By Molly Patrick
Apr 17, 2021
If you are snacking more than usual lately, and you want to learn how to stop snacking, or how to snack less, I have you covered! But you might be surprised by the answer. Instead of asking yourself How do I stop snacking?, a more enlightening question might be Why am I snacking?
The next time you find yourself thinking about a snack, stop and ask yourself: Why do I want a snack?
Answer honestly. After you respond, ask yourself again. Why do I want a snack? Sit with that question and see what comes up. Then ask again. Why do I want a snack? You don’t have to share this with anyone; just get honest with yourself. Why do I want a snack? Keep peeling back the layers and see what you uncover.
Sometimes we snack because we’re bored. Other times we snack because we’re hungry. Maybe we just want to chew something. Sometimes we snack because we’re anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, sad, or disappointed, and snacking makes us feel temporarily better. Sometimes we snack because we feel like we “deserve” it. Sometimes we snack because we’re craving something. There are times we snack on autopilot, and we don’t know why we’re snacking. Sometimes we snack as a form of procrastination or entertainment.
Snacking isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not all that necessary once we’re adults. If you’re trying to release weight, snacking isn’t helping with that, even if you are eating “healthy” snacks. “Healthy” is relative, and so is the amount of food that constitutes a snack.
Here’s an easy way to think about this.
There’s a physiological need for food, and then there’s drama.
If you’re legit hungry, you have a physiological need for food and it’s either time to eat a full meal, or you didn’t eat enough at your last meal and your body needs more fuel. Super easy to solve.
All the rest is drama. When this happens, your job is to pay attention and experience whatever feelings come up when you don’t snack. And trust me, the feelings will come up. When you have an urge to snack and don’t act on that urge, feelings will wash over you like water rushing over Niagara Falls.
It will be very obvious.
All you have to do is be open to sitting with those feelings. You can close your eyes and visualize where the feelings are in your body. You can describe them to yourself. You can write them down. You can courageously meet them with an open heart. You can be present without judgment or cruelty. You can greet them like you would greet a dear friend. And then you can witness the feelings start to dissipate.
Afterward, you might still want a snack, or you might not. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is you did the work of feeling your feelings instead of eating to escape your feelings. You sat with yourself long enough to get uncomfortable. You paid attention and were present. You learned something about yourself. You faced the drama and survived without snacking.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-and-done type of thing. Every time you want a snack, go through this process and ask yourself: Why do I want a snack? If it’s a physiological need for food, recognize that you may need to start eating bigger meals at meal time. If it’s drama, sit with your feelings and let them all come up without reaching for food.
Do this often enough, and you will become someone who doesn’t even think about snacking. You just eat, feel, slay, repeat.
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup red onion, diced (65 g)
- 1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced (150 g)
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 3 cups water (705 ml)
- 1 cup green zucchini, diced (140 g)
- ¼ cup tomato paste (60 g)
- 1½ cups canned diced tomatoes, including juice
- 1½ cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen peas (135 g)
- 2 cups baby kale, chopped and lightly packed (60 g)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a small bowl, stir together the nutritional yeast, oregano, salt, marjoram, black pepper, and onion powder. Set aside for now.
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add the onion, yellow bell pepper, and garlic and saute for 6 minutes, adding a splash of water and stirring if the veggies begin to stick.
- Add the water, zucchini and tomato paste and stir until the tomato paste dissolves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, with a lid on the pot at an angle
- Stir in the diced tomatoes (including the juice), cannellini beans, peas, kale, coconut aminos, and the spice mixture you set aside earlier. Simmer for 5 more minutes, uncovered, then add the basil, parsley, and lemon juice and remove from the heat.
- Serve and enjoy!
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with feeling.