Are you a snack-a-holic? One response I’ve noticed to the detox has been a reduction in my desire to snack. Since we have been provided with a set meal plan and I haven’t been exercising excessively, I’ve comfortably stuck to the three-meals-a-day format with only one exception (the carrots and hummus from Tuesday). This behavior demonstrates a markedly different mindset for me. I’ve always been the person who thinks food accompanies everything: sporting events, gatherings with friends, getting home from work, watching a movie. You name an activity or event, I can think of a food to accompany it. I started thinking about this when I read this article in the New York Times last night. While I will never be a three-squares-ONLY girl, I do think it’s important for us to keep snacking in check and make sure we are providing ourselves and families with properly balanced meals at meal time. The comment that stuck most with me was this:
“Children used to come home, change into play clothes and go outside and play with other children,” said Joanne Ikeda, a nutritionist emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. “There were not snack machines, and the gas stations only sold gas. Now there are just so many more opportunities to snack and so many activities after school to have snacks.”
Now, it seems we are inclined to reward ourselves, and our children, for every single act and the reward most of the time is food. Oh, you got an A on a test? Let’s get ice cream! Oh, you had a hard day at school? Let’s get ice cream! And so, too, the behavior i demonstrated by adults. Rough day at work? Go out for a drink and some cheese fries. Found $5 on the ground on your walk home? Spend it on a bag of roasted peanuts.
This is not to discount healthy snacks, and many people are much happier eating 5-6 small meals (snacks) every day. But participating in this detox has taught me to differentiate between true hunger and emotional or psychological hunger. When I finish with the 10-day cleanse, I hope to remind myself that, in the absence of an alternative, my choice should not be to reach for a snack.
Are you a snack-a-holic? Do you feel better with or without snacking throughout your day?