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How to stop snacking!!!

livbelcher3466livbelcher3466 Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
I am new to MFP but I am already eating better and being more AWARE of calories. Who knew you can manage to get through so many without even realizing!!!

What I find super hard is giving up snacking on chocolate, crisps etc. How do you come to terms with giving up junk food? Is there a way to eat it in moderation and still reach your goals?? What is your experience with this??


  • ajlmfp22ajlmfp22 Member Posts: 31 Member Member Posts: 31 Member
    The "eat in moderation" is the most difficult part of this IMO. For me personally, I know that I have a very hard time snacking in moderation and will overeat when it comes to snacking. So I just straight up don't keep snacks in my apartment with an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.

    If you can truly snack in moderation, it's definitely possible to reach your goals without completely cutting snacks out. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is "calories in < calories out" if you're looking to lose weight. But you'll have to do some planning ahead to account for snacking and make it fit in.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,945 Member Member Posts: 1,945 Member
    Whether or not you can have them in moderation might depend on your personality 🙂

    For me, I'm fine moderating my snacks within these limits:
    - I never eat straight from the box/bag, I always weigh out my portion on a plate or in a bowl
    - specifically for potato chips I need at least a medium sized portion to feel satisfied. For me that means I don't eat potato chips a lot, only when I have a good amount of calories left (after running for example). I do have other salty snacks I like that are less calories dense and that I can enjoy in smaller quantities (rice crackers for example).

    I have snacks every day, I just make sure they fit in my calories. Nearly 60lbs down so far, it hasn't held me back!
  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,719 Member Member Posts: 1,719 Member
    It is difficult for people who have eaten whatever they want, whenever they want to moderate their junk food intake. You kind of have 2 choices about how you want to approach it
    1. give up junk food completely and find substitutes
    2. make it fit within your budget (portion control usually required)

    I haven't had much success with substitutes. When I want chocolate, there isn't much I can do to replace it.

    I have learned that certain foods trigger me, and I end up overdoing so I completely eliminated them from my diet for the most part. While other foods I am very good at controlling.

    Salt triggers me so I really have to avoid potato chips and salty carb snacks. Once I get started I can't stop. I really do not have a choice about this if I want to be successful, I just have to give them up. There are also some other foods that have been placed on my 'never' list, simply because they just don't provide enough satisfaction for the caloric hit they provide (donuts, cookies, muffins-store ok with homemade, creamy pastas as a few examples)

    Sugar or frozen treats(Dessert, chocolate, ice cream) on the other hand I have gotten real good at having smallish portions, just enough to taste or satisfy a craving. It is pretty easy for me to have 1/4 of a chocolate bar, or to have a very small serving of a blizzard from DQ and to freeze the rest for 2 or 3 more snacks, I just can't do that with salty things!

    Keep at it, you will find a happy medium or the right way for you. You may even discover you can reintroduce foods that were once banned by fine tuning other parts of your budget, I did that with bacon and I am glad I did :smile:

  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,111 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,111 Member
    By no means have I mastered this, but here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve successfully utilized over time:

    Don’t keep those tempting snacks in the house and don’t buy them on your regular grocery store runs. Instead, if you start craving them, you need to make the conscious effort of going to the store specifically for those snacks. A lighter version is hiding them someplace difficult in your home, like a top shelf where you can’t see them when you open the cabinet and that you need to climb on a chair to reach, so again you need to make an effort to get it. If baked treats are your thing, you can also make a pact with yourself that you’re only allowed self-made treats. Buying ready-made cookies is a lot easier than baking them from scratch.

    If you’re like me and tend to snack on things little by little as you walk by them, put easy-to-grab fruits on the counter so you can get something like a couple of grapes whenever you pass to hit the snack urge, instead of chocolate or chips/crisps. If constant snacking is a comfort habit, switching to fruits or veggies is also an option. I personally like grapes for sweet snacks and cucumber sticks with my favorite dipping sauce for savory snacks.

    I’ve successfully quit altogether several snack items through an intensely focused process of carefully reading the label and all the additives it includes, smelling, touching and tasting the item very carefully, and noting how I truly feel after eating it. Some are still definitely worth it, but I’ve realized I simply don’t enjoy many items enough to make them worth it as they don’t truly taste that good to me, make me feel gross, and there’s nothing in that product I’d particularly want in my body.
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 6,469 Member Member Posts: 6,469 Member
    I allow myself snacks within the calorie allotment. But I have to admit some days can be frustrating. Yesterday was one of them. I had the munchies all day and tried to keep them at bay with things like baby carrots and hummus, chewing gum, etc., but I did go over calories by maybe 200 or so. Nothing major but I don't want many days like that.
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 807 Member Member Posts: 807 Member
    If you can fit it in your budget, have at it. Chocolate and chips and whatever will all still be there and still have calories when you reach GW - better to figure out how to coexist with them sooner rather than later.
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 943 Member Member Posts: 943 Member
    Just count the calories and stop when you get to your daily goal. If that is a bag of pretzels, sad for you.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 256 Member Member, Premium Posts: 256 Member
    In addition to other things already mentioned, snacks like these, when I do buy them, are something I'll concede buying individual packs of, or immediately packaging into single serving (whatever that is) containers when I bring them home. I have a designated snack spot, in a somewhat annoying place to get to, and I can't have more at home than fits in that spot. The more decisions I have to make to eat the snack, the more opportunities I have to decide I don't really want to have it. ;)

    When I was really struggling with this, I actually did buy one of those food safe containers that set a timer before it would unlock. I don't need to use it now, but I did find it helpful when I was first learning how to moderate.
  • joy4me123joy4me123 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    There are some great comments and tips from people here which I want to consider. In the past I've completely banned ALL junk food. I tried not to eat any sugar at all and was successful long enough to loose the weight I wanted. BUT....then I felt I deserved a treat. So after loosing weight I started eating junk again only to regain the weight I'd lost. This type of yo-yo dieting has been going on for a few years for me. So, now I'm feeling that I need to consider eating a few treats along my weight-loss journey.
    edited April 8
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member Posts: 883 Member Member Posts: 883 Member
    Are you snacking because you're hungry or bored? I avoid 'mindless eating' where I am not even paying attention to what I'm doing. But I enjoy things I want, in moderation. No food is 'off limits' to me. I just have to budget.
  • ThoinThoin Member Posts: 374 Member Member Posts: 374 Member
    I am new to MFP but I am already eating better and being more AWARE of calories. Who knew you can manage to get through so many without even realizing!!!

    What I find super hard is giving up snacking on chocolate, crisps etc. How do you come to terms with giving up junk food? Is there a way to eat it in moderation and still reach your goals?? What is your experience with this??

    Yes you can eat them in moderation. You can plan for them and everything. One trick is calorie cycling. However, for me, I found it's just much better to not have most junk food and try to substitute a more nutritionally balanced snack like air popped popcorn for chips and fruit for dessert. Side bonus. Sometimes when you go without you don't crave it anymore. Other times, for me, I have sugar after not eating it for a while and go crazy.

    I still sometimes eat that stuff but for me it's much easier to lose weight with it not in my house.
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 2,696 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,696 Member
    I snack heavily. It gets me from one meal to the next.

    But, thinking about it, I seldom buy snacks that come in bags, boxes or packs. Give me a packet of anything and chances are I’ll eat the whole thing.

    Instead my snacks tend to be things I have to mindfully weigh, assemble, and record: fruit and grape nuts on cottage cheese, pudding mix whipped with yogurt, air popped popcorn, the occasional afternoon French toast.

    I do have a protein bar most days simply because I looooove the mint chocolate chip Nugo bars, but I try to nibble it flipping rice crispy by rice crispy. If I don’t pay attention to it, it’s all gone in two or three bites and I’m still hungry.

    If I’m cooking mexican for dinner and make the mistake of pulling out the tortilla chips while I’m cooking, it won’t be pretty. I leave them in the garage (!!!) til I’m ready to eat and at that point I can just crumble three or four chips over my meal and be happy.

    I try to avoid snack aisles while grocery shopping, or, pick up and read the nutritional and imagine myself eating that thing, and whether the momentary pleasure would be worth the calories involved. And I allow myself to be very proud of myself for putting it back down.

    Some food- chocolate bars, marzipan, I keep in the freezer. Sometimes just knowing that I have to wait for it to thaw to divide it keeps me from eating it.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,474 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,474 Member
    Some good strategies above.

    Just one more option to consider, because "best strategies" differ by individual:

    Consider whether you can find similar snacks - similar in tastiness and satisfaction - that have better nutritional values. That can be a help in reaching reasonable overall nutrition, while still getting a treat-y feeling, on reasonable calories. It can take a little experimenting, at first.

    What works will be *very individual*, but here are a couple of things that have worked *for me*, just as examples:

    * I like tortilla chips. For home use (usually in single-portion nachos or something), I buy Beanitos chips, which I find very tasty. They have about the same number of calories as regular tortilla chips, but more protein, which is a thing I work at to get enough of (I'm vegetarian). So, same calories, better nutrition, similar enjoyment. (Still need to keep portions reasonable!)

    * One of my huge weaknesses, one of the few things I still have trouble moderating, is old-school taco flavor Doritos. (This, even though I rarely eat so-called junk foods or fast foods, and really never have, by taste preference. Weird.) I found a brand of crispy broad beans that comes in single-serve (100 calorie) packs, in mesquite BBQ flavor, so similar flavor profile, salty, crunchy, and decent protein contribution. I don't buy the Doritos very often (danger! danger!) but have the crispy broad beans around all the time.

    Other people might find these specific things horrible foods, or poor substitutes. I don't care. They work for me. The point was just to give subjective examples of "similar happiness, better nutrition".
  • Strudders67Strudders67 Member Posts: 903 Member Member Posts: 903 Member
    I am new to MFP but I am already eating better and being more AWARE of calories. Who knew you can manage to get through so many without even realizing!!!

    What I find super hard is giving up snacking on chocolate, crisps etc. How do you come to terms with giving up junk food? Is there a way to eat it in moderation and still reach your goals?? What is your experience with this??

    I didn't give up. The changes I've made are for life, and I have no intention of never eating crisps or chocolate ever again. The hard part is moderation and I find that easier to do if I just don't buy things that I can't moderate. I tend to pre-log my day and work things in to fit my calories, however I did make some substitutions.

    Instead of having crisps with my lunch, I now buy multibags of lentil curls and popcorn. The calories per 100g for lentil curls is the same as regular crisps, but the packet size is smaller, so they're only 93 cals; they're also higher in protein and fibre. A bag of Proper Corn's lightly salted popcorn is 44 cals, whilst the sweet & salty one is 63cals. Compare that to a bag of Walker's baked crisps (162 cals) or a packet of MCoys (251 cals).

    I haven't bought any for a while, but I did go through a phase of buying (dark) chocolate coated rice cakes. One or two of those was just enough for a treat.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,994 Member Member Posts: 38,994 Member
    I am new to MFP but I am already eating better and being more AWARE of calories. Who knew you can manage to get through so many without even realizing!!!

    What I find super hard is giving up snacking on chocolate, crisps etc. How do you come to terms with giving up junk food? Is there a way to eat it in moderation and still reach your goals?? What is your experience with this??

    A lot of this depends on what your calorie targets are as well as what you consider to be "moderation". The stuff that you describe are things that I generally consider "sometimes foods"...they're treats, not regular everyday snacks for I usually have some Ghirardelli dark chocolate morsels most nights for my desert. A serving (on the label) is 80 calories and I usually have two for my desert...160 calories for me is nowhere close to being a game changer in any way, so no biggie for me. It's also desert after my evening meal and not something I snack on throughout the day. Other snacky "junk food" type of things like chips and whatnot I typically reserve for things like camping trips or when we are having guests I'll break out the chips and salsa or if we're spending an afternoon hanging out by the pool or something I'll get them out...but they aren't daily snacks.

    I'm not a particularly big snacker...just not a habit I've ever really had. I usually have something in the afternoon to hold me off until dinner as my wife and I tend to eat a bit later in the evening, but it's usually an apple or something or maybe a bowl of popcorn or slice of cheese or something like that.

    As an observation, I think a lot of people have just grown habitually used to putting something in their mouth all day long. Often, hunger isn't even really's just habit, or if it is hunger, it's the slightest bit and people are just used to staving off any kind of discomfort. Really, it's pretty normal to be a little hungry come meal time...people just don't let themselves get there, so they constantly snack...which obviously is going to ultimately be an issue, especially if you have a fairly low calorie target to lose weight.

    I don't know that "junk foods" need to be given up entirely (I certainly haven't)...but the compulsion to constantly snack on these things throughout a given day needs to be addressed. For myself, it's not that hard to moderate these things because I've never really had the snack habit and even growing up, foods like these were treats and not routine eats...for someone who is accustomed to eating these things whenever and wherever and in whatever quantity they want, it's likely best to just not have them in the house for awhile to help break that habit. Breaking bad habits and creating new one's sucks, but I believe it is also an integral part of the overall process here.

  • kenyonhaffkenyonhaff Member Posts: 1,338 Member Member Posts: 1,338 Member
    I am new to MFP but I am already eating better and being more AWARE of calories. Who knew you can manage to get through so many without even realizing!!!

    What I find super hard is giving up snacking on chocolate, crisps etc. How do you come to terms with giving up junk food? Is there a way to eat it in moderation and still reach your goals?? What is your experience with this??

    I actually learned to embrace the snack, but just make better choices in snacking. For me, I was eating snacks that were too full of carbs and/or calories and by choosing more high protein choices I actually ate less overall during the day.

    Chips (I'm American) are tough to break the habit. I did figure out that replacing chips with my sandwich at lunch with carrot sticks gave me the crunch I was looking for without the calorie bomb. But I also discovered chips may not be that bad, just keep an eye to portion. A small prepackaged bag of chips helps avoid overeating...but I don't generally keep chips in the house.

    I also found protein bars with chocolate was a decent choice, rather than straight out candy. I've since reduced most of my protein bar reliance, but they were useful.

    It's doable! I still enjoy my snacks, but I tend to eat more things like nuts (portion controlled), fruit, yogurt and boiled eggs. But I never had to entirely give up anything.
  • rhaiinrhaiin Member Posts: 750 Member Member Posts: 750 Member
    Some people have the control to avoid overeating unhealthy foods and only eat them in moderation, but its difficult for me. I do better when I simply don't buy things that I struggle to stay out of. If I do buy something as a treat, I try to buy a single portion so once its gone, its gone and can't tempt me.

    I have replaced a lot of my unhealthier choices with better alternatives, such as string cheese, pickles, sugar-free werthers hard candies and Snap Pea Crisps. Its okay to have high calorie "junk" foods occassionally, but you should try to cut back or find healthier alternatives that you enjoy.
    edited April 9
  • vanmepvanmep Member Posts: 332 Member Member Posts: 332 Member
    My favourite thing about MFP is that when I build in room for some snacks, I thoroughly enjoy them - no feelings of guilt or regret or shame. They’re in my budget and I will savour!
  • LtHammerheadLtHammerhead Member Posts: 14 Member Member Posts: 14 Member
    I replaced my available junk food snacks with baby carrots. I really like baby carrots, so I just get a bag and snack away. You cannot eat so many as to mess up your goals.

    So replace what’s there. If you leave junk food around, you’ll snack on it. Also focus on your meals being more filling. I eat big spinach get full but don’t really eat that much (unless you go nuts with dressing or add ins).
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 943 Member Member Posts: 943 Member
    I start with raspberries and blueberries and blackberries. A pint. Then I might have a couple of potato chip or pretzels. Because of the salt, you can't taste either one after the first few. If I am really snack deprived, its a Jolly Time 100 calories microwave 5 cup popcorn.
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