Eating when you are bored is a form of emotional eating, and it can be a very hard habit to break. But the good news is, if you are ready to face it head on, it’s not impossible to escape. Here’s how:
Because boredom is so unpredictable, it can be tough to catch yourself in the act until half the bag of Doritos is gone. Then you suddenly wake up from your food coma, and realize that the issue was never really hunger at all. In most cases, when you’re bored, the tendency is to go for the quick and easy high calorie/low nutrition foods.
The best response is, of course, to stop eating and consider what the issue really is. Focus on your feelings. If boredom is really the issue, then there are tons of ways to deal with it that have nothing to do with food and will leave you feeling a whole lot better about yourself to boot.
Now, if you just cannot seem to avoid the fridge and absolutely MUST snack on something, make sure, at the very least, it’s something healthy. Have some quick, satisfying and healthy snacks on hand to tide you over until the craving passes.
Here are some healthy ideas for snacks:
- Small pre-cut veggies – ones you actually enjoy. Baby carrots, cucumbers and celery are always a great options.
- A small bowl of healthy, homemade granola or breakfast cereal if you need something sweeter with crunch.
- A satisfying warm yet healthy cup of hot chocolate for the chilly weather or a cool, refreshing drink for warmer days like a cinnamon apple smoothie. Sometimes, a tasty herbal tea, served either hot or cold (like our pomegranate orange spice tea), can dull an appetite and act as a soothing break in your routine. Even a simple glass of refreshing water can change your perspective. And really, being bored is simply a matter of perspective, right?
But if you can manage to avoid food all together, here are some ways to get your mind off the refrigerator and on to something that will actually help break the boredom.
- The simple act of brushing your teeth will act as a great spur-of-the-moment pick me up!
- Get out of the house! Go for a walk around the block.
- Listen to your favorite music and dance around your living room or bedroom.
- Give the dog a bath.
- If it’s sunny out, go to the park and read a trashy novel or self improvement book under a shady tree.
- If it’s way too cold out, take up knitting or sewing and get busy on holiday gifts!
- Visit a friend you’ve been thinking about lately.
- Go to the book store and get lost in a section you’ve never considered before.
- Work out!
- Offer to walk the neighbor’s dog.
- Window shop.
- Treat yourself to a pedicure.
- Find some local kids you know and start up a game of soccer in the neighborhood.
- This list could truly be endless!
Take steps to create change in your life that your psyche will appreciate and respond to. Alleviate the urge to eat when you are not really hungry by doing other things (make a list to stick on the fridge if you need to!). These small changes will go a long way toward avoiding using food for something other than nutrition. Get in the habit of feeding your body, not your emotions.
Written by Jennifer Jensen