Snack Ideas for Dieters with Oral Fixations
Just because a person craves stimulation in the mouth more often than others doesn’t mean he or she has to be controlled by food. While one should not be constantly satisfying the desire to eat, even with low-calorie foods, there are a lot of choices a person has for the time of day when the desire to snack is at its highest.
Low Calorie Snacks/Drinks
Fiber One, Cheerios, Crispix, or other healthy cereals—Cereals with clear shapes to them, as opposed to oat cereals or flakes, can be effective for counting/measuring as well as more fun to eat.
Olestra chips—Made with olestra instead of fat, these chips are 75 calories and 0g fat per serving. But watch out, because they can cause stool problems.
Pretzels—Solid, bland, and vaguely salty, this snack gives just enough volume to fix a starch craving. Large sourdough pretzel knots, rods, or nuggets are helpful for those who need to bite down and crunch, and small knots/rods help those who like smaller munching.
Low fat popcorn—While tasteless on its own, spices like garlic salt, crushed red pepper, basil, and herbs can turn dry popcorn into a zesty snack.
Apples—They’re filling, and they boost the body’s energy level significantly. Apples are a sweet, large, and crunchy route to satisfaction.
Baby carrots—More subtly sweet than apples, baby carrots come in bite-sized pieces and are perfect for munching when the motivation to count calories is low.
Celery—Though not tasty in any way, celery functions as a great angry-food. It takes lots of effort to bite and chew, and the blandness/vague bitterness works in tune with dark moods (much like the quite evident bitterness of earl grey tea).
Raw broccoli—With a little preparation, the crunchiness of raw broccoli can keep the mouth working as much as does celery. It has a sweet staleness, and its textured head works great for dipping in different dressings or sauces.
Grape tomatoes—Popping tomatoes like grapes is a sweet way of getting the antioxidant vitamins A and C. Twelve are only 25 calories.
Coffee/tea—Good for slow sipping and flavor, these drinks warm up the mouth and serve as a good activity for social gatherings.
Diet soda—While the calorie-less drink pacifies a sugar craving, be careful of the health risks of aspartame. Doctors do not recommend the drink, which has also been correlated with weight gain
Flavored water—Fresh and fruity, flavored water gives a similarly tasty and calorie-less end to your craving. But don’t be fooled just because diet soda has been linked with weight gain and flavored water has not; they both use aspartame as a sweetener.
- Anyone for the 5:2 diet?
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Other Oral Activities
Singing/humming—While it may annoy your friends, humming cannot be done—or cannot be done well—at the same time as snacking.
Tongue/lip piercings—Some have said that having a piercing in the mouth, lip, or tongue decreases the desire to snack by giving the mouth something to play with. But keep it clean, and maintain good hygiene to avoid infections.
Gum chewing—Masticating without calories, this activity allows one to go through the motions of eating without actually eating. Try the gum with Xylitol to fight cavities at the same time.
Mints—Like chewing gum, these breath-fresheners give the mouth an activity without calories.
One should not depend on tactics to keep one not-focused on food throughout the entire day. At some point, work, a social life, and other activities should be mentally engaging enough to take one’s mind off of eating. But for people who are really struggling, Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, T.O.P.S., and other overeating support groups can give them the ideas and encouragement they need.