The “snack attack”–it happens to the best of us. Are we hungry? Not necessarily. Need fuel? Nope. Sometimes people get snacky. Or bored. Or both. Mindless eating is a big danger zone. One minute you’re on track, the next you’ve somehow managed to inhale half your day’s calories in the form of salty chips. Bad news. So what to do? Walk it off! (The temptation, I mean, not the inhaled calories.)
Before you make a grab for anything, get up and go for a 10-15 min walk. In one study done by researchers at University of Exeter, participants who went for a brisk 15 minute walk before snacks were available ate 50% less than participants who didn’t do any exercise before snacks were made available.
The theory is that exercise increases the brain’s endorphin levels, and endorphins suppress your appetite, making you less likely to snack; or, if you do snack, making you likely to eat less than you would have otherwise.
So next time you find yourself tempted to reach mindlessly for snack food, get up, take a stroll, and let the endorphins flow! Maybe you aren’t so hungry after all.