Do you boredom eat? I know I do! Eating boredom has become such a problem but these tips on how to avoid boredom eating have helped end it!
How to Avoid Boredom Eating
It happens waaaaayyy too much for me… I get bored and I find myself waltzing into the pantry looking for something to eat. I don’t know why, but sometimes I feel like eating helps to get you back on track.
Although I know eating every time I get bored is a bad idea, I still do it. I consume more calories than I should when I do this as well as eat more processed and high in sugar fats because I am always going for those quick meals.
The habit of eating boredom is hard to break. The more you give in the more addictive the habit becomes. So we are sharing some great tips and tricks on how to avoid boredom eating.
Kicking boredom eating to the curb will be something that will give you more energy throughout the day, keep you healthy, and may even help you lose a little bit of weight!
What is Eating Boredom?
Eating boredom can happen at any time. And we’ve all been there. When you’re not at all hungry, but you can’t stop eating those yummy chips or that bowl of ice cream! Or maybe you finally have some free time so while you’re scrolling social media, your feet automatically take you to the wonders of the pantry, fridge, or freezer.
The good thing about boredom eating is that with a few simple tricks you can learn to create healthy habits and finally curb that boredom eating once and for all!
Why Can’t I Stop My Eating Boredom?
Do you find yourself wondering, “Why Can’t I stop my eating boredom?”
Don’t worry, it’s not just you who has a hard time when it comes to stopping eating boredom. Lots of people have this problem. And honestly, it’s all because of basic biology.
First, if you are eating every day at a specific time, you are conditioning your body to eat at that time every day. And when you get into a habit of eating it’s hard to quit.
Another reason why you might be having a hard time with your eating boredom is that from a young age, we are trained to associate certain foods with joy.
For example, as a kid when you were upset, your mom might have taken you out for ice cream to make you feel better. From that day on, you associate ice cream with feeling better.
This is apparent in our eating boredom too. In order to kick the bored feelings, we eat stuff that helps release dopamine, in an effort to raise ourselves out of that boring mode.
While there are a lot of reasons out there that explain eating boredom, everyone is different and has different experiences. If you want to learn more about eating boredom and why it happens, I recommend this post from Spoon University.
How to Avoid Boredom Eating
Make Sure Your Meals are Balanced
One of the best ways to kick boredom eating to the curb is to make sure that you’re eating enough fiber, protein, and healthy fats during your regular meals. Which means getting enough veggies and proteins.
Protein and fat keep you full longer. Make sure you are eating enough healthy fats such as nuts and avocados. Possible proteins that you can eat include eggs, meats, and beans.
The signal for “I’m hungry” and “I’m thirsty” come from the same area of the brain, the hypothalamus. Before you start snacking when you’re bored, try drinking some water. After you drink a good 8-10 ounces, wait 15 minutes for your brain to register and see if you’re still hungry after.
Recognize Your Habits
Do you find yourself driving to McDonald’s every day after work for a quick snack? Or maybe every day at 10 you find yourself at the pantry, snooping for something yummy to snack on.
When you recognize these habits and anticipate when they’re coming, you have a better chance of fighting boredom eating or at least your high fat snack with a healthier one.
Pack Healthy Snacks
If you are always packing the same snacks every day, you will literally find yourself eating boredom before you know it.
Switch up your snacks often so you don’t find yourself reaching for those sugary processed snacks.
Healthy snack ideas include:
- Apples with peanut butter
- Greek yogurt with granola
- Nuts (cashews, pistachios, and almonds are always a great option!)
- Freeze-dried fruits
- Trail mix
- Granola bars
- Yummy dark chocolate
I find that eating and preparing the best possible snack is one of the biggest key elements on how to avoid boredom eating.
Look for Cues
If your boredom eating is more of something that “just happens” during the day, try to start recognizing your body signs that say you’re bored.
Are you sleepy, can’t stop pacing, or maybe you find you can’t sit still? These are all signs of boredom. Get up and do something fun and productive to kick the boredom blues!
Some things that I try to do when I am bored include jumping jacks, organizing my desk/closet/bedroom, meal planning, cleaning, or go for a brisk walk.
These are all things that tend to wake me up and keep me more alert. Find what works best for you and do it!
One of the reasons for boredom eating is hunger! So if you didn’t eat enough for breakfast, lunch, or dinner you may find yourself snacking incidentally later on. But, if you’re on a diet or trying to cut back on calories, you can try chewing gum instead.
Giving my mouth and my mind something to do is an excellent way for me to avoid boredom eating and stay healthy!