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Plan ahead to avoid unhealthy snacking

apple-keyboardI don't think anyone goes to an office meeting with the intent of laying waste to an entire tray of mini muffins. Yet I've witnessed - and participated in - this kind of carbohydrate carnage before.

As described in a recent post on lifehacker, overindulgent grazing is what happens when our plan for a productive day doesn't include a way to curb hunger cravings. The blog entry quotes Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, associate director for the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University Business School, who recently wrote:

To defeat the treat, the key is to decide in advance what you will do instead of eating it -- or more generally, what you will do when temptation beckons (e.g., "If I want another cookie, then I will have a glass of water instead.") By using water-drinking as a replacement for cookie-eating, you can move past the urge more easily.

While I don't know that a glass of water, as is suggested here, is enough for me to combat the candy-sprinkled call of a cookie, Halvorson does have a point; I'd be more likely to turn down a cookie if I had an alternate snack. Also, as was discussed here in the past, it becomes easier to resist temptation and make better diet choices with practice.

Holly MacCormick is a writing intern in the medical school's Office of Communication & Public Affairs. She is a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California-Santa Cruz.

Previously: Snack time: Study shows smaller portions equally satisfyingStanford nutritionist offers guidelines for eating healthy on the goIs frequent snacking to blame for Americans' growing waistlines?One cappuccino please - hold the croissantThe dark side of "light" snacks: study shows substitutes may contribute to weight gain and Imaginary eating may reduce your cravings
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