Forget cigarettes, alcohol and even drugs, there is a new addiction sweeping South Wales – SNACKOHOLISM.

We were brought up being told not to eat between meals but now it seems that we literally can’t help helping ourselves, with four per cent of us admitting to being addicted to snacking and finding it impossible to quit. A survey by Diet Chef uncovered some shocking truths about our snacking behaviour – not least that more than one in 10 of us would rather snack than have sex. And it seems our need to snack is taking over our lives as six per cent of us even admit to snacking in bed.

Snacks or Sex…………

CRISPS ARE OUR FAVOURITE

A third of us would rather give up alcohol than snacks and 13% of smokers said they would rather kick their nicotine habit than give up chocolate, biscuits, and crisps. As a nation, the number of snacks we are consuming has reached colossal proportions. Our snack of choice is crisps – 61% of Brits admit to eating at least one packet a day and some scoff as many as five or six.

This equates to a staggering 48 million packets of crisps being consumed every day by the UK’s adult population. Add the 45 million chocolate bars and 78 million biscuits and cakes we eat every day, and it is no wonder we have an obesity crisis.

ONE IN TEN SNACK EVERYDAY

One in 10 of the people surveyed have either a burger, a pizza, or a portion of chips as a snack every day, showing we no longer understand the difference between a snack and a meal. Yet only 14% of the people surveyed knew how many calories something as basic as an average portion of chips contained.

Diet Chef told us…..

“Our survey shows the extent to which snacking has got out of control. Most of the people we surveyed said they snack out of habit or boredom, which shows people are eating without thinking, not out of necessity. It can be difficult to curb or change snacking habits as there are many different components involved – sometimes we snack out of hunger, boredom, cravings or just pure habit. Identifying our snacking ways and preparing ourselves is the first step to snacking success.”

TEN TOP TIPS TO AVOID SNACKING

  • Identify what – Keeping a food diary can help you identify your snacking reality.
  • Identify where – Once you know what your snacks are, you need to consider where you are most likely to snack – then clear out your snack stash.
  • Identify when – Knowing when you snack can reveal the trigger. When you’ve sussed out your snacking patterns, you’re ready to confront them.
  • Find a healthier alternative – Try a low-calorie chocolate drink instead of chocolate or popcorn instead of crisps.
  • Distract yourself – Occupy your mind with other things – go for a walk, phone a friend, get busy cleaning or ironing, read a book, take a bath, paint your nails etc to get your mind off those treats.
  • Avoid tricky situations – Take a packed lunch to work to avoid the temptation of shops and cut back on tea or coffee if you usually have biscuits too.
  • Cut the portions – You can make anything instantly healthier by cutting the portions – this way you get a little of what you fancy, just in a smaller package.
  • Fill up on fruit and veg – Aim for at least 5 a day, so if you feel yourself reaching for a snack, make it fruits or vegetables instead.
  • Make small changes – If you deprive yourself of everything that you like and that is habitual, it’s much harder, and is likely to end in a cycle of deprivation and bingeing.
  • Don’t forget drinks – Whether it’s a fizzy drink, orange juice or the mid-morning caramel latte – they add up, so choose a healthier alternative like green tea or water.

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