It is quite clear that most people don't realize that the simple snack they have been munching on can have hundreds of extra calories that can make them gain weight.
Now six ways have been suggested that can help quell the mindless munching once and for all.
"Skipping meals sets you up for intense cravings," ABC News quoted Susan Kraus, R.D., a nutritionist at Hackensack University Medical Center, as saying.
Eating regular meals of complex carbs, not refined ones like white bread and pasta, with protein and a small amount of healthy fat will keep your blood sugar steady, and you feeling satisfied.
Next is to identify what triggers mindless munching by keeping a food log for a week, recording your moods, what stresses you out, and how hungry you feel before eating.
The third step is to wait out a stressful period, because that is the time when one is most susceptible to the brain's demands. The 20 minutes after a stressful episode is the amount of time it takes for serotonin to bounce back and stress hormones to fall.
Fourthly, when craving sets in one should drink a glass of water or hot tea, as the hypothalamus, your brain's control centre for mood- and food-related signals, detects thirst as well as hunger.
The fifth step is to reach for sugar-free gum when the urge to munch something arises.
Researchers in Australia measured the levels of cortisol in the saliva of study subjects and found that on average, gum chewers had 16 percent less of the stress hormone than non-chewers and responded better to stressful situations.
And the sixth step suggests taking things lightly, as studies have shown that laughter cuts stress, releases feel-good endorphins, and burns calories.