How To Stop Snacking Between Snacks

'Gummy bears are great listeners. There’s no law that says you have to eat them; you can just enjoy their company.'
An illustration of a woman surrounded by snacks (Illustration: Leeandra Cianci)

Snacking between meals is a sign you didn’t eat enough earlier. That’s okay. Snacking between snacks, however, is a clear sign that you are suffering from a condition known as Phase 4 Boredom-Related Constant Grazing Syndrome. This is serious stuff. The good news? It’s easy to stop with a few mild to moderate lifestyle changes. Here’s what has worked for me.

Eat bigger, more filling snacks between snacks

A granola bar won’t cut it. As a rule, midmorning snack #3 should fill a child’s backpack.

Drink lots of water throughout the day

During work hours, I wear a hydration vest. As a result, I usually feel too seasick to eat anything.

Incorporate snacks into your main meals

For instance, I mix a venti vanilla latte and three biscotti into my overnight oats for a great breakfast-early-morningsnack-# 1 combo, thereby reducing the need for at least one stand-alone snack.

Idle hands are snacking hands

Tune a piano. Build a porch swing. Immerse your hands in foul-smelling compost. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy late afternoon snack #5 if your hands smell rancid. Don’t ask me how I know.

If you tend to snack while you cook, stop cooking immediately


Seriously, stop. Drop the pan and run. . . to the grocery store to buy prepared meals.

Consider the real reason you're snacking between snacks

Many of us look to the pantry to fill an emotional need. That’s okay. Gummy bears are great listeners. There’s no law that says you have to eat them; you can just enjoy their company.

Make snacking harder to do

Think about burying your go-to small bites in the garden. Worried you’ll dig them up? Have a neighbour hide the shovel. Afraid you’ll paw at the ground with your hands? Remove your fingernails. It’s really that easy.

This story was originally published in 2021; updated in 2022


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