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Featured Snacking as a stim - need better alternatives

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Nervous Rex, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    So snacking is definitely one of my stims. It seems like I focus better at work when I'm snacking on something - like it's okay for my hands to be busy typing because my 'stim energy' is redirected to chewing.

    I've even noticed that I snack as fast as I work. When I'm really focused on something and working fast, I'm also eating at a furious rate.

    I can eat a whole bag/box of <pretty much anything> without even noticing that I am doing it, because I'm focused on something else.

    Then I get full and want to go to sleep. Or I get indigestion. Or I'm not hungry at dinner time.

    So I need to come up with some better alternatives. My favorite snacks are oreos, peanuts, pringles, licorice, or keebler fudge stripe cookies. For any of those, I have to make sure to only put a limited amount within arms reach, or I'll eat to the point of getting uncomfortable without realizing it.

    I've tried gum and it's not really my thing. I also like hard candies - atomic fireballs, lifesavers, etc, but I can't have those any more because I will chew them without thinking, and I've cracked a few teeth doing that.

    So, any other snackers out there? Does anyone have any suggestions for something that doesn't fill you up too fast, and also won't break your teeth?
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Something l read is that we have our comfort zone in food. So what is your comfort zone? Mine is crunchy. Main favorite, so l can eat a cup or a bag of crunchy and be totally content. Some people love ice cream, so they need creamy as a comfort zone. I defintely love bitter, sweet, salty , crunchy, hot. So maybe incorporate your favorites in your snack choice so your body gives you saturated happy feelings. Otherwise get a hand game thing like a spinner, or a basketball hoop on your door, something that you can stop for a min and occupy your hands and smile. Just some ideas here, can't wait to see what other posters say!

    I snack at nite, but l think it's more ritual behavior telling my body, it's okay, you can remove your MASK, you are home now.
     
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  3. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My husband does the same thing. What worked for him was changing the type of food within arms reach as he's a carboholic. In his case we bought single packaged rusk like cracker's that are crunchy/soft and have various vegetable derivatives. Before he eats the two rusks, he has to open each individual package, and that required him to pause at what he's doing and pay attention to the wrapping.

    There were also small amounts of walnuts/pumpkin seeds/raisins/sunflower seeds that he brought to work with him. Which he would eat, and seemed to satiate him. Leaving food within arm's reach, would be optimal as long as they are apples, oranges, banana's and other fruit that then replaced the donuts, candy and gum. He eats apples all the time, and anything now available in the home is usually a healthier alternative. So he can't binge eat much of anything anymore. I once watched him eat a family size bag of potato chips, without pausing, in eight minutes. Now that these easy ready-made types of foods are no longer around, he's far less likely to eat in that way.
     
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  4. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    All of the above sound far more scrumptious than what I'm about to suggest, but carrot and cucumber cut into batons are a great snack when working.

    But, they're a healthy snack and they may not have quite the same appeal :(
     
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  5. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I’m a snacker. If I don’t restrain myself I will snack all day. I tried to stick with healthy snacks while I was writing my thesis, but I’d snack so much the carrots and nuts gave me, to phrase it politely, severe intestinal distress. I’d call it a mixed success :p

    These days I try to have a bottle of water on my desk at all times and I keep drinking it to drown out the need for snacking, but it doesn’t always work.
     
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  6. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    A food that satisfies the munching/crunching urge, without having much else to recommend it, is rice cakes. Don't get the flavored ones, don't even get them salted. You want it to be unexciting - keeps the jaws going, but isn't very inviting. It tastes like you're eating styrofoam (tastes like nothing, in other words). You can eat 7 or 8 rice cakes without getting appreciable calories, but you won't, because they really aren't that yummy.

    Rice cakes are way better if you use them as a base for cheese spread or dip or peanut butter, but don't do that. You want them as chewing material that doesn't taste very good.
     
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  7. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I try just to stick to water and healthy snacks. Water especially is a good choice as most people don't really get enough of it and it does fill you up between meals somewhat. If something tasty and terrible for you is around however, I will absorb it quickly so the best strategy I have come up with is just never have them around. My wife likes snacks, but not an eating issue, so we try only to get those she likes and I don't. There are lots of those as I am pretty picky about likes & dislikes.
     
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  8. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    How about things like spinach or carrots?
     
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  9. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I like all the suggestions for healthier snacks. That will definitely help me.

    Since I will have to prepare those in advance, it will also mean I'm taking a limited amount with me to work each day.
     
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  10. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    change slowly or your brain will react by making you want to eat more,One thing you can do is the soup diet having a lot of liquid fills you up a lot sedates you, and most people are generally dehydrated it would also help with the sugar kick.
     
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  11. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    There'll also be the added bonus in that you'll save money - that is if you choose the carrot baton option, prepared by yourself of course :)

    A couple of medium sized carrots turn into a large amount of batons and they only cost about 10 pence!
     
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  12. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    It is. For me I have to have a bottle of soda each day. Had reduced it quite a bit last year but I'm back into it now. I know it's not healthy but it's turned into a habit for me and hard to break permanently.
     
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  13. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My favourites are: Little oranges like clementines or tangerines.

    A big crunchy salad box, with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, rocket, pea shoots, grated carrot, a few grapes, diced apple, diced beetroot, a bit of low calorie dressing, mix and scoff.

    I grew varied salad leaves last year in plastic trugs in the back garden, they last well and you can cut them fresh daily.
     
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  14. Kirsty

    Kirsty ND

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    Having sliced carrots and hummus right now. Yes, I sliced them myself. Go me! ;)
     
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  15. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Tho
    Those clementines are delish.
     
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  16. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Have you tried snorting some coke or taking some amphetamines? That always seems to curb the urge to snack :p

    I'm jesting, I'm a snacker too (mostly carbs) and like a lot of the suggestions. I tried a lot of raw vegetables etc and they didn't seem to satiate me the way a piece of toast with cheese on it does. Or my recent favorite,mini pad Thai and smoked chicken sandwiches. I hope you find something that works without cracking teeth, or gaining weight.
     
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  17. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    Snacking is definitely a stim for me too. Salt and vinegar chips in particular fill me with happy bubbly warm feelings of goodness to a point where I feel like I might float away! Pickles have the same effect. I make vinegar pickles that are so sour I cough and my eyes water, but somehow the sensation is just utterly delightful.

    Sometimes I make bone broth and sip mugs of it throughout the afternoon. That can help reduce snack cravings, plus it's nutritious and soothing and you can drink it all day without spoiling your appetite for meals.

    Popcorn is the best alternative to chips. If you make it on the stove or in an air popper you can control how much salt and butter is on it. I make huge batches and keep it in an airtight container for quick access. Unseasoned popcorn won't satisfy flavour cravings but it's great if the stim is more about the texture or the action of crunching and swallowing food.
     
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  18. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    My partner is a snacker has this issue, and says that sipping green tea really helps. It's a distraction and helps him not feel like snacking on food.
     
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  19. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Strange, I never thought to consider my eating habits with regards to this. I'm a snacking fiend myself. Also addicted to carbs and sugars. When large people see me, they envy my stick thin body and supposedly amazing metabolism.

    I find my diet changes depending on finances. If I have money I eat healthily. If I'm poor - well, processed foods are very affordable and keep me fuller for longer than whole foods.

    I find with any meal, if it can't be done promptly, I can't be bothered to make it and will resort to snacking instead.

    Ed
     
  20. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Celery.

    It's hard work, full of water and fibre and can take an eternity to finish one cleaned stick.

    I love to hate it.
    There's so much to crunch and chew thoroughly your jaw may ache :)

    I'm addicted to crunching.
    Helps me concentrate,
    can be soothing,
    and overrides that ten minute body timer that's supposed to tell me when I'm full.

    Celery.
    A champion amongst vegetables and may very likely take you three days to eat :)
     
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