Mindless eating from boredom happens to more of us than we realize! Whether you sift through the cupboards at night or munch on snacks throughout the work day - you're probably choosing whatever is convenient and packed with sugar, fat and bad carbs and mistaking boredom for hunger. Here are some tips to help you stop eating out of boredom:
Pay Attention to Mood, Place and Time This is my biggest advice on this - it really helped me remove the power snacking had over me. The easiest place to start is to figure out when and why you're eating by tracking your mood, place and the time when you find yourself reaching for snacks. Is there a pattern - a specific time, feeling or location? For me this turned out to be feeling restless at night while at home! I could do well while at work or running errands, but being at home at night with "nothing" to do is what would send me to the cupboards to find something to eat just out of boredom. I say "nothing" because in actuality, I had lots to do but I was usually trying to avoid my to-do list by eating. Most of us have patterns and once you find yours, you can start to remove its power. I now catch myself falling into my pattern at night and make better choices - such as reading for a bit and then tackling my to-do list.
Find Something to Do When you are reaching for food without being hungry, you need to start finding distractions. This could be calling a friend to catch up, organizing a closet, drawing, reading..etc..anything that gets your mind focused on something else and removes the boredom.
Occupy Your Hands For most of us, we spend our nights relaxing with tv which also leads to snacking. If this is you, then you need to something to occupy your hands while watching tv. You can try to learn knitting, you can draw, etc...find something that allows you to still relax but will give your hands something to do other than eat.
Keep Trigger Foods Out of Your Home This is a BIG one for me! Home is a safe place, you don't want to be relying on willpower while you are feeling comfortable and safe. Keep your willpower reserves for when you are out of the house and facing more pressures such as bigger portions and social influence.
Mindless eating was a hurdle for me (and sometimes still is!) and I know a lot of people struggle with it, so I'm planning on having more posts about it. If you are interested or have topics you want covered, feel free to comment, message or call!