Research shows people eat less of a snack they crave when they delay eating it.

Research Offers Simple Way to Snack Less on Foods You Crave


This blog was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated in July 2013, but you can read the original post here.

If you crave certain foods and give in too easily to the urge to snack, do not despair. A new study offers valuable advice just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest snack day of the year!

Research presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology showed that when subjects postponed eating a snack they craved to an unspecified time in the future, they ate less. Not only did they eat less of that food when they finally got around to having it, they ate less of it over the next week, which can be helpful if you have a lot of Super Bowl leftovers in the house.

A key finding from this study was that those subjects who put off eating the snack they desired to an unstated time in the future did much better than those who denied themselves eating any at all and those who gave themselves permission to eat all they wanted.

Why Postponing Works?

By postponing the opportunity to eat something you crave, you give yourself time for the desire to diminish, and that’s a good thing. Every minute you’re not eating those nachos, fried mozzarella sticks, or chocolate covered pretzels adds up to calories, fat, salt and sugar you did not consume.

This strategy also removes two other saboteurs to self-control: guilt and retaliation. Guilt comes into play when you immediately start eating all you want of the snacks calling out to you. Once you realize what you’ve done, guilt can trigger further gluttony. On the other hand, if you tell yourself you can’t have the snacks at all, you’re likely to feel deprived and will eventually retaliate and eat more than your share.

Delay Trumps Denial

The subjects were divided into three different groups. One group was allowed to eat the snack freely, another was told not to eat the snack, and the third was told they could eat it later. The researchers observed their behavior when offered two different snacks: candies and chips.

The results were the same whether the subjects were assigned to a group or got to select the group themselves. Those that were told to delay their snack ate the least. Those who were told not to eat the snack at all ate the most.

So as you get you game plan ready for the Super Bowl, here’s a cheer that is sure to make you a winner when the snacks are served:

“I think I’ll pass!”

Keep your New Years Resolution to eat well with these tips for Super Bowl appetizers

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Even During the Big Game!

This post was written as a guest blog for Splenda Living. You can read the original post here.

Put SPLENDA® Sweetener in Your Game Plan!
I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

There’s nothing like a new calendar signaling the start of a brand new year to motivate us to lose the weight we may have gained during the holiday season. That must be why New Year’s Resolutions are so easy to make But by the end of January the first big obstacle many of us will have to tackle is around the corner – parties to celebrate the Big Game. If your year of healthier eating has started off strong, don’t let this football feeding frenzy throw you out of bounds.

What you need is a strategy to carry you through game day, just as your team’s quarterback needs a playbook to move the ball down the field. In fact, planning to win will help you with every “interference” that may come your way in the year ahead.

Step Up Your Activity

One way we can get in shape after the holidays, and to prepare for the extra calories that often go with football parties, is by increasing our energy output long before game day. Wearing a pedometer to count your daily steps is a great way to set goals and measure your progress.

If you regularly work out in a gym, try adding 10 minutes or more to each workout or add another day to your weekly workout schedule to burn more calories. The best part is, if you stick to this new routine you should reach your weight management and fitness goals even sooner.

Plate Every Portion

Party food tends to be indulgent, but even worse, we sometimes eat it mindlessly. How can you keep track of how many chips and how much dip you’ve eaten when you’re cheering on your favorite team? I know I can’t.

The best way around this dilemma is to plate everything you’re going to eat before putting it in your mouth. You can use a cocktail napkin, small paper plate or drink cup to serve yourself the portion you want to eat instead of endlessly reaching into the big bowls of snacks and platters of food all around you. I find this especially helpful when faced with easily munchable treats like roasted peanuts, kettle corn and candy.

Even vegetables can be a problem if you end up eating too much high calorie dip with them. That’s why I use a piece of celery to scoop a tablespoon of dip onto my plate, then add plenty of vegetables to go with it. Not only does it help control the amount of dip I eat, it prevents double-dipping, too.

Rethink Your Recipes

Another way to save calories you’ll never miss is by preparing your party foods using low calorie ingredients, like SPLENDA® Sweeteners instead of sugar, Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, and reduced fat sour cream instead of regular. Best of all, these simple substitutions can lower the excess saturated fat and added sugar content of many recipes in addition to lowering the calories, and that’s good for everyone.

Of course, we still want these popular dishes to taste delicious, which is why I turn to tried-and-true recipes like those found on Three big winners for me are Sweet Red Pepper Hummus, Raspberry Cocktail Sauce with Chilled Shrimp and Sweet and Crunchy Nuts. If you’re asked to bring something to the party, why not make one of these and see if you agree with me?

Score Every Point You Can!

Staying on track with your eating and exercise resolutions for the New Year is one way you can win by losing, so make every calorie count. Using SPLENDA® Sweeteners instead of sugar can help, especially since Valentine’s Day is just two weeks after the Big Game!

For more delicious appetizers and salads sweetened with SPLENDA® Sweetener:

If you haven’t signed up for the SPLENDA® Recipe Club, to receive THE SWEET DISH® e-newsletter (for free), you can do so here:

Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, “The Everyday RD,” is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.

You don’t have to serve diet snacks if you use these healthy snack ideas

Need Healthy Snack Food Ideas for the Super Bowl?

This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. This site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you can view it here.


When the Taco Bell advertising team came up with the idea to bash veggie platters at Super Bowl parties, they weren’t just knocking vegetables. The ad implied that all healthy snack food ideas are unwelcomed at the biggest gridiron event of the year. Now that the ads have been pulled, it has left many people wondering whether any diet snacks can be safely served on game day.

Do not despair! There are other ways to curb your party food consumption without trying to sneak broccoli into the chili con carne!

Beware of Halos

One of the biggest mistakes we can make when faced with lots of food choices is to separate the choices into “good” and “bad” foods. No matter what criteria we use to make the distinction, it always leads to the same illogical conclusion that if we eat mostly good food, it’s okay to eat some bad food, too.

This is called the Halo Effect, where we believe the good food – they’re the ones wearing the halo – can somehow magically cancel out the risks of the bad foods.

Mathematically, this just doesn’t work out in our favor. The amount of fat, sodium and calories in 20 potato chips submerged in a half cup of onion dip cannot be cancelled out by a 20 baby carrots dabbed in hummus. Same is true about eating the celery sticks served with the Buffalo wings. The numbers just don’t jibe.

This does not mean we can never eat the chips, dips and wings. We just have to be more realistic about how many we can afford to add to our fat, sodium and calorie tally for the day.

“Watch” What You Eat

As much as we all feel drawn to food by its smell and taste, our vision plays a role in what and how much we eat, too. I’m not talking about attractive plating arrangements, but the color and size of the plates and bowls its served in. Food marketers use this information to get us to eat more of their products, but we turn the tables on them and use it to eat less.

A study done in the Department of Social and Economic Psychology at the University of Basel Switzerland found people ate less snack food from a red plate and drank less soft drink from a red cup than they did when blue or white plates and cups were used. The researchers hypothesize that the color red serves as a subliminal stop sign that helps to reduce how much we eat.

That’s good news for San Francisco 49er’s fans who can use the team’s red and gold colors for their party ware.

Tackle the “Hidden Persuaders”

Even if there won’t be any diet snacks at your Super Bowl spread, there are ways to deal with mindless eating so you don’t overindulge. Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Brain Wansink, a consumer behavior psychologist, we now have proof that how we serve food is as important as what we serve.

Use these Healthy Snack Food Ideas to Eat Less at Your Super Bowl Party

  • Use tall slender glasses for drinks instead of short wide ones
  • Fill a basket with single-serving bags of chips instead of having big bowls filled with chips
  • Offer only 1 or 2 types of chips instead of 3 or more
  • Place some of the snack food just out of reach so guests have to get up to have more
  • Provide small plates for guests to fill with their own snacks and place scoops and tongs on platters so they can serve themselves
  • Offer snacks that require some effort to eat, such as peanuts or pistachios in shells, cheese you must spread, and candies you must unwrap
  • Fill candy dishes with single-colored treats, like M&Ms or Jellybeans, featuring your team’s colors rather than offering mixed colors
  • Provide medium-sized (9 inch) paper plates for the half-time buffet instead of larger dinner plates
  • Put plain names on your buffet dishes, such as “Chili,” versus more appetizing descriptions, such as “Rosie’s Three-Alarm Homemade Chili”