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Subconscious Snacker: A Link Between Weight Gain and Food Habits

subconscious snacker
Goal: Break this habit of subconscious snacking will help you lose a few pounds and increase your food satisfaction.

What is subconscious snacking?

I call it subconscious snacking because the snacker takes small bites of food without a connection between hunger and food satiety. This occurs on a regular basis:  when the snacker is cooking a meal or working at their desk, watching television-it could be just about anytime in between meals as long as the setting is there. Food must be present to be nibbled on and a subconscious snacker picks and eats without it being a voluntary act.

The snacker doesn’t even realize it is happening.
These small tidbits plucked in the mouth here and there are done without real hunger. And there is no recollection by the brain that the snacker has eaten anything because the snacker doesn’t link hunger and taste with these nibbles of food.

And that is why those who are practice subconsious snacking on a regular basis are often overweight.

Subconscious snacking and weight gain

Often a subconscious snacker has a few pounds to lose and cannot understand why this weight won’t come off.

“I am doing everything right.” They say.
“I have stuck to my diet!” They exclaim.
“I don’t understand why I cannot keep this weight off.” They remark.
“It isn’t fair” They admit.
“Why can’t I lose a few pounds?!”

Are you a subconscious snacker?

If you are, you probably wouldn’t notice it because this habit is so subtle even the person doing it doesn’t even realize it is happening.

subconscious snacker
Ask yourself these questions:
1. You cannot help to just take a few nibbles of whatever is available when you are cooking at home, stopping for bread at the bakery (so very Frenchy!), sitting at the table at the restaurant waiting for your food, at work between meals.
2. When you cook, you taste the food not once, twice but three times or more.
3. At work you are reaching for snacks and nibbles in your desk drawer, in the office kitchen, or in your pocket. Just because.
4. You usually have some food in your car, sport bag, briefcase. And it is not there for emergencies. You eat it.
5. You have a favorite snack food, like a box of cookies, that you must have in the house. You don’t understand why the box is empty, because you don’t remember eating what is inside. (And this makes you feel guilty, because somewhere deep down you think you may have eaten the whole box).
6. When you sit down to eat a meal that you cooked, you aren’t really hungry anymore, but don’t understand why.

Ask yourself and those around you the key question: what do I (really) put in my mouth?

Sometimes you have to ask yourself and ask others around to observe your habits. Have them tell you the truth.
Do you take a lot of nibbles and bites anytime food is around? Are your fingers always reaching for something?
Recognizing this habit and doing something about it can help to keep you more satiated at meals and help you lose a few pounds. Realizing that subconscious snacking on a regular basis to fulfill an empty need inside of you, to deal with stress or just because it has always been like this does not help you.

subconscious snacker
Having a better taste, food, mind, conscious connection is way to help stay leaner and more food satiated.

Wishing you freedom from emotional eating, because subsconsious snacking is a type of emotional food habit. Just eating food because you are hungry and savoring a meal for its taste are two big food pleasures!

Bon Appétit.

Do you have a story or feedback to share? Let us know what it is! If you find this article useful,  I greatly appreciate when you pass it along using your favorite sharing method, thanks in advance. If you have reached the end and want to read more, you can subscribe to BrightonYourHealth’s monthly newsletter and article updates by clicking the button below. By joining you can download your free 13 page E-report on tips to eat like the French without a food snob attitude!

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4 Responses to Subconscious Snacker: A Link Between Weight Gain and Food Habits

  1. Yudit H July 28, 2017 at 21:17 #

    Subconscious snaking or even subconscious eating do prevent us from reaching our weight loss goals. This is where mindful eating or intuitive eating comes in and it has been helpful for many. It is about awareness and paying attention to what we eat and our bodies. I resonate with your article and helpful list of questions. Thank you
    Yudit H recently posted..12 Law of Attraction weight loss secrets: #1 Align LOA with motivations to lose weight

  2. Sonya October 7, 2014 at 19:32 #

    I love this post, as I do your blog! While I don’t have this particular habit, one of my friends does, and I think that this is such a helpful post for many people. (Not to say I don’t struggle with snacking, or did in the past – it’s just that I’m acutely aware of it – lol). This post was also helpful to me, as a reminder or just motivator of how the French habit of not snacking is so helpful to being able to maintain a healthy weight while eating amazing foods as well.

    • mbrighton October 8, 2014 at 10:26 #

      Thanks Sonya for your comment! The French are role models (in my opinion) on their ‘regular meals, regular hunger’ habits! Warmly, Mary


  1. Student snacking: Do’s and don’ts – Sheffield Student Survival - May 17, 2015

    […] are within arm’s reach. However, this is a bad idea. Such an approach is likely to prompt “subconscious snacking”, which involves distracted people eating large amounts of food without realising. For instance, […]

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