Controlling the Urge to Raid the Fridge

by Grace Rivers, RDN, CDCES

You are in front of your open fridge, ready to eat everything in sight! How do you stop yourself from overeating, especially the carbs?

What drove you to the fridge?

Before you grab anything, ask yourself if it is your mood that has landed you in front of a welcoming feast. We eat for many reasons besides hunger. Boredom, stress, sadness, and happiness are some of the feelings that cause us to overeat. If you are not physically hungry, close the door and walk away! Go to another room, or if you can, outside. Removing yourself from the source can help to clear your mind and calm your mood.

If you can, exercise so you can burn calories and relieve some stress. Exercise can be a 10-minute walk, bike ride, or yoga.

What if you are over-hungry?

If you notice that you are overly hungry, including a smart snack to control your appetite may help you now. Making snacks a part of your routine may also help prevent future struggles with the fridge.

Are you on the verge of a carb rampage?

You have been cutting back on your carbs and doing well. You are pleased with your blood sugar and the scales. You may have even noticed that some of your clothing is getting looser. All is well! And then, suddenly, all is not well, and you want every carb you can think of, such as a bag of chips, container of ice cream, or a box of crackers. Sound familiar?

This carb craving could be from denying yourself sufficient quality carbs in your eating pattern. Overeating carbs now will only lead to an unwanted blood sugar level.

What can you do?

Go for the best food choices. Keep smart snacks on hand (pantry and fridge) and eat one of those. Smart snacks that have fiber and protein can help. Drink a glass of water or a low-calorie beverage with your snack. Choose foods in place of drinks so that you can chew rather than drink your calories. Chewing provides us with more satisfaction than drinking.

Preventing the fridge attack

Pinpoint why you went too long between meals or why you cut back too much on carbs. If it was for weight loss, remember that cutting back on all foods can be helpful in the long run. Low-carb veggies, fruits, whole grains, and beans furnish fiber and can help you feel full for longer.  Adding exercise and these food choices can improve your mood, lower stress, and improve blood sugar levels.

Smart snack ideas:

 A protein source paired with 15-30 grams of carbs with at least 2 grams of fiber can be helpful.

An apple and one tablespoon of peanut butter

One medium peach with 18 cashews

Two tablespoons of hummus with low-carb veggies

Boiled egg with whole-grain crackers

Set yourself up to succeed!

Be ready. Make a plan on what you can do to prevent the carb attack or what you will do if tempted to overeat.

Keep smart snacks on hand.

Find an accountability partner for support. This person is not the food police.

Exercise daily, do what you like (ride your bike, walk, run, lift weights, yoga).

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