Raise your hand if your shopping cart has looked a little different recently. Maybe you’ve been stress-buying snacks that you usually wouldn’t even think of purchasing (looking at you, Bagel Bites and Nutella). Or, perhaps in an effort to minimize shopping trips, you grabbed supersized bags and boxes of whatever you could get your hands on. Now your pantry and fridge are filled with foods that you don’t typically eat—and lots of it—and you may be wondering how to make it all work with your SmartPoints® Budget.
You’re not alone! Right now, only 30% of WW members are eating as they usually do. But the change in how you’re noshing doesn’t need to throw you off track. And no, you don’t need to rely on willpower to avoid overeating, and nor should you: Studies show that over time our willpower can become depleted, making healthier decisions more challenging. Instead, lean on these science-backed strategies for managing when you’ve got a kitchen full of food.
- Figure out how you’ll fit the snacks into your Budget. Reminder: On WW, everything is on the menu—including those ice cream sandwiches that you bought on your last shopping trip. The key is to pre-plan and work the eats into your Budget. For example, will you put a chunk of your daily SmartPoints toward the ice cream and then focus on ZeroPoint™ foods at meals? Or will you lean on Weeklies and rollovers?
- Make your own single-serving portions. More bags of chips than normal in your pantry? Intentionally controlling portion sizes is important. Research shows that when people serve themselves from larger packages of foods, they tend to dish up and eat more. So what to do with all those cookies? Zoe Griffiths, WW's global director of nutrition, suggests making your own snack-sized packs. Divvy up the contents of the larger bag into single servings of chips. Take it a step further by labeling the bags with the SmartPoints value of the serving.
- Choose where you’ll eat. Aim to enjoy the food somewhere you’ll be less likely to take more servings than you planned. For example, you could take the portion of chips to the kitchen table or your desk.
- Decide when you’ll eat. Consider when you’ll be most likely to enjoy the food and be least likely to overeat. It might be best to avoid eating the food when you’re very hungry or while watching TV and distracted by the show.
- Practice mindful eating. Slowing down and paying more attention to your meal or snack can help you stick to your Budget. A few strategies to try:
- Keep your phone and electronics out of sight.
- Spend the first couple of minutes eating your meal with your non-dominant hand.
- Pace yourself with the slowest eater at the table.
- Cut your food as you go, instead of all at once.
- Alternate between focusing on the conversation and how your food tastes.