They say that it is healthier to have six or seven smaller meals over the course of the day than it is to have three larger ones. At the same time, I think that the snacks we have at our desks aren’t really there to satisfy our hunger; they’re more because we just feel a desire to eat something. So, what can you do to resist the temptation to dive into a five-minute chocolate cake or open a bag of potato chips?
I remember reading somewhere a while back that drinking a cup of coffee can be a good way to overcome the urge to snack. This is yet one more reason why coffee is good for you. The rationale behind this advice is two-fold:
- Liquid Fills You Up: If your stomach feels empty, fill it up with some fluid and you won’t feel as hungry. This is why a good dieting tip is to drink an extra glass or two of water before every meal.
- Caffeine Shifts Your Metabolism: Since the caffeine in coffee speeds up your heart rate and can activate yoru sympathetic nervous system, your body can enter a “fight or flight” kind of response. During those times, your body prioritizes the task at hand rather than “secondary” needs like eating.
If you skip the cream and sugar, coffee has virtually zero calories. Even if you do the cream and sugar thing, the caloric intake is minimal at best (though you may want to reduce your sugar consumption). If you were only after the caffeine, you could have a can of Coke, but that would contain a lot more calories and a lot more sugar.
I’ve also heard that brushing your teeth can be an effective way to resist the temptation to snack. The minty flavor can satisfy your need to have a pleasant taste in your mouth. At the same time, it has been shown that people are less likely to want to eat something after brushing their teeth.
Me? I’d rather have another cup of coffee. In moderation, of course.