry from the apple snack, which is why America is in so much trouble health-wise. In a word... overconsumption... of over-processed, sugar-filled, low quality, fiberless, high glycemic, and pro-inflammatory foods. All of which trigger hunger and make cravings seem impossible to escape from. What most people really mean when they say they “can’t stop snacking" is that they are stuck in a snacking rut!
Snacking slimmer means choosing foods that BOOST your metabolism versus slowing it, and that requires mindfulness. When we tune into what our bodies really need, and choose foods that are good for us, we instantly feel better, and our health improves.
Be patient with yourself and don’t judge. Simply start becoming more aware of what you grab, why you grab it, and make a note of what you would rather do instead.
When we eat mindfully, and pay closer attention to the smells, tastes, and textures of what we are eating, food becomes more pleasurable. We notice when we are full or satisfied (for those of us who think we are never full). Focus on what you're eating, eat quietly, put your fork down in-between, and don’t multitask. Be in each and every bite and present in the moment. Focus on flavor, textures, smells, and most importantly, how you feel after. Pay attention to how you feel two hours after.
This may seem crazy, but you'll be amazed at how incredible this really is. And the harder it is for you to do, the more you know you need to focus on it. Keep at it and focus on progress, not perfection. IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT!
Mindfulness also helps you make healthier choices versus grabbing just anything and eating it. Hit pause and halt for five minutes until the anxious moment passes BEFORE you take the first bite.
Which foods make you feel good, and which foods make you feel bad after you eat them? Make note of them. This will help guide your choices, especially when you're honest with yourself.
Eating slowly and chewing each bite 60 times (yes, I said 60 times) will also help you eat appropriate amounts of food for your body, making it easier to lose weight.
When it comes to curbing mindless snacking, the first step is as simple as asking yourself, “Do I really want this? Is it good for my body? How will I feel after I eat it?" If the answer is anything other than, yes, for sure, hit pause – walk away – wait five minutes before digging in. Cravings only last three minutes, so distract yourself until it passes.
On the flip side, mindless snacking has a lot in common with head hunger and cravings. They’re almost always driven by stress and anxiety, or due to skipping meals and depriving our bodies of the essential nutrients (most often amino acids) it needs. The road to success starts by understanding why you eat when you're not hungry, or you keep wandering into the kitchen. Knowing your why can help you make an informed decision as to what you need to do.
Are you physically hungry, or do you need more movement? Are you bored and in need of mental stimulation, tired and you need to rest, or are you using food to comfort yourself? A handful of salty nuts may be delicious, but it's not the solution if your problem is fatigue due to getting too little sleep.
But what if you're a little hungry? Reach for something healthier and don’t beat yourself up over it. Eat it without distraction, so you can focus on what you're eating. Step away from your desk, find a quiet place, and have your “moment” :)
Savor every bite and stop when you’ve had enough. I remind myself it's good to leave wanting more versus devouring food too quickly and searching for more. Slow and easy, allowing yourself a few minutes to focus and chill.
If you’re not really hungry, what do you need to do for yourself to feel better or fill the void you're trying to fill with food? Say a prayer, call a friend, take a walk outside, or put your feet up and take a 10-minute nap!
When All Else Fails, Restructure Your Meals!
If you find that you're frequently hungry in-between meals, chances are that your body needs something you’re not giving it enough of. It's almost always going to be more water, more of the right kind of protein, or the one you ALL know and love... vegetables! These are the only foods we tend to undereat on, so reach for those first! You can also try these:
- Grab a glass of water (warm water with lemon works best), or if you're feeling stressed that day, add a dropper or two of Thyro-Boost to a cup of warm water. The ashwagandha it contains helps your body and your mind calm itself, without making you feel tired. It also helps address stress hormones too, so you can focus on your day instead of food being your focus.
- Celery sticks (I know, I know, but they won't spike blood sugar levels)
- One cup of air popped or Skinny Popcorn
- A green apple
- Slimming Hot Chocolate (packs 10g of prebiotic fiber to fill you up NOT out): Simply stir (1 tbsp.) in warm water and drink
- A delicious LynFit smoothie has been PROVEN TO REDUCE HUNGER and KILL CRAVINGS due to the essential amino acids it contains that your body can assimilate and use versus digesting meats that contain saturated fats and salt
If none of the foods listed above are hitting the spot, chances are you're dealing with a bad case of head hunger and it's better to take a long walk until you forget you were hungry. THE BEST APPROACH IS PREVENTION!
- Intermittent fasting for 12-14 hours every night
Break the fast with a Metabolic Boosting Smoothie, which provides the essential amino acids your body needs and fiber to keep you fuller longer. Both can also be found in our Lean Bars as well, if you’re not a smoothie person.
SPACE YOUR MEALS THREE HOURS APART. This is also a form of intermittent fasting, allowing blood sugar levels to normalize in-between meals, which reduces hunger and cravings and teaches your body to burn fat for fuel (aka keto).
Just be sure to choose clean snacks like the ones listed above, so you don’t interrupt the process. Carbs and sugars stop the process.
If you are in a social setting where sugar, carbs, and alcohol are being served, be sure to take Keto Carb Edge beforehand to buffer blood sugar spikes and block carbs and sugars form being absorbed, so you won't trigger hunger and cravings the day after (unless, of course, you overindulge 😊. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
Most people struggle to eat enough calories when intermittent fasting, which compresses the eating hours. The most common is consuming enough of the right kind of protein, unless using the Complete Protein Powder as suggested in all of our successful weight loss plans, including the Lose 1 Pound Per Day Plan.
Eating in a slight caloric deficit isn’t a big problem if you're trying to lose weight as long as you're supplementing your diet with nutrients like Pure Omega 3, Daily Power Shot, Complete Protein Powder, Lean Bars, Keto Carb Edge, and Cutting Edge. All of these provide nutrients that our bodies and brains need to stay healthy. If weight loss is your goal, it's okay to have low calorie days. But if you frequently fail to get enough of the essential nutrients like protein, it can trip you up in the long run, if for no other reason than you feel hungry and less satiated.
Adjust your meal frequency (aka Nutrient Partitioning). Simply put, how many meals should you have every day and when? The number of meals you eat daily and when you eat them matters more than you may realize when it comes to hunger and cravings protection.
How many meals and meal timing (when you eat them) both matter for health and weight loss, but what matters MORE is that you eat enough of the specific nutrients your body needs from nutrient-dense foods. It's not the amount of calories you eat that matters, but rather that you get the nutrition your body needs.
Nutritional supplements make this easy and help reduce your macros (calories), making it easier and healthier to lose weight. That means that if you’ve been skipping meals or struggling to nourish yourself in one or two meals a day (the OMAD diet -- One Meal A Day), adding a third meal, or a substantial snack in-between meals is probably the right call if you can't seem to control our cravings. Yes, even if you have to extend your eating window, reducing the hours you fast every night.
If you fast for 12 hours every night that leaves you 12 hours during the day to eat, making it easy to plan your metabolic meals evenly spread throughout the day. For example:
- 9 am: Breakfast-boosting shake
- Noon: Metabolic midday-boosting shake
- 3 pm: Mini metabolic meal/snack (shake or Lean Bar)
- 6 pm: Metabolic dinner
When it comes to managing hunger and cravings, try eating earlier in the day, and make sure your first meal is a a high protein one, preferably a Complete Protein Shake, if you need maximum strength hunger and cravings control.
Complete Protein has the highest PER (Protein Efficiency Ratio) and has all the amino acids your body needs, which helps prevent hunger by providing your body with the specific ratios it needs in a low calorie, low carb, and low fat form. It's delicious too, so you won't feel deprived the way most people do when they begin trying to lose weight. I'm addicted to my morning metabolic Leaner Latte, which also helps prevent the need to add cream or non-dairy creamers, saving me from needing to spend excess hours in the gym working them off and increasingly cravings, which is the opposite of my goal.
The BEST Metabolic Slimming Snacks
- #1: THE BEST -- Metabolic Boosting Complete Protein
- #2: Lean Bar (contains 19 grams complete protein and 5 grams of prebiotic fiber)
- #3: Slimming Hot Chocolate or a Lean Latte
- #4: (¼ cup) Full-fat cottage cheese
- #5: (1) Hard-boiled egg or (2) egg whites
- #6: (½) grapefruit
- #7: Celery sticks
- #8: Green apple
- #9: (6) Medium almonds
- #10: (15) Calorie-free, sugar-free popsicle or Jell-O
Change A Thought, Move Your Muscles
Try moving your body before you grab a snack. Take a walk, do some push-ups, or vacuum your house. Get up and move your body! It works, and it only takes a few minutes. A simple, short exercise break can kill cravings by distracting you, especially if your cravings are due to boredom or fatigue.
If you still feel like snacking after you finish, you'll most likely reach for something healthier, so either way it's a win-win. You’ll also get a quick workout in, which never hurts! Quick workouts (aka micro workouts) work when it comes to speeding up metabolism WITHOUT ramping up hunger.
Nap Off Cravings
Every time I'm struggling with cravings for carbs and sugar it's almost always due to fatigue. Our bodies crave the foods that are quick fixes when it comes to energy, but the problem is they are often followed by a crash, which is why it becomes a vicious cycle of hunger and cravings.
Every single email I receive asking about hunger or cravings, I urge people to sleep more or take small naps throughout the day. Even if you don’t sleep, your body and brain need more downtime to turn off and clear.
Sleep deprivation increases hunger ten-fold, and also our desire to snack. When we are tired, we are always less likely to gravitate towards healthy, supportive slimming snacks like the ones listed. You’re almost always going to be lured into the not-so-healthy kind that are full of sugar, carbs, and fats.
The bottom line is, it’s going to be hard to break your unhealthy snacking habits. If you're feeling overly anxious or depressed talk to someone. 5-HTP Lean can also help with hunger, cravings, and mood support if you feel you need additional help in that area.
LOVE YA, STAY STRONG, and KEEP SNACKING LEAN!
> The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men.
Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr;19(4):818-24. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.203. Epub 2010 Sep 16.
>Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19400750/
- Lisa Lynn