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The snaccident: how to recover

  • Category: Nutrition, Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA
The snaccident: how to recover

Have you ever had that irresistible, insatiable, IRRATIONAL urge to eat candy? You are driven to it, and there is no Snickers that is going satisfy that craving.

(Well maybe, after two or three of them have been gobbled down…)

Maybe it’s not candy, maybe it’s those Dot’s pretzels, Dr. Pepper or even a cheese burger. You get your hands on those tasty morsels and before you’ve even realized it, the bag is gone, the wrapper is staring at you, you didn’t even taste it as you inhaled it and you are left to wonder, “what exactly just happened?”

If you have had a snaccident (or two), you get what I’m saying! When it happens to me, it’s what I call “The Avalanche” and yes, it’s like a tidal wave of tasties just hit me and pulled me out to a sea of chocolate and Hot Tamale heaven. I’m usually left to wonder (in my sugar stupor) what happened to my will power and good intentions. This article will help you look at the “why” of those powerful cravings and give you a tip or two to combat them. Because, honestly, it’s not as simple as having will power. Snacks happen!

  1. Manage hunger. Surprise! Being hungry or even extra hungry is a snaccident waiting to happen. Fight this by ensuring that you don’t get over-hungry. Try timing your meals and sticking to a plan. Get your three square meals, or snack through your day—both are good strategies as long as they work for you and your lifestyle. Eat more protein, fiber and yes, fat. The nutritious versions of each of these food groups can promote satiety (a feeling of fullness). Avoid eliminating food groups. There is no such thing as a “bad” food and all the food groups serve a purpose in our metabolism of foods. Also don’t overlook your thirst. The need for hydration can often be mistaken as hunger!
  2. Don’t eat your feelings. Ask yourself, are you stressed today? Have you had a tough week? And are you finding solace in food? Being sad, lonely or angry can all influence our eating habits. Think about it: being hangry is an emotion just as much as it is a reaction. Our emotions often influence our behaviors. Avoid managing your feelings with food, and learn what your reactions are in respect to food. Recognizing the behaviors can be a step toward choosing different actions—such as exercising, listening to music, having a good laugh—to manage stress, happiness or sadness that serve you better.
  3. Walk away. I know if there is a doughnut in front of me, it’s likely to find itself in my belly. Temptations are truly hard to resist. If you find yourself in a situation that is just too good to resist, the best strategy is often to remove yourself from the hankering. Avoid the break room if there is a steady stream of treats there. Don’t go grocery shopping if you are hungry and keep on driving past that coffee shop if you know you can’t control yourself. Literally walking away can also be a good tactic, as the distraction can alleviate the craving. Take a brisk walk or find another task (read a book, call a friend) that can get your mind off those treats. Odds are, the urge to go on a food bender will pass after a few minutes.
  4. Get some sleep. Have you ever sat back and watched a tired toddler in the grocery store? Mom is waiting patiently in the checkout and Billy wants that lollypop now. Like yesterday. And then the fun begins for everyone in a five aisle radius. Adults are a lot more like children than we care to admit, it’s just that our meltdowns look a bit different. Our ability to say no to a candy spree is slim if we are tired. We just give in. Make sure you routinely get enough rest, and if you know you are too tired to make solid food choices, be smart and limit your options. Don’t go out to eat, keep it simple at home instead. Stick with easy, fast foods like scrambled eggs, left-overs, or grilled lean meats and a veggie. No five-course meals needed!
  5. Finally… Give in. Yep—I said it. Eat that delicious delicacy your taste buds have been begging for. Be smart about it though, and limit it to one. Don’t keep those goodies in the house, so opportunity is limited. Make it a special occasion to dive into. Then remember that your whole day isn’t ruined. Once you’ve satisfied that yearning for whatever has been taunting you, you can put it behind you and move on.

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health's Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.

Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist