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100 Days restart - Day 29: Hand-held foods

Jenn J

Day 29: Hand-held foods

It starts innocently enough. You reach for a few potato chips or a handful of nuts. Maybe you open a bag of M&M's. As soon as the first handful is gone, you reach for another one. The next thing you know, you get caught in a hand-to-mouth pattern that's almost impossible to stop.

Think about all the foods that come in bite-sized servings or ones that you eat from your hand. Some of the most common hand-held foods include cheese, crackers, chips, cookies and nuts, as well as small-sized candies such as M&M's.

You can also get in trouble with appetizers and party snacks. All of these can quickly become magnets, drawing you back to them again and again.

Addicting snack foods

Snacks aren't really bad food. They all just have a sneaky ability to hook you into overeating without you realizing it. To be able to enjoy your hand-held snacks without getting addicted to them, you need to set up strategies that will keep those foods in the bowl instead of in your hand.

Start by putting a buffer between any bite-sized foods and your mouth. When you eat a snack, transfer your serving amount from the original container to a plate or a bowl.

For example, place one cupful of popcorn into a cereal bowl. When you finish eating it, decide if you want to fill the bowl again. By putting your food into a serving dish, you'll have to stop and think each time before you refill it.

Use a fork

Here's another trick that will change the way you manage hand-held foods. Any time you eat one of these small-size foods, consider using a utensil. For example, try eating M&M's with a fork. Slide nuts into a spoon before tossing them into your mouth. Pour a stack of tortilla chips or other small snacks onto a plate, and then cut them into pieces before you nibble them.

After a while, you'll realize this all feels pretty silly. And you'll probably eat less because the reward doesn't seem worth the effort it takes to put the food into a spoon.


Select a hand-held food item such as nuts, chips, or candy pieces. Measure out a precise serving such as one-fourth cup or two tablespoons, and then put this amount on a plate.

Sit down at a table with the food in front of you. Using a fork or a spoon, eat one piece at a time. Notice how it feels to eat your snack this way.

In your journal, write a few notes about how you will manage hand-held foods in the future.

  Jeanne- CE! Replied:

Those hand helds can gallop down the gullet pretty fast, lol! I have learned to just not get started, and that works almost all of the time.

  Lyn💛 Replied:

Yeah, don't start is the only way for me on this one.

  flower Replied:

When I started measuring out what an actual serving of nuts M & M`s etc looked like and how many calories they contained it opened my eyes to how fast things could get out of control for me !! I am better off to stay away also

  Jenn J Replied:

I have found that when I want a sweet treat it's best to have the mini sizes and take nibbles of them. I serving may be 6 pieces, but I will only do 3 and take more time to enjoy them. That way I get a bit of sweet without over doing it.

That being said, if I don't take the time to know the serving size and take time to enjoy it, it gets out of control way too fast.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.