Health

7 tips to stop mindlessly snacking during the afternoon slump

That time period between lunch and dinner can really catch you off guard and derail your healthy eating plans.

The afternoon slump or danger zone is the time of day when we begin to slow down and feel hungry or bored… and this is when the mindless snacking can start. You may not even realise you are doing it!

Many of us find ourselves eating the leftovers in our kid’s lunchboxes or picking at the dinner we make. The risk is we may consume a entire days’ worth of calories in that little arvo window!

We at The Healthy Mummy have pulled together some top tips to keep your hunger at bay and get you through that dreaded time of day…

7 tips to stop mindlessly snacking during the afternoon slump

1. Choose wisely

7 tips to stop mindlessly snacking during the afternoon slump

You should be having an afternoon snack to help see you through this time of day, but it’s important you don’t reach for a bag of chips or a chocolate bar.

Just make sure you have a healthy snack – here are some healthy snacking ideas to help you make the right choices

2. Limit the opportunity for seconds

7 tips to stop mindlessly snacking during the afternoon slump

Once you have had a healthy lunch, full of fresh vegetables or salad and proteins to keep you feeling full, pack any leftovers away to have for lunch tomorrow.

This way, there isn’t any food lying around that you mindlessly nibble throughout the afternoon.

3. Throw out the junk

Woman eating junk food

It’s much easier to kick the afternoon snacking habit if there are no unhealthy snacks to be had.

Promise yourself that you won’t buy food that doesn’t fit in with your healthy eating plan. If you really are hungry, try some grapes, air popped popcorn, some watermelon, a handful of nuts or a banana.

3. Make a ‘no eating in front of the TV’ rule

It is easy to over consume food when we aren’t paying attention to what we are eating and also ignoring our body’s signals that we have had enough.

Watching TV while eating dinner or a snack is likely to cause issues with weight loss, as we need to eat mindfully. Introduce a rule that you will only eat at the table (snacks too) and not while watching TV or running around after the kids.

4. Do something different

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Afternoon snacking is a tough habit to break, so it pays to distract yourself if you can. Drink water, fold the laundry, do some stretches, clean out a kitchen drawer – just keep your hands busy so that you aren’t tempted.

5. Get out of the house

One of the reasons you may feel like snacking is because you’re feeling bored. Maybe you could try walking or exercising before picking the kids up from school to distract yourself.

Alternatively, walk to a park or playground with the kids after you collect them and spend the afternoon out of the house in order to stop you feeling tempted to go into the pantry.

6. Make dinner earlier

To stop yourself from picking at the dinner you’re making, try making it earlier in the day and then put it in the fridge once it’s cooled. Alternatively, try meal prepping ahead of time.

If it’s there on the stove, you’re more likely to pick at it!

7. Have a substantial lunch

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If you are feeling those hunger pangs, it may be because you didn’t have enough to eat at lunch. You could always try having a bigger lunch to keep you fuller for longer and then eating a smaller dinner.

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