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11 Healthy Distractions to Help You Stop Snacking

family playing toss

Stress and boredom are easily mistaken for hunger. A quick distraction can keep you from reaching for a snack when you are not truly hungry. Here are 11 ways to distract yourself, and skip the snacking.

Tackle a problem.

Whether it’s a family dilemma or a work project, we all have a problem that needs to be solved. Start brainstorming solutions. Maybe it’s a list of babysitters to call after you get a last minute invitation. Perhaps it’s drafting a timeline for a project deadline. Giving your mind something challenging to focus on will make you less likely to focus on your next snack.

Have fun with your kids.

So much of our time as parents is spent taking care of the basics of feeding, bathing, and cleaning. Take a moment to do something fun with your children. Teach them a new game, toss a ball in the backyard, or simply sit down to talk about their day.

Read 5 pages.

Maybe you are halfway through a great novel, or there is an article in a magazine you’ve been meaning to read. Stop for a few minutes, and read at least five pages. Chances are your thoughts of snacking will subside by the time you are finished.

Do 15 push-ups.

Stopping to squeeze in an exercise will remind you of two things – how much time it takes to burn off the calories from mindless snacking, and how far you’ve come in reaching your fitness goals. Can’t get down on the floor at the moment? Do wall push-ups, squats, or hold a yoga pose.

Grab your journal.

Spend a few minutes writing down something positive. Making a list of ten things you are thankful for is a great practice. Force yourself to think back to a special moment or feeling, and be specific. Your thankful thinking will help you forget all about snacking.

Check a chore off the to-do list.

When hunger hits, pick a task on your to-do list, and use it to get your mind off snacking. Fold the laundry, wash the dishes, or vacuum the living room. You’ll save calories, and you’ll have a clean house to show for it.

Walk 1 lap.

Take a short walk. If you are at home, walk around the block. At the office, circle the outside of the building, or climb a few flights of stairs. Anytime you can replace the urge to snack with physical activity you will not only cut calories, but you will be burning a few too.

Respond to an email.

There has to be at least one email in your inbox that you’ve been meaning to respond to. Skip the snack and do it now. Schedule the meeting you’ve been putting off, or update a family member on any news you haven’t had time to share.

Review your list of goals.

Put your fitness goals in writing, and keep them with you. When you feel the urge to snack, pull out your list and evaluate where you stand. How many goals have you accomplished? Are you on the right track? You may need to revise your goals as you improve your fitness. Use this time to make changes and assess your progress.

Become active in our forum

MyFoodDiary offers an active forum where members can encourage each other and share advice about fitness. Join a group or participate in a weight loss challenge. Chatting with fellow members can distract you from snacking, and can provide support for your new healthy lifestyle.

Stop and notice what’s around you.

Mindless snacking can result from too many demands on your time. Take a moment to put on the brakes. Stand up, and step outside or look out the window. Focus on the weather, the view, and how you feel. Give yourself a few minutes to be in the moment and to assess if you really are hungry.

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