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Food & Drinks

How to curb your cravings and stop snacking

Is your love of snacks bordering on an addiction? Dr Nick Fuller reveals how to reclaim control.

By Dr Nick Fuller
Finding yourself wandering over to the pantry and the cupboard way too much lately? Same.
Whether you're working from home or just can't seem to resist treats wherever you are, snacking is a super common habit that so many of us struggle with.
But it is possible to reduce your snacking - and still get to eat the foods you love.
Keep on scrolling to read Dr Nick Fuller's top tips for how to stop snacking.
1. If you are currently eating your favourite nutrient-poor foods every day – it could be a croissant, banana bread, chocolate bar, can of Coke or McDonald's drive-thru – the goal is to reduce the frequency of these foods gradually.
Using a diary, write down every time you have a treat food.
2. Find naturally occurring foods you love that are high in sugar and fat, and surround yourself with them.
Every time you feel that urge to eat something sugary or fatty coming on, reach for nature first – fruits, honey, nuts, seeds and avocado are a few suitable examples.
Step away from the biscuit tin! Image: Supplied
3. Each time you get a sugar craving, try taking just a taste.
By allowing yourself a few bites, you get maximum enjoyment for minimal damage.
Research has proven this – the first bite of any treat food yields the most pleasure.
A great way to implement this is by challenging yourself to see how long you can keep just one piece of chocolate in your mouth.
4. Record your expenditure. A simple task that involves recording all your food intake can often prompt you to eat out less and to buy fewer treats and takeaway meals.
Buying food on the go or convenience foods all the time can be very expensive.
The most effective way of becoming aware of how much you can save is by recording your daily food cost.
Try to eat your favourite unhealthy foods as a reward after completing tasks. Image: Supplied
5. Cut down on impulse eating by delaying pleasure.
For example, tell yourself you can have the McDonald's burger, pizza, chocolate bar or ice-cream after you complete that task on your to-do list, so you make it harder to access the treat, but you are not saying no.
Once we get absorbed in a task, we often forget all about the craving because we're so happy to have finished the job and want to continue a good streak.
6. Consider whether you are hungry, or just bored.
Reach for a glass of water or herbal tea and remove yourself from technology.
If you are still feeling hungry after following these steps, go for nature first.
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7. Buy single-serve packages of chocolate, ice-cream, biscuits, chips or whatever your favourite treats might be.
This enforces the portion size you can have without the risk of you devouring the entire packet.
Make sure it's something you really love – you want to make it a worthwhile treat and savour every bite.
8. Keep the treats out of sight so you don't see them every time you open the fridge or cupboard.
Always keep healthy foods visible and at eye level.
This is an extract from Interval Weight Loss For Women by Dr Nick Fuller (Penguin Life, $32.99).

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