My Chips & Snacking Addiction

I don’t know what it is but lately for the past few months I’ve been increasing my intake on chips and snacks. But they aren’t entirely junk food as my selection has become more natural. But before, I was on a good streak in snacking occasionally, as my maybe my meals were sufficient enough for me to not snack… or perhaps there is more behind this “snacking addiction”??

I started a new job a few months ago and it started to become a ritual to include chips or some sort of snacks. However, at my previous jobs and places I’ve done work for, I was fine with just a lunch, and then an occasional snacking on cereal or chips from a stash in my snack drawer.

I thought, maybe it’s because this is the first corporate job that I worked for that doesn’t allow snacking at our desks! So by the time lunch time rolls around, I viciously devour up my bag of chips. It doesn’t even matter if I have a large banana or bagel for breakfast.. my stomach growls so loud, it becomes an embarrassing nuisance.

The places I’ve worked for usually had hard working hungry web developers snacking away every hour to feed the brain, so I am not sure how some people at my work place go without eating much, but I find myself dropping by in the break room, just to sneak something in my mouth if there are treats left on the table.

By chance, someone had left a news article or newspaper in the break room which happened to include information about correlation between stress and increase intake of junk food. Supposedly people under a lot of stress tend to have bad diets, eating a lot of junk food. This isn’t good because bad eating habits can increase stress as well, along with the lack of exercise.

I did have significant changes, starting a new job, a new move and my stress levels have gone up. But I have changed my eating habits slightly the past year where I’m purchasing snacks made of more wholesome ingredients.. avoiding high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, and trying to limit to snacking with minimal ingredients that I can understand. That means I stopped drinking 100% fruit juices that contained high fructose corn syrup and added sugar, and my veggie chips are usually just 5 ingredients or so.

Anyways, I go home, I eat a meal, whether big or not, I end up craving cookies or chips. Sometimes they are organic or “wholesome” cookies, but sometimes not. Sometimes I just keep munching and snacking. I don’t know if it’s stress, or I’m thinking so much and hard that I’m burning so much calories, or both.

Another theory is I am considered underweight, and somehow had lost 7 pounds at one point in the past year which I was not happy about. I tried to eat and eat more, but wasn’t gaining anything, so I started resorting to cookies with a lot of sugar in it, (because sugar makes you gain weight, not fat). Then it became somewhat of a habit. But then it became this craving.

After about a year, I gained back 5 pounds, but keep fluctuating between my current weight and 2 pounds less. I still don’t consider some of the things I eat are junk junk food, but I think maybe it’s time to decrease the snacking.. at least on the chips and cookies. I’ll get back to healthy rice crackers and cereals perhaps. Dark chocolate and cheese supposedly helps regulate body fat!

The only way I have gained weight in the past was intense martial arts training and physical activities over 4 hours everyday or every other day. I don’t have that time now.   Any tips for gaining weight, the healthy way (without protein shakes and supplements)?

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