Let’s face it, food is therapeutic. Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, stated “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Now, there is a lot of truth in this statement. We know that food can be good for us in many ways. But in times of stress, we may struggle with finding balance between eating for health and eating for comfort. Stress causes us to have increase in chemical signals in our bodies that can result in the desire to eat. It can also cause a rise in blood sugar without eating anything. Dealing with the root causes of the stressors in our life is a great place to start to help prevent any long-term issues. But in the meantime, here’s a few tips on how to deal with snacking at home, because let’s face it, we all might go there from time to time.
- Portion, portion, portion! If snacking on those sweets is a must, make sure to limit how much you eat. Find a small bowl and fill it with your snack of choice. Leave the bag or box in the kitchen; put it in a place that is out of sight and hard to reach. Limit your trips to refill.
- Alternative sweets, such as a Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar, or 2 graham crackers with some dark chocolate can be a way to get the sweet with not-so-much sugar and calories.
- If baking (anything but cookies), use some subs to keep the fat and sugar down. Use fat free yogurt or a fruit puree like applesauce or bananas in place of butter, 1T ground flax seeds + 3 T water (let it sit for about 5 minutes to gel to an egg-like consistency) instead of a whole egg, use half the sugar a recipe calls for, adding in some stevia if additional sweetness is desired (Truvia has a conversion chart on their bottle for quick reference).
- Eat on a regular schedule and make it a calming, positive experience. Timing out your meals can also be helpful in limiting snacking.
Remember, stressors will come and go in our lives. How we deal with them is up to us.
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