How to Stop Snacking so Much: Best Automatisms to Acquire

Heather Campbell
 min read

How to stop snacking so much is something that is often asked.

How to stop snacking so much: Best automatisms to acquireWhen you feel hungry, your blood sugar level is low.

As a whole, the modern world does not allow us to fully appreciate our food at meal times, causing us to snack. Remove the temptation of snacking by chewing properly, savoring every bite, varying the texture of food, ensuring calm surroundings, the right temperature and eating veggies first.

The body needs energy and will more quickly provoke a desire to eat, and especially to snack!

Continue reading to learn more about snacking and which practical tips can help you feel fuller for longer.

How to stop snacking so much: Introduction

All too often we eat mechanically, too quickly and without enjoying our food, whereas eating slowly has so many advantages!

First of all, from a physical point of view, eating slowly causes less stress in the body (digestion takes place gradually) and removes the need to snack.

Also, by tasting our food properly, we know when we have eaten enough. The body has had time to perceive that it has eaten enough, and it lets us know.

One must eat slowly and with concentration to better feel satiety.

Finally, eating by listening to your senses increases pleasure, which helps you eat less.

Tip: After devouring this article, you can find even more tips on how to stop compulsive snacking in our other article How do I stop compulsive snacking? Best doable hacks & tips

Be aware of your sensations while eating

When we are distracted and not mindful with what is on our plate, or when we eat in a noisy place, we cannot fully appreciate all our sensations.

We then overeat to find the amount of pleasure necessary to satisfy our hunger.

Studies show that watching television makes you eat 10 to 15% more than if you were to concentrate on your meal.

Using mindfulness techniques can reduce the amount of food consumed by 20 to 25%. So it is essential to eat sitting down without having your mind occupied by another activity.

Chew your food properly

Chewing helps prepare the nutrients for the breakdown in the stomach.

We too often forget that saliva undertakes the first work of digestion (poor chewing leads to problems such as bloating or acid reflux).

A Japanese doctor has also discovered that histamine, a neurotransmitter, regulates our satiety. Histamine is released after 15 to 20 minutes of chewing.

The secret would be to secrete as much as possible by chewing 25 times each mouthful. You can lose weight by doing the following exercise for 3 months:

Draw a line of squares on a sheet of paper and mark each time you have chewed a mouthful until you have wholly liquefied it in 25 times. Mark also when you have failed to do so.

It sounds simple but try it once, and you’ll see it takes a lot of practice.

Of course, you can’t go on practicing such an exercise forever. However, even if only once a day for a single bite, practicing it will prevent you from falling back into the ways of a meal eaten too quickly.

This method may be funny, but it is very effective. Practiced for a few weeks with regularity, it relearns to eat slowly.

When you chew a mouthful 25 times, you can’t eat much. But, finally, the better the food, the better it tastes as it is chewed.

Savor the tastes that linger in your mouth

Many foods have a taste that lingers in the mouth. For example, wine experts speak of “length” in the mouth. This duration of a taste lingering is often a sign of the quality of a product.

Therefore, it would be a shame to take another bite without having taken the time to thoroughly savor the previous one and to really appreciate the taste that remains in the mouth after swallowing.

Eating fast means that we are depriving ourselves of beneficial emotions and pleasures that we may need without even being aware of them.

Some tips on how to stop snacking so much:

  • Let the tastes unfold, experience each texture, break, and continue chewing.
  • Chew until you don’t recognize the texture of the food. Other tastes will then appear.
  • Put your cutlery down after each bite.
  • Chew a piece of meat or raw ham for as long as possible.
  • Practice keeping food in your mouth as long as possible.

Vary the texture of foods

The more texture a food has, the more satisfaction it brings and the better we feel satiety and so it takes longer to consume.

Appreciating the taste and texture is a little moment in paradise that you have to make last as long as possible.

Hence the importance of varying the textures at each meal (crispy, creamy, etc.).

Manufacturers even go so far as to create noisy packaging to better seduce us. The sound the package makes when it is opened adds its influence to the food’s crunchiness.

Imagine also all the sounds of food, which make you anticipate the pleasure. For example, the coffee beans you grind in the morning, the gurgling of the coffee pot, its sputtering and the wonderful aroma.

Or the whisper of the head of a beer poured into a glass, or the bubbles of champagne hatching on the surface, etc.

The rhythmic sounds of the knife on a wooden board and the rolling of the pestle crushing sesame seeds in a mortar are soothing.

Incorporate foods with a sound texture into your dishes, for example, croutons on a Waldorf salad with a creamy dressing, crunchy celery, nuts, pieces of apple, grapes that pop in your mouth, etc.

It’s a lot of taste satisfaction gained, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the need to snack.

Pay attention to the temperature of the food

The food seems saltier at room temperature than when served very hot. It is said that the best temperature for tasting is the one inside our mouth.

That’s why it feels so good to let a piece of chocolate melt on your tongue.

To make a dessert seem sweet, even if it doesn’t contain much sugar, try warming your tongue a bit with a hot drink before taking a bite.

And avoid eating food that has just come out of the refrigerator (your digestive system will thank you too).

Multiply the actions to better savor the food

After each bite, put down your cutlery and, each time, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I reached my satiety threshold?
  • Do I like this taste?
  • Do I still feel like eating?
  • Am I still hungry?
  • Does this dish still give me pleasure?

By asking yourself these questions, you will eat less.

This is what will allow you to feel full while eating little. Very few bites are necessary if they are savored one by one slowly. And it goes a long way to answering how to stop snacking so much.

Eat in a specific order

Vegetables, eaten first, slow down the absorption of proteins, thus delaying hunger for the next meal. By consuming carbohydrates last, you can avoid a too fast glucose peak.

Therefore, you could start your meal with vegetables in a salad, then move on to cooked vegetables, followed by proteins (meat, eggs, cheese, fish) and, finally, carbohydrates (bread, rice, etc.).

How to stop snacking so much: Conclusion

The time we take to eat is important. Our brain needs time to receive signals from the stomach that we are eating.

Eating without hurrying, therefore more slowly, is favorable to good digestion.

Are you hungry in between meals? There is no need to feel guilty about this. If you are hungry, you can have a small snack of fresh fruit or a handful of unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc.).

Related post: How to stop drinking energy drinks: What to know & how to quit

About Heather Campbell

As a dietitian, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More