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Quarantine snacking fixer-upper – Harvard Health Blog

The “battle of the bulge” gained a brand new foe this yr: quarantine snacking. Sales of snack meals like cookies and crackers shot up within the early days of lockdowns, and up to date client surveys are discovering that folks have modified their consuming habits and are snacking extra.

We don’t but have strong proof that extra snacking and consumption of ultra-processed meals this yr has led to weight achieve. While memes of the “quarantine 15” trended on social media earlier this yr, only some small research have recommended a hyperlink between COVID-19-related isolation and weight achieve. But you don’t want scientific proof to know in case your waistband is tighter.

Snacking is not only a weight danger

Regular junk meals snacking brings many dangers. Processed meals are sometimes full of a great deal of unhealthy saturated fat and excessive quantities of salt, energy, added sugar, and refined (unhealthy) grains.

Eating an excessive amount of of those meals can result in elevated blood sugar (which raises the danger for diabetes), constipation, or an elevated LDL ldl cholesterol degree (which boosts the danger for coronary heart illness).

What you are able to do

If your snacking habits are off the rails, listed below are some tricks to get again on monitor.

  • Keep junk meals out of the home. Without junk meals mendacity round, you received’t be tempted to eat it.
  • Plan wholesome snacks. Stock your fridge and pantry with wholesome snack meals similar to fat-free Greek yogurt, berries, chopped greens, nuts (walnuts, almonds), hummus, or complete wheat crackers. Plan your each day snacks upfront, so that you’ll be extra prone to snack correctly.
  • Zero in on starvation. Before snacking, ask your self whether or not you’re hungry or simply thirsty. A great way to inform: drink an eight-ounce glass of water after which wait 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re nonetheless hungry, have a wholesome snack.
  • Know your cravings. Are you hungry, or are you lonely, bored, or confused? Food received’t repair the issue. Instead, go for a stroll across the block, placed on some music, or select one other exercise which may distract you or increase your temper. If you continue to need meals, eat solely a small quantity.
  • Don’t skip meals. This could make you so hungry later within the day that you just’re susceptible to devouring mega-portions of snack meals to provide your physique with simply digested sugars.
  • Don’t eat straight from the bag or carton. If you snack on an open bag of crackers or a bath of frozen yogurt, chances are you’ll eat greater than a single serving. Instead, portion out your serving in a dish.
  • Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV, put down your cellphone, and take note of your snack. Savoring a chunk of positive chocolate may be extra satisfying than mindlessly wolfing down a complete chocolate bar.
  • Prepare for snacks away from residence. Plan forward and preserve a wholesome snack in your bag or automotive. That method you received’t flip in desperation to calorie-laden cookies or merchandising machines.

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