We’ve all been there. Work is slow. There’s not much to do. You twiddle your thumbs until suddenly decide that the only thing to make you feel better is a visit to the vending machine. No! Stop walking! Stay away from snack food!
When we’re bored, we often convince ourselves that we are hungry when we are actually not. Using food for any reason other than putting nutrients into your body can lead you into a cycle of overeating. So how do you stop boredom eating?
Follow these 5 simple steps:
- Identify your triggers
Pay attention to when you start mindlessly snacking. Write it down for a few days and see if a pattern emerges. Once you know when your impulse to snack starts, you can find healthy alternatives to eating.
- Schedule all your meals
Snacking and eating outside of regular mealtimes can affect the success of your diet. Skipping meals is equally bad as when you’re both hungry and bored, you’re more likely to overeat combo. When you schedule what and when you eat every day, it makes it much easier to be aware of what you’re putting into your body. You become more mindful and in control of food intake. Plan for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day to keep you on track.
- Change your habit
Instead of reaching for food, think of things that might be fun, feed your soul, be good for you, and can fit in with your situation or mood. It could moisturising your hands, or walking around the office, stepping outside to see the sky – anything other than eating empty calories.
- Create a Food-Free Zone
Boredom can trigger us to want to eat, and so can certain places. Create spaces in your work and home that are food-free zones, and never eat in those places. If you’re in the habit of snacking or eating lunch at your computer, try only eating in the break room or out of the office. If you find yourself always nibbling at something on the sofa, only eat at the dining room table.
- Is it something else that is making you eat?
Is there another underlying issue that is causing you to reach for the chips? If you’re tired or stressed it’s very common to reach for a snack. If you feel yourself wanting to eat something outside of your chosen meal/ snack time, take a few minutes to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? IS it really hunger, or is it stress? Are you comforting yourself? For many of us, food is a way that we make ourselves better when we aren’t happy with something.
Eating when you’re bored can cause extra weight gain very easily, as all those calories add up. Next time you find yourself reaching for a snack, get up, stretch, take a walk around the room and do something else instead.
Your body will thank you for it.
If you need any help or guidance regarding your snacking habits and would like to get back on track, contact us today.