How can you avoid a snack attack?

18 May 2020


In these challenging times, some people see corona as a great opportunity to lead a healthier life. We applaud this attitude! Healthy eating and regular exercise helps your immune system to stay in shape and, at the moment, that’s more important than ever. We optimistically start a new diet every time, but after one or two weeks we inevitably succumb to a snack attack. Why is it so hard to maintain a healthy, low-fat diet beyond this point? And – at least as important – how can we stick to it this time around?

We go on a diet an average of 104 times in our lives between the ages of 18 and 70: the equivalent of 10 years. Each time we start we’re all gung-ho, fired up and determined – and each time we end up giving in to temptation and pigging out – the infamous snack attack. The worst part of this is, arguably, the feeling that you have failed again. You keep hearing that nagging little voice in your head telling you that you really should know better. So why do you fall into the trap every time again?
The answer is simple: we’re creatures of habit – it’s in our genes – and tend to revert to old patterns of behaviour. Since it’s ingrained in us from a young age that unhealthy foods taste better than healthy ones and that having a few sweets is fine if you’re feeling down (or milk and cookies if you’re sick), overeating, gaining weight and not exercising almost comes naturally to a lot of people. And now that we’re all spending more time at home, it’s far easier to give into those hunger pangs.

Mental game
The decision to lead a healthier life is a wise move. So while your emotions are begging you to feed them a doughnut or sausage roll, your head has to keep telling them: “No, we’re not going to have one.” Your mind constantly needs to keep your emotions in check to be able to stick to the diet. This is a highly conscious process that you can only keep up as long as your mind is in control. If you slack off, chances are you’ll be reaching for the biscuit tin, bag of crisps or slice of cake within no time. People who want to lose weight are not that different, in that sense, from those trying to get rid of an addiction: they want to, but they can’t. The reason is that willpower alone is not enough: if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to abandon all your old eating habits.
And that’s tricky, as it means you must force yourself to adopt routines that are completely new to you. This takes energy, as it feels unnatural and you’re surrounded by temptation.

Don’t be too hard on yourself
The urge to choose the easy way out and grab that mozzarella stick or grilled cheese and bacon sandwich will be overwhelming and almost impossible to resist at times. But if you’re serious about losing weight, you’ll have to stick with it until your new habits have replaced your old ones. One of the best tips for successful and healthy weight loss is to lose the weight gradually. This way, you avoid the dreaded yo-yo effect and reduce the risk of snack attacks, as you won’t be starving yourself. One tip is to avoid the supermarket when you’re feeling peckish. This will reduce the temptation to give in to your craving. It’s also important that you allow yourself the occasional treat – many people who diet tend to be too hard on themselves and will eventually give in to the unhealthy foods their body is craving.
If you love pizza, by all means, have a slice every now and then! If you can’t live without chocolate, promise yourself a small piece at a regular time of the day – and enjoy every bite. Don’t deny yourself anything: that’s the best recipe for successful weight loss without snack attacks. How about eating a healthy diet during the week and then allowing yourself a treat or two over the weekend?

5 life hacks to prevent snack attacks
1. Keep a record of what you eat
2. Drink water when you’re hungry
3. Surround yourself (virtually) with positive people
4. Have a small snack every two hours
5. Avoid TV cooking shows

How financially fit are you?
Besides a healthy life, you want a healthy pension. By staying aware of the pension market and react to it in a flexible way, we keep your pension in top condition. Do you already have a pension scheme with BeFrank? Then you can see how your pension is doing on your Personal Pension page. Here you will also find the most important updates. Do you not have a pension scheme with BeFrank yet? Ask your employer about the possibilities.