Do you ever eat just because you are bored? You grab a box of chocolates or a pint of ice cream, and you finish it in minutes.
I know many people who eat just because they have nothing else to do. They are not hungry but are bored and looking for something to do with their hands. What is the result? Extra pounds! All this weight gain over a bad habit!
The next time you are bored and want something to chew on, follow one of the tips below instead to avoid putting on those extra pounds.
Recommended: How to Stop Food Cravings
- 1 1. Find a creative activity
- 2 2. Don’t make excuses
- 3 3. Spend quality time with your pet
- 4 4. Be inspired
- 5 5. Call your friends
- 6 6. Listen to music
- 7 7. Do belly breathing
- 8 8. Have some tea
- 9 9. Do some housework
- 10 10. Take a bath
- 11 11. Meditate
- 12 12. Make a list of activities to get rid of dullness
- 13 13. Learn about mindful eating
- 14 14. Chew gum
- 15 15. Create a meal plan
- 16 16. Keep a food diary
- 17 17. Plant fresh herbs
- 18 18. Find a new hobby
- 19 19. Set goals
- 20 20. Drink more water
- 21 What is true hunger?
- 22 Why can I not help but eat when I’m feeling bored or down?
- 23 How to stop eating when bored
- 24 It is your turn
1. Find a creative activity
Find something you have to pay attention to for a long time, making sure it is an activity you enjoy doing. It is always best to find something you can do to keep your hands busy. For example, sewing, drawing, painting, writing a diary are all great hands-on activities you can try to avoid boredom.
2. Don’t make excuses
People are good at finding excuses, and the same applies when we try to excuse our eating habits. It is time to change those bad eating habits. If you want to lose or maintain your weight, you should not let yourself cheat. Before getting something to snack on, think about what you ate earlier, and remember that the energy that food provided will be enough to hold you over until the next meal.
3. Spend quality time with your pet
If you have a dog, take it for a walk or play with it. If you have no pets, go outside, take a walk, and enjoy the fresh air. On top of that, just half an hour of walking does good for your health and even helps to burn some calories.
Recommended: Ways to Work Out with Your Dog
4. Be inspired
There are millions of motivational quotes online. Reading through these quotes can help you get over the boredom and can help you avoid snacking. Even better – make a list of your favorite motivational quotes and put it somewhere you can see it as a reminder of the positivity, like on your fridge or cupboard doors. You can also list your favorite foods and jot down how many calories each is.
5. Call your friends
Talking with friends is one of the best ways to get rid of boredom. Time flies, and you can use this kind of quality time with family and friends to deepen your relationship and strengthen your connections.
6. Listen to music
Play a few songs that you love, and believe me, the feeling of eating something will go away. A good song can change your mood instantly. Play something quick and happy and turn the volume up! Better yet? Dance around the house to your favorite songs to get some extra exercise in!
7. Do belly breathing
Most of us breathe from the lungs. If you have some free time, sit down comfortably, straighten your back, and try breathing through your abdomen. Focus on your stomach as it gets bigger and smaller, and take deep breaths. This activity can help you forget about your hunger and prove to be a powerful meditation technique.
Here is how to do it.
8. Have some tea
When we get bored, we also sometimes begin feeling fatigued. This can lead many of us to grab a coffee cup as a quick pick-me-up. However, instead of a cup of Joe, try making herbal tea.
Teas have many health benefits, and they even help increase the fat burning processes in your body. Also, they have the same outcome as if you have a coffee. Green tea is the winner in my eyes.
Recommended: Best 10 Herbal Teas You Need to Have at Home
9. Do some housework
Cleaning the house is not the most enjoyable activity, but you can kill two birds with one stone. You can get rid of the feeling of munching on something, and your home will be spotless. Plus, vacuuming, mopping, ironing, dusting, and scrubbing can help you burn a few hundred calories as well.
10. Take a bath
If you do not want to do anything, you can evade the kitchen by taking a bath and indulging in some self-care time. Even better if you pour some exotic and sweet essential oils into the water, light a few candles, and play some soft music to relax and unwind.
Meditation is an excellent way to calm your nerves and boost your energy levels. You will feel relaxed and free. If you have not practiced meditation yet, there are great books and other sources you can buy to learn the right techniques.
12. Make a list of activities to get rid of dullness
To avoid boredom and the urge to eat, make a list of things you can do instead of eating. List activities you like doing, so the next time you want to eat, just pick an activity off your list instead. I have made mine, and it includes over 40 activities. That is why I’m never bored.
13. Learn about mindful eating
Mindful eating is learning to become more attentive to your food. This includes when you buy the food, prepare it, and consume it. Take the time to really consider what you are putting in your body.
You can write down the adjustments you feel you need to make to approach your next healthy meal or snack in the right way. Thinking about it also takes the stress off you and can help you avoid unhealthy junk food options you may reach for when bored.
14. Chew gum
A stick of gum can cleanse your palette, cutting down on the hunger you may be feeling. When you have the gum in your mouth, the chewing motions can also help cut down on boredom. Gum chewing also has links to increased attention, a better mood, and more productive work performance.
15. Create a meal plan
When you take the time to create a meal plan, you are allowing yourself a chance to see what you are eating. It can help prevent you from overeating at restaurants and show you what kind of portions you should eat on a healthy diet.
16. Keep a food diary
A food diary is simply a log of all the food and drinks you consume each day. It helps you learn more about your eating habits. So, next time you are feeling bored and want to eat, pull out your food diary instead and see what you may be missing in your diet, if anything.
The information in your food diary can show you how much you are eating and what you are eating and help you cut down on binge eating and junk food crashes.
17. Plant fresh herbs
What better way to fight boredom and avoid unhealthy eating habits than planting fresh herbs you can use when cooking healthy meals in your kitchen? Gardening is also relaxing and can greatly improve your hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and self-esteem.
18. Find a new hobby
Bored of the usual things you do? Use your time finding a new hobby to distract you from eating when you are bored. Start the photo collage or scrapbook you have been wanting to do or identify something else that is important to you and find a way to use your time in that way.
19. Set goals
To stop boredom eating, set goals for yourself. An actionable plan like this can help you change old habits and develop healthy ones. Having goals and an action plan is also a great way to help identify your hunger triggers, so you can rewire your habits more effectively.
20. Drink more water
Sometimes we just need the hand-to-mouth action to fulfill our hunger trigger. Instead of snacking, make sure you have a water bottle with you. You can sip on it at regular intervals throughout the day. This can help satisfy any cravings or hunger you feel, which also helps control your appetite.
What is true hunger?
When you have true hunger, you are experiencing the signal to eat to maintain your muscle mass. When you eat to satisfy your true hunger, it doesn’t cause excess fat in our bodies. Excessive fat comes from eating outside of our true hunger times.
So, when you learn more about true hunger, you can find ways to get back in touch with yourself and learn how much instinctually you should be eating.
Why can I not help but eat when I’m feeling bored or down?
The main reason is that our brain associates food with the feeling of satisfaction. We have been trained for so long that food equals happiness. When the brain is not stimulated, and you feel bored, it searches for something that makes it happy again.
And that is the point when you crave caffeine, sugar, etc., things that will stimulate and reward the brain again. You can learn more about cravings in the video below.
How to stop eating when bored
Now that you have a list of activities you can do when you are bored instead of eating, let’s take a closer look at how to get started and the best way to go about it.
It is best to spread out your calorie intake throughout the day by following a regular meal and snack schedule. This keeps you full for longer and leaves you feeling less hungry throughout the day. A planned snack can also be motivation enough to get you to hold back from eating until then.
No food restrictions
Don’t restrict your favorites if you crave certain foods when hungry or bored. If you have food cravings often, don’t deprive yourself of what you want in the short term. Instead, eat your favorite foods regularly and in moderation.
Develop healthy habits
When you are bored, it is the perfect opportunity to try new things. You can turn your boredom into a way to find more meaningful stimulation and an excuse to develop healthier habits like drinking more water, eating healthier food, or taking a daily walk.
Eat from a plate
We know it can be difficult to distinguish between hunger and boredom. To help avoid overeating and letting hunger overtake you, try to portion out the snack you eat onto a plate rather than munching directly from the bag or container they come in. This kind of visual cue can greatly influence how much and how often you eat.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating involves being aware and focused on the moment and what you are eating at that moment. Some studies have found that mindful eating is a good way to help reduce emotional eating in response to boredom. It also helps differentiate between true hunger and boredom because it forces you to really pay attention to your cravings and hunger and fullness cues.
It is your turn
We hope you have found some of the tips above suitable for you. So, the next time you want to open the fridge or raid the pantry, remember there are things you can do instead of eating. Do not pack on those extra pounds over unhealthy eating habits.
What do you do to keep yourself away from food? What do you usually eat when you are bored? Share your thoughts below. And do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter below to get practical weight loss tips regularly.