Do you ever find yourself bored and rooting around in the refrigerator or pantry for a snack?
You’re not hungry exactly. You’re really just looking for something to do.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Thousands of people partake in boredom eating every day.
But if you’re not careful, eating out of boredom and loneliness or any emotion can lead to problems with weight gain. And this can be a big problem for your health.
If you’re wondering how to overcome boredom eating, you can start with these tips.
Brush your teeth.
One of the quickest and easiest things you can do to stop yourself from boredom eating is to brush your teeth. Sounds simple enough, right? The minty fresh taste of toothpaste or mouthwash will actually help keep you from wanting to eat. And if you do eat something, it’s not going to taste very good.
If you can’t brush your teeth, chewing gum is always a good choice, too. Look for something mint-flavored and sugar-free.
Drink some water.
Many times, when you think your body wants food, it actually needs water. You may just be dehydrated. Studies have even shown that drinking a glass of water before you eat a meal will help you eat less. So, next time you feel the urge to snack, try a glass of water first instead.
Plan out your daily meals and snacks.
If you’re wondering how to stop eating when bored or stressed and you know something as easy as chewing gum or brushing your teeth won’t help, try planning your meals and snacks. Make a schedule the night before of what you can eat and when. The next day, try your best to stick to it to avoid emotional eating.
Understand what triggers you.
Take some time to understand what may trigger your emotional eating. Maybe you tend to eat when you see food commercials. If so, don’t watch commercials when you watch TV. Maybe you find yourself eating out of boredom when you keep certain items in the house. If so, don’t keep those items in the house. Perhaps you eat out of boredom when you’re stressed. If that’s the case, look for other quick ways to combat stress. Try breathing exercises or listening to your favorite song instead. Brew some hot tea or call a friend.
Take a walk.
Sometimes, you just have to step away from the food. Instead of walking to your fridge, go outside and take a walk around your neighborhood. Go to your basement and jump on the treadmill. Go walk laps around your backyard. Not only is exercise a good distraction, but it might help you overcome stress if that’s what’s causing your boredom eating.
If you’re bored too often, maybe it’s time to find a new hobby. This can help keep you distracted and away from the kitchen. Read, learn to sew or start crafting. Paint, draw or learn a new language. When you feel like you’re going to start boredom eating, work on your hobby. You can also distract yourself with things to do around the house. This could include cleaning, fixing things or DIY projects.
Stock up on healthy treats.
No matter how hard you try, you’re likely to eat out of boredom every once in a while. And that’s OK. Try keeping healthy snacks and treats on hand for these occasions. Instead of cookies, grab some carrot sticks. Instead of candy, eat some nuts. This way, even when you do eat because you’re bored, you’re at least eating something nutritious.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Don’t shame yourself when you eat out of boredom. Just try to do better the next time. Make a new game plan or try a new tip from the list. Keep in mind that everyone does it. Once or twice isn’t going to ruin your health.
Still wondering how to stop boredom eating? Sometimes, you may need professional help. And that’s OK.
Learn about the nutrition services we offer at Bon Secours.