Is Winter Turning You Into a Snack Zombie?

I wonder if I am the only person who gets bored in the evening, especially throughout the winter. During this time of year I often find myself walking to the refrigerator or cupboard looking for something to snack on only a couple hours after dinnertime. I’m not even a bit hungry when this happens. It’s like I’m searching for food because I assume that it will take care of my boredom.

Sometimes I’ll even look for something to eat in order to make me feel better when I’m in a bad mood. But I’ve learned that this type of eating will not make me feel better or take away boredom for very long — it will just cause me to feel guilty instead.

Start at the Root

During my morbidly obese years I had no problem allowing myself to snack during these certain times, but when I changed my eating habits back in 2001 I had to make sure to change this one too. But I’m human and there are times when it’s extremely difficult to keep myself out of the kitchen. This is just another reason why it is necessary for me to not purchase unhealthy snacks. I have to resist those items when I’m at the grocery store because they are the ones that really cause me to feel guilty when eating them, especially when I know I’m not even the least bit hungry.

When I go grocery shopping I’ve learned to use my willpower. It’s been over 10 years, so it’s really a habit for me now, but when I first started my new lifestyle I really had to adapt to using this willpower during each shopping trip.

Oh believe me…  I wanted to place all kinds of goodies into my cart each week — potato chips and dip, corn chips and cheese, a package of cookies or a big box of doughnuts — but I stopped myself. I still do. Those snack items taste too good to me; they almost become addictive. I know that. It’s much easier to avoid them at the store compared than when they’re at my home, particularly during the times when I’m bored and want to eat something when I’m not even hungry.

My willpower at the grocery store allows me to completely overlook those favorite unhealthy snacks of mine from the past. Now I make sure to fill my cart with my new favorite snacks — the healthy ones! I can guarantee you that if you peer into my shopping cart these days, you’ll find snack items such as bananas, apples, grapes, avocados, fresh spinach, baby carrots, green peppers, hummus,whole wheat crackers, granola bars, soy nuts, edamame, low-fat microwave popcorn or pretzels, and sometimes a container of frozen yogurt.

Think About Quality

Twenty years ago I may have never considered shopping for things like these. Honestly, I wanted stuff that was salty, crunchy, and convenient. Now I think of those snack items as unhealthy, full of sugar, sodium, fat and of course … calories. (Did you know that each potato chip contains 10 calories? I could eat the entire bag in one sitting, no problem — and often with dip accompanying each chip!) The snack foods I used to purchase at the grocery store did not include a list of vitamins and nutrients like the ones I enjoy today do. But I liked the way they tasted so I ate them… I suppose I could claim that these foods were partially to blame for my obesity.

Do you find that you have made it a habit to enter the kitchen during the wintertime, looking for food to remedy your boredom? What about those times when you are in a bad mood, do you look for snack items to help you feel better? If so, please try to make some changes. I’m not asking for any drastic changes, especially since I know how difficult it can be. I am just asking you to use a little more willpower when you are at the grocery store.

Do not purchase the snacks that you know you may dive into when you’re bored. Instead purchase items that you know are healthy, ones that you won’t feel guilty about eating if you are trying to fix your boredom or just feel better about a bad day.

Willpower while grocery shopping … it CAN be done! It’s another step towards a healthier you.

Photo by barkbud

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