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.
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.
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!
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