Sometimes we eat just because we have nothing better to do, and this is the worst kind of eating. Still, it’s something a lot of us do without thinking. Eating when you’re bored is a form of emotional eating, and it can be a very hard habit to break. If you want to establish a new routine and new habits to go along with the new you, read on.
1. Identify if you are actually hungry. Ask yourself, on a scale of one to ten, how hungry you feel. If the answer is seven or more, you should probably eat something. Otherwise, refrain from eating until you reach this point of actual hunger.
2. Make a hunger diary. Record your daily intake. Include a list of calories, if desired.
3. Satisfy feelings with other interests. Find other interests that are just as rewarding. Have fun with a friend.
4. Recognize patterns of eating. Do they coincide with boredom? Is there a time of day when you are more likely to be bored?
5. Get a hobby. Find something you’d like to do and get started!
6. Concentrate on what you are doing. Force yourself to become preoccupied until the hunger subsides.
7. Go for a walk. This will take you away from the kitchen. Once your scene has changed, your cravings should subside.
8. Find an activity that occupies your hands. Try a manicure, needlework, typing or if you do play an instrument this is a good time for practicing. You can only do one activity at a time.
9. Make an activity hat. Fill the hat with different activities and pull one out to do. This should relieve your boredom and the urge to eat.
10. Drink a glass of water. Water is filling and may satisfy you for a period of time.
11. Eat celery or watermelon. They are mostly water, low in calories and can quench your thirst. You may burn as many calories as the celery contains just by chewing it. The sweetness of watermelon is very satisfying. They’re both prettyhealthy.
12. Chew a piece of gum. It’s refreshing and low in calories. It may help to curb your appetite and actually burn a few calories.
13. Never eat artificial sweetener. They are no better for you than sugar and actually increase cravings.
14. Choose nutritious food. Choose replenishing whole foods. Processed foods are deprived of natural vitamins and nutrients.
15. Periodically adjust to a more realistic diet routine throughout your life:
- Give yourself a little freedom to indulge once a day or once a week. Try a small piece of chocolateor a smoothie.
- Exercisemay require an extra snack or a few more calories.
- Calories may need to be limited later in life to prevent weight gain from a slower metabolism.
16. Schedule a small nutritious snack between meals. This may keep you from indulging at meals.
17. Avoid having food in your bedroom. Eat only at the dining room table. Stashed snacks can be a big temptation.
18. Avoid buying certain foods. Identify the foods that you most commonly reach for and avoid having them in your home.
19. Consult your physician with binge eating and other eating disorders.