Earlier in the day, I often plan what I’m going to snack on later that night. (Tonight is popcorn, by the way.)
I gave this some thought tonight, and there are a few reasons why I think my planned snacking is a bad thing.
First of all, my planned snacking can lead to double-snacking. If I plan on having popcorn later, I might not still want the popcorn when the time comes. Maybe when the day is all done and I’m crawling in bed to read, the situations of the day have left me with a craving for ice cream. I had planned on having popcorn, though, so I pop a bag and munch on it while I read. Guess what I do when I’m done, though? I had a craving for ice cream, so after my bag of microwave popcorn, I go get some ice cream. Double snacking. If I wouldn’t have planned for popcorn earlier, I could have just had the ice cream. Why don’t I just change my plans? I don’t know. I kind of feel like I have left something undone. I have changed my plans before, but I don’t always do it. I’ll try to be better with that in the future.
Working off the changing my plans idea, the second problem with planned snacking is that I might not even be hungry when the time comes. Maybe we had dinner late. Maybe I’m full. Maybe I just don’t feel good. There are different reasons why I might not be hungry when reading time arrives at night. Regardless, I have made plans, and I prefer to keep them. I dutifully get my snack and pile it in on top of whatever else is already in my belly.
I have some kind of desire to be munching while I read. Even if I’m not hungry, sitting down doing nothing but reading seems to be some kind of signal to my body that it’s time to snack. If I could find a zero calorie snack that could be considered a munchy (crunchy is better), then I think I’d be golden. As it is, I’ve convinced myself that popcorn is the best snack food.
Finally, speaking of sending signals to my body, like some kind of Pavlov’s reader, I think planned snacking is a bad idea because it has created a habit. My snacking is apparently habit-forming. My body expects it. My hands, and even my mind, are restless if I’m just sitting down reading and not snacking. My body now reacts to this stimulus. I imagine when I settle down with a book, my body now automatically starts producing more saliva and stomach acid. My fight-or-flight muscles relax and my digestive muscles kick in.
I need to break this habit.
Maybe joining the gym will help me. I get home later, I eat later, I’m not hungry when the night settles down and I grab my book to start reading. Now if I can just stop planning my snack, then I won’t have to break my plans. Maybe, just maybe, I can spin out of this rut and move on to healthier eating habits.