The title may sound funny at first. But if you have the same problem, you know what I mean.
I had a bad habit of being hungry while I cooked and snacking all the time while preparing a meal. This habit added me a lot of calories because by the time I have to start my lunch I’ve already eaten lots of stuff while cooking it.
I remember every time I made a sandwich/soup in the past I would snack on a piece of cheese, bread, or vegetables, or something. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. How annoying!
Frankly speaking, it’s not the end of the world. And it’s not so bad if you are snacking on healthy foods like nuts, fruits, veggies.
But the problem is that this nibbling while cooking is often mindless. You don’t fully focus on your food and can’t enjoy it properly. You just grab and snack everything around. Besides, did you know that taste-tasting can add up to 400-500 calories to your diet every day? You definitely don’t want that.
As this habit doesn’t contribute to your fit body and doesn’t satisfy you, it’s better to get rid of it. And instead, enjoy bigger meals while having lunch.
The aim of this post is to help you beat this crazy pattern. Or at least, make your snacking healthier and less frequent. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Why do you snack while cooking?
- You starve yourself. It’s natural to get hungry when we smell food. But it can go out of control when we are extremely hungry. It can easily lead to nibbling on everything in sight. So make sure you are eating on time and avoid getting too hungry.
- It’s just a habit. I guess it’s the most common reason. Kitchen is always associated with food that’s why we tend to start eating right when we are there. As with other habits, you need to watch your actions and take your time to break the habit.
- You are dehydrated. We often tend to overeat when our body, in fact, needs water. To ensure you stay hydrated, drink lots of water during the day.
- You are bored. It’s another common habit – when you are tired, bored, or can’t wait while your meals are cooked you can snack all the time just for pleasure. To avoid that you can entertain yourself in other ways – watching TV-show or listening to the podcast while cooking may help.
How to stop snacking while cooking
Many people find different ways to beat the habit of nibbling while cooking dinner. I’ve tried the most popular ideas and highly recommend to give it a go!
1. Brushing teeth or wearing whitening strips. That’s a funny method but it seems to work pretty well. You can either brush your teeth before going to the
You can modify this method as you want. For example, you may try oil pulling. It’s very beneficial for your dental health as it reduces harmful bacteria in your mouth, prevents illnesses and provides fresh breath. You need to put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish. Usually, it takes 15–20 minutes to oil pull. So why not to combine this healthy routine with avoiding unnecessary snacking?
2. Meal prep your snacks. If you can’t avoid eating while cooking completely you can just choose your snacks wisely. One thought is to have just one very purposeful snack set out for dinnertime prep. You can opt for salad, berries or some celery with hummus.
A good rule is to have only vegetables/leafy greens for such snacks. This way you won’t consume many calories as vegetables full of water and fiber. Besides, green veggies are known to reduce cravings.
If you feel physically unable to not snack while cooking, just having fresh bell-peppers and cucumbers are not a big deal. Keep a bowl of grape tomatoes nearby and nosh on those since they are very low in calories (you can use other chopped veggies if tomatoes are not your favorite).
It’s a great idea to have some protein and healthy fat before cooking. They both work fast to curb appetite and cravings as they balance blood sugar levels. Nuts, cheese, avocado
3. Choose drinks. There are times when you think you are hungry when you are not. One of the most common is when you are dehydrated. So watch your water intake and create a habit of drinking when you want to snack. Most of the time it works just amazing!
I think it’s a cool idea to have a beautiful bottle with fruit/
If you prefer hot drinks, you can make a pot of tea and sip on it while cooking. Adding a cinnamon stick can enhance the effect as cinnamon balance insulin levels and prevent sugar cravings. Herbal tea can help stop the after-dinner munchies too.
For some people a cup of coffee, iced or hot, depending on the season, works even better. Coffee is a treat that never gets old!
4. Avoid addictive foods. Let’s admit, there are foods that are so addictive you just can’t resist eating them when you see them. It differs from person to person, but for me, these foods are pistachios, brazil nuts, potato chips, ice-cream
The solution is to keep these foods out of your reach. I have a small jar for nuts on the table, but the rest I hide deep in my cupboard just in order to avoid mindless overeating (with nuts it happens really often!). Or even better – place the pack on the very top shelf that you can reach only by bringing a chair. It’s a lot of pain so you will have time to think whether you actually need to snack on it or not.
5. Plan for it. You can deal with snacking by planning for it. Prepare your tea, water, healthy snacks in advance. It’s the most important step. No matter what tricks seem the most effective for you, it should be planned or, otherwise, you will forget about it and find yourself mindlessly snacking again. So be prepared!
Start right now – choose/buy a cute bottle, pour water and add some berries/mint. Put it in the fridge so tomorrow you can grab it when you came to the kitchen to cook meals.
You can also print/draw a reminder for you. Just write “Watch your snacks” or “Drink your water” and put on your fridge. You can hang it anywhere in the kitchen where you’ll see it. It’s a great tool to stay focused.
What helped me the most
All the mentioned tips can be effective and helpful. But for me personally drinking water and eating leafy greens work the best. With these tricks now I snack waaaaay less than before.
Of course, I wasn’t “cured” overnight. Snacking like this is a habit and habits are sometimes harder to deal with than hunger.
It’s like with breaking any other bad habit – you need to give yourself time. It’s important to stay focused and committed. But if you fall out off track sometimes, that’s OKAY. Just remind yourself all the time that you want to reduce snacking while cooking.
It takes time to find the balance, but don’t beat yourself up about snacking. If you are hungry, then eat. If you are not, work on breaking the habit by using the tips above. It’s manageable! They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit (breaking an old one) so try to challenge yourself for a month or so. And practice mindfulness!
Experiment and see what works for you. I’m sure you will be proud of you when you made an entire meal without snacking!
Please let me know what trick helped you the most. And make sure to share this post with friends using the social media links below.
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