Friday, November 28, 2014

Putting the SMART Before the Course: 5 Fundamental Ways to Snack Smarter

Maybe you're just a little hungry or bored... or maybe you want an excuse to catch up with a friend and need something for both of you to do. 

So why not have a snack? It seems and sounds innocent enough, right?!

A minor case of the munchies, no matter the reason, can easily snowball out of control because of factors you may not even realize-- like the size of your plate, the type of show you are watching as you eat your snack... or even the timing of when you choose to chomp.

Here are 5 fundamental tips from our Body SymmetryMD wellness squad to avoid having your diet inadvertently derailed by your snacking habits:

1. Funnel food toward your pie hole with a bigger fork (yes that's right, a BIG one).

The size of your eating apparatus can have a serious impact on how much you devour in one sitting. A recent study conducted on restaurant goers showed those who ate from a full plate with really big forks (20% bigger than the average dinner fork at a restaurant) consumed significantly less and left more uneaten remnants on their plates, compared to people who chowed down using much smaller utensils.

2. Avoid munching on something while you're watchin' the tube (especially when you're really into a certain show or movie).
It's definitely a lot more fun to have something sweet or crunchy (or both) to nibble on when you plop down in front of the TV. New research, however, shows that action-packed entertainment could distract you from realizing how much you’re actually putting in your mouth. Studies show that people pig out on a whopping 354 calories worth of snacks on average while watching an action-type of movie, compared to only a measly 21 calories when they're watching a way less exciting program.

3. Scarf down your serving out of a smaller bowl.
The dish you're doling food out of could also have an impact on the actual amount of food you're woofing down. One study revealed that while pouring yourself something as seemingly harmless as cereal (whether you're a grown-up or a child), you’ll serve yourself a much bigger portion if you're using a larger bowl versus a smaller container. 

4. Don't justify junk food... Nosh on something nutritious instead. 
When it comes to eating less garbage (especially when you're at home), the popular saying, "out of sight, out of mind holds true." Researchers have unveiled that we are 3 times more likely to eat the first thing that catches our eyes, as opposed to the fifth option we see. To make it easier on yourself, keep nothing but high-protein snacks and fresh produce within plain site at your domicile to ensure your sudden urge to sample something sweet doesn't go awry. 

5. Beware (or be mindful) of becoming a "creature of habit."

If you're used to polishing off an entire bucket of popcorn at the movies, you may be even more likely to do so if the popcorn doesn't even really taste all that good. One study showed that 'regular movie popcorn eaters' ate the same amount of stale popcorn as as they did fresh popcorn while being entertained by a flick on the silver screen. The 'not-so-frequent popcorn eaters,' however, ate significantly less stale popcorn than fresh. What's this tell us? That our environment sure does have a powerful impact on triggering unhealthy behaviors... like unnecessary eating or failure to control our portions.

If you'd like to learn more about effective ways to lose or maintain your healthy weight CLICK HERE to visit our web site now.

Here's to putting the SMART before the matter what it is we're about to eat!
--Your Body SymmetryMD Wellness Squad

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