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How to Fight Off a Snack Attack

How to Fight Off a Snack Attack

This spring, when a clever North Dakota pharmacist prescribed a bottle of “monster spray” for a young child who feared the Wild Things lurking under her bed, it took just three nights for the menace to be driven from her room!

If only he could devise a “snacking spray” that would keep the monstrous tidbits lurking in your kitchen from attacking your will power! According to an interesting new study, it’s those extra, in-between bites of fat- and sugar-packed unhealthy snacks that lead to overweight and obesity, setting you up for everything from insomnia (monsters aren’t the only things that can destroy a good night’s sleep) and GERD to heart disease, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, and dementia.

If you, like most North Americans, watch five-plus hours of TV daily, unhealthy snack attacks (usually sweet beverages, chips, cookies, ice cream, and candy) will find you. And what you mindlessly pick at ends up accounting for half of all the time you spend eating. Those snacks will also load you down with 25 percent more calories.

How can you fight back against the snack attack? First—become aware of what and how much you’re eating by keeping a food diary. Put it next to the remote. Then banish packaged, fried or sugar-added snacks from your shelves and fridge. Instead stock healthy snacks like fresh berries, grapes, cherries, walnuts and almonds, carrot and celery spears, 70 percent cacao chocolate (one ounce a day) and unsweetened iced teas and water instead. That will provide added nutrients and fuel clear thinking, energy and a positive outlook.

Medically reviewed in September 2019.

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