Snack Attacks – Managing Sweet and Savoury Snack Cravings Print

Find it hard to manage cravings for sweets and savory snacks?  Here are some things to consider…

1.  Buy small

Most of us do not eat portions, we eat packages.

Choose to make a trip to the local convenience store to buy a small individual sized bag of chips is often more successful than hoping you will stop a few handfuls into a giant size bag of your favourite chips.

I know that even for myself when I buy a chocolate bar I eat the entire bar regardless of the size (100 calorie small bar, regular bar or family size bar).

Choose to buy small portions of hard to manage foods.

2.  Do the math

Many of my overweight clients have benefited from the shock value of seeing the number of calories, fat and sodium in a full bag, box or package of their favorite junk foods.

If you choose to do this, don’t forget to multiply your numbers by two or ten if you eat double or ten times the portion size listed on the label.

Since my husband Mike did an internet search and calculated the number of calories and fat in a typical pub night of beer and wings, he has slowed down the number of these items he could consume over conversation with friends.  Also thinking about how much effort it takes to physically burn this off on his bike has changed his behaviour for good.

3.  Healthier sweet treats and savoury snacks:

Here are some snacks that may help address a sweet or savoury craving while still managing to sneak in some healthy nutrients:

  • fruit yogurtCoffee shop latte, chai tea, London fog (earl grey tea with steamed milk) or mochachino
  • Homemade frozen yogurt popsicles (simply stir together yogurt, fruit and milk or juice and freeze in popsicle holders)
  • Raw veggie and pretzel sticks dipped in hummus
  • Frozen fruit sorbet or frozen yogurt topped with fresh berries
  • Trans-fat free tortilla chips with fresh salsa
  • Fruit crisp for dessert instead of pie made with pastry
  • Whole grain crackers with cream cheese, cucumber rounds and red pepper slices
  • Homemade vanilla or chocolate pudding made with milk and topped with banana slices and coconut
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter or almond butter
  • Chocolate monkey smoothie: chocolate milk, banana and crushed ice whirled together in the blender
  • Homemade oatmeal raisin or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and a mug of tea
  • Hot cocoa made with milk or soy milk or homemade vanilla milk (milk or soy milk with vanilla and a pinch of brown sugar)

4.  When a substitute just won’t do

For me as the chocoholic dietitian while sometimes chocolate milk or a mug of hot chocolate might do the trick to soothe a chocolate craving, it certainly won’t work all the time.  Healthy eating can and should include your favourite soulful foods you choose simply for enjoyment rather than nutrition.  Sometimes it is better to have a bit of whatever it is you are craving than try and find a substitute.

In my nutrition practice I have coined the phrase “chewing around a craving” which is the act of sampling many items from your kitchen to try and satisfy a junk food craving.  You could go through a range of foods in your kitchen and take in large amount of calories but still feel unsatisfied.  When you eventually end up giving in and eating the food you craved, you might feel overly full and defeated.

A better approach is to take some time to really tune into what you are craving, determine if a substitute will actually work and if it won’t, you are likely better off having some of what it is you are craving.  When I say “some” I am referring to the amount of a soulful food that brings you satisfaction.  When you eat to a point of satisfaction, away from television and other distraction you will realized that while a handful of chips might not cut it, you may not need to finish the entire bag to feel content.

Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF of “Snack Attacks – Managing Sweet and Savoury Snack Cravings”

About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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