How to stop boredom eating is one of the most asked dieting questions on online search engines, and the reason why is that it’s a hard habit to crack.
Nearly every single one of us has been guilty at one time or another of sneaking in a few (or a lot of) extra calories for the pure reason that we have nothing better to do.
That’s why we’ve come up with these 7 tips to help keep you on track and stop boredom eating becoming a habit.
Tips to stop eating when you’re bored
1. Keep an eye on your eating habits
The first step in recognizing you have a boredom eating problem is to watch your eating habits. Learn the times when you are snacking extra or eating more than you should; note them down and be honest.
This will help you see exactly where the issue is, and what you were doing or not doing at the time.
Once you have this information, you’ll be better equipped to see your eating patterns and avoid eating when bored.
2. Don’t get hungry
Sometimes the problem isn’t simply boredom; you might actually be hungry too.
When we’re busy, it occasionally happens that we forget to eat as often as we really should. So, when we stop rushing about, boredom and hunger sets in and that leads us to make poor food choices.
Even if you’re constantly on the go, try to eat and snack regularly and healthily, so those hunger pangs don’t hit with full force when you decide to slow down.
3. Shop with care
A healthy diet needs healthy food. If your cupboards are filled with junk, well, you can guess what happens next.
So, when you go shopping try to plan in advance what you need. Plan your meals and snacks, so that when you pass those shop doors, you’re armed with an unamendable list.
This is great for your budget––it keeps the cost of your shopping down––and your waistline. After all, if you’ve no unhealthy snacks in the house, how will you eat them when you’re bored?
4. Eat mindfully
The key to how to stop snacking when you’re bored is to eat mindfully. Remember tips 1 and 2 about keeping an eye on your eating habits and not getting hungry? Well, eating mindfully is taking that and putting it into action.
As often as possible––we know you’re busy––try to plan your meal and snack times, decide in advance what you’re going to eat and when, and make it non-negotiable.
Once you sit down to eat, put all your focus on that meal. When you eat mindfully, you’re more likely to feel fuller when you’re actually full, instead of inserting food, just because it is in front of you.
So, take the time to eat, and ENJOY it!
5. Get a better hobby
You’ve been planning, eating mindfully, and snacking healthily and nothing is working…it might be time to kick things up a notch.
If eating has become a hobby for you, it’s time to find a new one. This is good for your mind and body; you can even develop a new skill or talent.
Consider taking up yoga, another sport, playing video games, knitting, volunteering––the world is your oyster. The main thing is to avoid the lure of the snack cupboard.
6. Slow things down
It might sound counter-productive but slowing things down and becoming more mindful of your own behavior can be one of the best ways to avoid snacking when you’re bored.
One of the reasons you may be boredom eating is you’re filled with nervous energy and the need to do something, anything; which is why you’re likely to snack––food is comforting, available, and tasty.
But excessive snacking isn’t good for you. So, now is the time to sit down and take a little bit of time for yourself––relax and clear your mind. Try meditation and include some mantras from a healthier body, a healthier you.
7. And, if all that doesn’t work…
You’ve tried it all, but to no avail, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. In this case, you need a damage-limiting back up plan––snacking healthy.
This means that when you’re bored, and you feel the need to reach for a snack, choose a healthier instead.
Got a crunch craving? Try some peanut butter and apple slices, or simply some unsalted nuts.
Choco-crazy? Why not brew yourself hot cocoa? Or add some Nutella to a banana.
Whatever you’re thinking of eating, seek out the healthiest version possible and nourish your body.